'The Meg' opens wide, takes a bite for summer fright (MOVIE REVIEW)

"The Meg" is coming for you. Jaws's great-great-great gramama has been seething in the unreachable, darkest depths of the sea for untold millenia, just waiting for the chance to bust out and get her chomp on.  

But boy, did she pick the wrong sea to rumble. By messing around in the waters in which a bare-chested Jason Statham swims, she is asking for trouble. Even if he tries to play it off.

"Man vs. Meg isn't a fight," he grumbles. "It's a slaughter."

Well, that may be. But lucky for humanity, Statham is no ordinary man. We're talking the Transporter. The Mechanic. The Expendable. The Bad Guy Who Turns Good in The Fate and the Furious. The Transporter... 2 and 3.

You pretty much know The Meg will go down. The record of gigantic sharks in eponymous movies, after all, is 2017 Cleveland Browns-ish. The sharks may not be able to win, so it's all about how dark a shade they can turn the water before fate washes away their Sharknadoesque bloodthirst away from the Shallows of teh Deep Blue Sea.

What's scary about The Meg is her attacks aren't heralded by a telltale trombone jingle. She pounces from the depths when least expected, delivering 65 feet of thrashing, slashing gore.

Every bit as much the ocean of dumb fun you'd hope for, "The Meg" is all the more enchanting for the super-serious way it takes on its dopey deathmatch story. The plot's only point is to delay Statham from punching The Meg in its prehistoric face, allowing the oversize shark to chomp on many human appetizers on the collision course to its end boss battle.

Statham and the CGI shark do the majority of scenery chewing, but Rainn Wilson, as a billionaire who funds an ill-advised voyage to 20,000 out-of-his-leagues under the sea, also gets his bites in. He and his team convince Statham to take part in a rescue mission that serves just to tick off The Meg, who literally eats krakens for breakfast and picks her teeth with ship masts.

With nary a moment squandered on character motivation or plot cohesion, the movie is all about link-sploding one typhoon-inducing action sequence to the next. You could roll your eyes and wince at the goofy catchphrases and predictable plot twists, but you're best off just leaning back in your seat, chomping some popcorn and catching The Meg's slipstream to wild oblivion.

"The Meg" has a way of affixing a toothy grin to your face the size of its shark. It also makes you certain that, if ancient sharks were able to make horror flicks of their own, they would call theirs "The Statham."

 

 

RATING: 3 stars out of 4.

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