'Jaws' it ain't, but this shark flick is entertaining enough for the dog days of summer
Jason Statham takes on a giant shark in "The Meg," a fun-dumb splash of summer popcorn entertainment that manages to be more fun than dumb.
Statham, sporting the same scruff and bald-ish head as every single Statham character on record, plays Jonas Taylor, a rescue diver sent to save a crew of scientists from below the Marina Trench.
Their presence has angered an ancient Megalodon, a 75-foot shark that has supposedly been extinct for 2 million years.
Now it's up to Statham — sorry, Jonas — to stop the shark, and if you're hoping he'll get a chance to go one-on-one with ol' SuperJaws, congratulations, it's your lucky day.
Rainn Wilson is on board as an Air Jordans-wearing billionaire, and Li Bingbing is a fellow diver with eyes for Jonas. Ruby Rose, Detroit's Page Kennedy and Cliff Curtis play members of the colorful crew.
But what about the shark? Director Jon Turteltaub does a good job of keeping it hidden for the first 35 minutes or so, teasing its arrival. Once the cat's out of the bag — or the shark's out of the trench, take your pick — the colossal creature is impressive for its sheer size, like the king-size monsters in the like-minded "Anaconda" and "Lake Placid."
No one is expecting "The Meg" to increase anyone's understanding of the world around them, and it doesn't accidentally do so. But it's got some decent one-liners ("are you saying we opened a superhighway for giant sharks?" Wilson's character asks), a climax with a beach full of clueless swimmers, and, well, that showdown between Statham and a yacht-sized shark. As one character excitedly blurts, "hell yeah!" Hell yeah indeed, friend.
Rated PG-13 for action/peril, bloody images and some language
Running time: 112 minutes