Majestic, powerful and intimidating, the sad reality is that sharks have more reason to fear us, than the other way round. Thanks to netting, shark finning and mercury poisoning we’ve managed to push over 90% of shark species to the brink of extinction. Directors Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas choose to broach the subject more positively however, giving audiences a chance to get up close and personal with great whites, in an attempt to foster a healthy respect for the species. The gripping beauty and vibrant detail of their documentary Great White Shark 3D is captured on IMAX’s gigantic screens, making it feel like the water’s within arm’s reach.
A multi-faceted approach is taken with this documentary, narrator Bill Nighy takes audiences through shark migration patterns and their biological make-up and intelligence, busting ill-advised myths and dropping morsels of interesting facts. Multiple scenic locations between California, South Africa and Mexico are discovered, following conservationist’s attempts at preserving sharks through tagging, medical research and tourist awareness (shark cage diving).
The locations are stunning, being submersed in the serene underwater world of the ocean is breathtakingly surreal. From being surrounded by curious seals weaving amongst kelp forests, to accompanying free divers Frederic Buyle and William Winram as they tag sharks off volcanic Guadalupe island, to dodging schools of fish, it’s a completely immersing and absorbing experience. Every ounce of detail comes alive in 3D, wafts of matter bob about in the water, sun glints off gleaming fur and scales and the welcoming ocean lolls about shaking droplets at the camera.
It’s not all serious fact drilling though, Creswell and McNicholas have injected humour into the film, playing to classic clichés. Snapping wind-up toys and and strategically placed plastic models appearing in the opening credits are a fine example of this (there’s a real fun ending too).
Great White Shark 3D is a celebration of all of the positive steps that mankind has taken towards changing the fate of our environment. It’s done a great job of creating a thought provoking, enjoyable experience that cleverly approaches a controversial subject with the grace, care and compassion it deserves.
Review Score: FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Running Time: 45 minutes
Great White Shark 3D will screen at IMAX from the 9th of January 2014, for more details please visit >> http://www.imax.com.au/films/great-white-shark-3d/