Film Reviews / Streaming

Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth review [Sharkfest! on National Geographic WILD]

Coming to National Geographic WILD in the UK (also on Disney+) on 12th July, at 8pm, Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth dives right into Hemsworth’s personal journey with sharks in his native Australia. The documentary is part of National Geographic’s ninth Sharkfest! that kicks of two weeks of shows, premieres and archival explorations, as they continue to spotlight both the exciting science and utterly unique cinematic visuals of these remarkable apex predators.

Specifically hosted by the world-famous actor, Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth is an effortless, informative watch which centres around the lives of Sharks along the east coast of Australia, and their noticeable upsurge, throughout the year, and near to where a lot of surfers enjoy the ocean.

Part self-discovery for Hemsworth, part eco-documentary, even if you’re already a shark lover, this is a fascinating additional insight into their world, especially as it reveals the rise in attacks on humans is mainly due to increased inhabitants going into the sea and also, very importantly, the severe impact of climate change, which is heating the water currents that flow through that part of the Tasman Sea, which in this case flows from Brisbane down to Tasmania, where sharks have lived for a long, long time.  

The doc from Nutopia brings forth the honest reality of the creatures in this environment and features shark icon and underwater conservationist Valerie Taylor, who might be 85-years-old now but takes Hemsworth out for a shark dive to experience first-hand the magnificent of nurse sharks in their natural environment. While Chris does seem nervous, he goes for everything as he endeavours to educate himself further, which in turns helps us learn as well.

Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth also features his mate, Mick Fanning, who just happens to be the ASP World Champion from 2007, 2009, and 2013, in a brief cameo. But this isn’t just about his surfing, he’s there to discuss his terrifying personal encounter with a Great White in 2015, during a tournament in South Africa, which was also caught on camera – and you’ll see it in the doc as well.

As well as those personal encounters and insights, the documentary takes in fresh Scientific trials and ways to safely deter sharks from surfboards and looks at the damage done by human ideas so far. This also doesn’t hide away from the bad human decisions in the past when it came to trying to control swimming areas and highlights the Scientific and preventative measures currently being trialled and tested to make it safer for both the animals and humans. All in all, this offers a smart education on trying to find a renewed balance, reminding us of who lived there first and ways to progress so that everyone can live a more safer surfing life.

Of course, as you’re probably wondering, Shark Beach also features the occasional model-like Chris Hemsworth shot but, let’s face it, he’s an impressive specimen and in the context of this type of show, they just get away with it. Insightful and at a quick pace, the documentary is a great way to start Sharkfest! and it’s absolutely worth tuning into, whatever your knowledge about sharks already!

Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth will be streaming in the UK on National Geographic WILD, and on Disney+ Nat Geo, from 12th July.

Here’s what to expect on Sharkfest!:

SHARK BEACH WITH CHRIS HEMSWORTH: Nat Geo WILD — Premieres 12 July at 8pm 

THE SHARKS OF HAWAIINat Geo WILD – Premieres 12 July at 9pm 

Although created from the fiery rage of volcanoes, Hawaii is a paradise on earth. A living Eden for all creatures, including one of the most misunderstood in the entire world – THE SHARK. Some 40 species call these waters home, and so does World-renowned wildlife cinematographer Paul Atkins. This film will take us from the remote reefs of the Hawaiian archipelago to the world-famous beaches of Waikiki. The sharks here offer up extraordinary behaviour, some seen nowhere else on earth.

SHARK ATTACK INVESTIGATION: THE PAIGE WINTER STORY Nat Geo WILD — Premieres 13 July at 8pm 

Paige Winter was only 17 years old when she lost a leg and portion of her hand to a shark. Experts unpack the details of Paige’s attack to determine what kind of shark is responsible and what can be done, if anything, to avoid this happening again. Despite all Paige has lived through, this inspirational teen remains an advocate for sharks and, with the guidance of professionals, takes brave steps to overcome her greatest fears.

