Now THIS is a shark movie. Forget your 'Jaws 3"s and your "47 Meters Down" and pull out a beach chair for the uber-goofy, blissfully B-movie chomp of THE MEG.
The prologue introduces us to he-man rescue team diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham in fine form) as he meets a huge creature of the deep for the first time.
We then jump forward to present day, as billionaire Morris (Rainn Wilson of "The Office" legend) inspects his new, state-of-the-art research facility many miles off the Chinese coast.
When one of his new deep dive subs penetrates new depths of the ocean, it soon encounters THE MEG, the giant shark to end all sharks.
I like the way the movie doesn't get buried in scientific explanations that slow anything down. We see a couple cool visuals that got me to buy into the pseudo science with a "let's go with it" shrug.
It's not long before the creature is back at the facility, followed by plenty of surprises and buckets of fun.
The special effects are excellent, most of the humor lands and a great cast even manages to sell some dramatic tension.
BingBing Li is damn good (after a rough first few scenes) as a brilliant scientist/single mom/love interest for Statham.
Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black) is a blast as an engineer, and an international cast delivers, as do the Asian big city and coastal settings.
With a $130 million budget, it's nowhere near the film JAWS is, but it has a hell of a good time sending up all the key moments from that classic with giant sized, massive scale set pieces that come at you so fast, you dont have time to think.
While Brody and Hooper were attaching barrels to the shark in JAWS and it was ripping out decking, the dinosaur size MEG pulls huge ships across the ocean, devours entire beaches full of swimmers at once and has a real distaste for submarines.
Statham seems to have eased a lot more humor into his action roles and he's effortless as Jonas. When he dove into the ocean to battle a 75' shark I was too busy smirking to roll my eyes.
I remember when the book by Steve Alten came out years ago, I tried to read it and got about 25 pages in before I had to put it down, forever. It's garbage that somehow has been recycled into a summer action pic that pays tribute to all those classic 50's giant monster pics, while wrapping the schlock in such a polished visual look that it POPS off the screen.
I had a blast. Take a bite of THE MEG, it's brainless summer fun any night of the year and gets a B.