August 30, 2018 – This big, silly action movie, spawned of Jaws and Sharknado, is a kick to watch, mainly because the makers of this film seem to be having a lot of fun not taking anything seriously. It has a good blend of spectacle and humor.
I just got back from movie purgatory (small town with no local theaters, no internet) so I missed the all-too-brief 3D showing of this, but it is O.K. in 2D. Action star Jason Statham (“The Fate of the Furious”) stars as the emotionally-wounded deep sea rescue expert, Jonas Taylor, lured into a rescue operation because his ex-wife, Lori (Jessica McNamee of “CHIPS”) needs to be rescued from the bottom of the ocean.
Lori and other scientists have become trapped in a submarine damaged by a huge, 60-foot-long species of shark thought to be extinct, a Megalodon. Jonas Taylor, being the only rescue expert who has conducted rescues at this extreme depth, is brought in to help rescue the trapped scientists. Jonas has actually had experience with a Megalodon before in a submarine rescue, but nobody believed Taylor's story that the creature actually existed.
The rescue operation works, despite attacks by a giant squid and a the Meg. Later, it turns out that the rescue operation created a doorway through a thermocline layer of hydrogen sulfide near the bottom of the Marianas trench, which had confined the Meg and other exotic species. The Meg is loose, and is causing massive destruction to sea life and boats.
The personal interactions in the movie are mostly between Jonas, Lori, Suyin Zhang (played by Li Bingbing of “Transformers: Age of Extinction”) and Morris (Rainn Wilson of “Army of One”) the billionaire owner of Mana One, the deep sea research station where all the trouble begins. There is also a cute child, Meiying (Sophia Cai) who cracks wise, and the comic relief character, DJ (Page Kennedy of “S.W.A.T.”) a perpetually agitated man, who, like L.L. Cool J in “Deep Blue Sea” probably is worried that as the lone black character, he's going to be shark bait before the end of the film. There is also a cute little dog and a lot of shark bait swimmers.
There are few surprises in this film which mostly unfolds as any genre fan would expect. While the billionaire Morris is a bit of a villain, this story is really just man against nature. There are hot rod submarines, numerous scientific errors (like completely ignoring nitrogen narcosis and decompression sickness, as well as the fragility of shark anatomy, which is based on cartilage rather than bone).
There is a nice blend of humor and action in this movie. The characters don't have much depth, but they are engaging, and there are enough little plot twists to keep things interesting. Given the box office success of this film I would not be surprised if there is a sequel in a couple of years. The story pointedly leaves open the possibility of a sequel. This film rates a B.
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