SHARK ATTACK FILESNat Geo WILD — Premieres 13 July at 9pm 

This action-packed series is an investigation into bizarre and fascinating shark behaviour. Featuring footage from actual attacks, interactions and behaviour captured by both professionals and observant bystanders, every twist and turn leaves viewers sitting on the edge of their seats. Scientific experts and investigators dive deeper into the mystery of these unexplained behaviours and come to a stunning revelation that ties these extraordinary events together.

SHARK GANGSNat Geo WILD — Premieres 14 July at 8pm 

For years sharks have been viewed as solitary predators, but scientists have recently discovered a surprising new behaviour. In this special, we reveal how this apex predator likes to hang out in gangs. So, what is behind this behaviour? Do sharks enjoy a social life, or are they working together to become even more effective hunters?

THE CROC THAT ATE JAWSNat Geo WILD — Premieres 15 July at 8pm 

From mysterious severed heads and ambush attacks to mob hunts and stand-offs, what happens when two of the deadliest predators on the planet go head-to-head?

ROGUE SHARK?Nat Geo WILD — Premieres 16 July at 8pm 

In October 2018, the remote islands of the Whitsunday in Australia were rocked by a series of shark attacks. Incredibly, all the victims were attacked in the same small patch of ocean, no larger than four football fields. Was a rogue serial killer on the loose? Or was something new drawing sharks and humans into conflict?

SAND EATING SHARKS Nat Geo WILD – Premieres 17 July at 8pm 

In Fernando do Noronha, offshore Brazil, lemon sharks have mastered the art of catching sardines in the surf zone… with the help of unexpected allies!

WHEN SHARKS ATTACKNat Geo WILD — Premieres 18 July at 9pm 

The world’s beaches quickly turn deadly in this terror-filled deep-sea saga when sharks descend, shocking the local community and sending scientists reeling. What causes these spikes in activity? And how can they be prevented?

ORCA VS. GREAT WHITENat Geo WILD — Premieres 19 July at 8pm 

Off the coast of South Africa in 2017, orcas began hunting and killing great white sharks. Now, researchers in New Zealand set out to discover if it could happen again. Diving with several shark populations along New Zealand’s southern coast, they investigate this murder mystery and seek answers to this burning question: have their local orcas developed a taste for great white sharks?

WORLD’S BIGGEST BULL SHARK?Nat Geo WILD — Premieres 20 July at 8pm 

It was a freak encounter that broke all the records. In 2012, off the coast of Florida, shark scientist Dr Neil Hammerschlag caught the mother of all bull sharks—it stretched more than 10-feet long and weighed over 1,000 pounds! They named her Big Bull and set her free. Bull sharks in Florida patrol the beaches, terrifyingly close the swimmers, and feast on seasonal migrations of baitfish. Many long thought these sharks were just well-fed, but now some scientists believe that Big Bull is the matriarch of a unique population of giants. There is only one way to find out … and you gotta get close.

WORLD’S DEADLIEST SHARK Nat Geo WILD – Premieres 21 July at 8pm 

The Oceanic White Tip has attacked more people than any other shark, and it could be developing an even more fearsome reputation. While it’s attacks on humans were once relegated to the deep oceans, more encounters with the Oceanic have been in shallower seas, closer to shore.

PLAYING WITH SHARKSDisney+ – Premieres July 23

A true pioneer in both underwater filmmaking and shark research, Valerie Taylor is a living legend and icon in the underwater world whose life’s work has become the basis for much of what we know about sharks today. Through remarkable underwater archival footage, along with interviews with Valerie herself, PLAYING WITH SHARKS, from National Geographic Documentary Films and twice Emmy®-nominated director Sally Aitken, follows this daring ocean explorer’s trajectory from champion spear fisher to passionate shark protector. From the birth of cage diving to “Jaws” hysteria to the dawn of cageless shark diving, Valerie became a trailblazing advocate for the ocean’s most maligned and misunderstood creatures.

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