MAKO on Netflix is a new Shark horror movie from Egypt. It plays out mostly as a drama, unfortunately, but the shark effects tend to work surprisingly well. Also, it’s based on true events. Read our full Mako movie review here!
MAKO is a new Netflix addition. It’s a shark movie that is officially labeled as a “drama” and “thriller”, but also sold as a shark horror movie in every way. It even has a “Gore”-warning on Netflix.
However, you won’t be seeing many sharks in this movie, which is a real shame. It’s based on true events – not the shark part, though – which I will get back to. Check it out if you like shark movies, but don’t expect too much in the actual shark department.
Continue reading our Mako movie review below. Watch it on Netflix in the US from December 15, 2022.
More action, less drama, would’ve helped!
The imagery used to sell Mako is that of any classic shark horror movie. And that’s a mistake! This movie isn’t as much about sharks as it is about personal drama. In fact, the main characters don’t even head out to the open seas until the second act.
In fact, this shark movie opens with a story that seems very inspired by the 2017 Oscars. You know, the one where the wrong movie was named “Best Picture” (Moonlight won, not La La Land as first announced). An interesting little story for movie lovers, but hardly relevant in a shark movie.
That means you’ll be watching a good 30 minutes of the 96-minute runtime before we get to the water. And since the sharks are in the water, you’ll only see glimpses of sharks in that first act. All of which seems mostly gratuitous more than relevant.
Don’t get me wrong, the production quality of Mako on Netflix is very impressive. If you’ve watched the Egyptian Netflix series Paranormal, you’ll know that Egypt can deliver on production quality in general.
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Even the shark effects are largely surprisingly well. Consisting mostly of actual shark footage and a few special effects. Not too much that you get annoyed by the effects, but also far too little for this to be an actual shark movie.
The real story in the shark movie Mako on Netflix
When you start watching Mako on Netflix, you’ll see that it opens with the information that this movie is based on true events.
However, the real story in Mako isn’t so much regarding the shark element. It is, however, based on the tragic accident of the ship that sank in the Red Sea, killing around 470 people (while around 200 people were rescued). The numbers differ a bit depending on who you believe.
The Salem Express was the passenger ship that had been in service since 1966. On December 14, 1991, the ship ran aground on a coral reef. Less than 10 miles offshore, the ship sank entirely within 20 minutes.
In Mako, a documentary film crew heads out to look at the shipwreck. Part of the point of this documentary is to look into the tomb raiding that has taken place since the Salem Express sank.
In reality, this shipwreck is actually a very popular tourist destination for divers. This is also noted at the end of Mako (though it’s a “blink and you miss it”-information).
However, there are real issues with divers not showing respect. There are still many bodies down there, so it is essentially a tomb. While some divers do respect the place and only look, others still rummage around, open suitcases, and take “souvenirs”.
By doing so, they do become tomb raiders!
Watch the shark movie Mako on Netflix (US) now!
The director of Mako is Mohamed Hesham El-Rashidy. He has been studying at the New York Film Academy, and there is also quite a bit of English spoken in this movie. Mostly, however, it is obviously in Arabic.
In various ways, four writers have been credited for the story and/or screenplay. They are Ahmed Halim, Mohamed El Hafnawy, Mohamed Khaled, and Ahmed Sharaf Elsayed. Also, I came across a trivia that said Mako is the first underwater movie in the Middle East. I can’t say for sure if that is true.
Having been to Egypt multiple times, I do know that they certainly have sharks there, so it makes sense that they’d make a shark movie. Also, I should note that it is a wonderful country to visit – I mean, the pyramids and amazing diving opportunities alone are breathtaking. I’ve never seen a shark though!
For the record, I should say that some note the day of the Salem Express tragedy as December 15, 2022. The ship sank close to midnight on the 14th, and many died past midnight. That means Mako is released on Netflix on the day of the 31st anniversary of the Salem Express sinking.
Mako is out on Netflix in the US (and many more) on December 15, 2022.
Director: Mohamed Hesham El-Rashidy
Screenwriters: Ahmed Halim, Mohamed El Hafnawy, Ahmad Sharaf
Cast: Basma, Murat Yildirim, Nicolas Mouawad, Nahed El Sebaï, Ahmed Shawky Shaheen, Amr Wahba, Sara El Shamy, Feryal Youssef, Habeel Henry, Mohamed Mahran, Monzer Reyahnah
Visiting the site of a sunken passenger ship, eight divers face a terrifying threat beneath the surface of the Red Sea. Inspired by real events.