A film starring a giant shark and Jason Statham was never going to be a serious affair. While every shark film ever made is in some way going to be compared to Jaws, this is definitely more in Sharknado territory; somewhere inbetween The Shallows and Deep Blue Sea.
If you're wondering how the man behind Arthur Bishop, Deckard Shaw, Frank Martin, Chev Chelios, Turkish and Bacon ends up fighting a Megalodon shark ('The Meg'), it all starts with a scientific expedition in the Mariana Trench. Of course, things don't go quite as well as hoped and the crew (nearly everyone in the film except Statham) become trapped. The only man to have ever survived such a daring deep sea rescue (Statham) is called upon to rescue them. You can probably imagine what happens next.
The action mostly delivers - it's pretty much all water tanks and CGI - and there's the satisfying horror element of a bloody great big shark eating people. The comedy mostly falls flat apart from the dialogue though, which is reliably, laughably terrible. Examples: "I prefer you alive" and "this is bad for science".
Rainn Wilson's uber-rich investor steals the show in several scenes, as does an instantly popular character called Pippin (you'll see). The film is nearly two hours long yet seems much shorter - a testament to director Jon Turteltaub and editor Steve Kemper's excellent pacing.
There are a couple of twists, and obvious ones at that (spoiler: no vengeful reincarnations of a tabloid mystic appear). But it's an enjoyable movie. The problem with The Meg is that while it definitely chomps at your senses, it's just not ridiculous enough to be memorable. Just when you want Turteltaub to push the boat out (sorry), he reigns it in a little bit to the point it almost takes itself too seriously.
THE MEG / DIRECTOR: JON TURTELTAUB / SCREENPLAY: DEAN GEORGARIS, JON HOEBER, ERICH HOEBER / STARRING: JASON STATHAM, LI BINGBING, RAINN WILSON / CERT: 12 / RELEASE DATE: 10TH AUGUST 2018