It won’t always be new movies, I promise. I could go on for pages about such classics as The Gladiator, Independence Day, Jurassic Park, Scream, Pulp Fiction, Face/Off, Lord of the Rings, and more. And I will, eventually. I’m going to try out a hosted WP service with my own domain soon, and then I’ll have more freedom to draw lines in the sand between the tech stuff and the fun stuff. But for now, you’ll have to settle for reviews of new or recent movies that we go enjoy semi-regularly at the local recliner-lined pizza-serving cineplex.
Without further ado…
Things Are What They Are
Let’s make something clear right off the bat. This is a popcorn flick. For those who aren’t up on the movie-goer lingo, that means it’s more or less mindless fun. It’s CGI-infused, big-screen big-sound action, with a few recognizable faces, a few up-and-comers, and a whole gaggle of extras. Throw in a Wilhelm Scream for good measure (fair warning: TVTropes link!). And yes, a black guy dies first.
Statham is no stranger to this sort of film. One might even say he’s built his entire career on them. But most of those are more the dark, gritty, pure action flicks. Yet he’s proven he can handle himself with the lighter, more humorous side as well.
The monster, the Megalodon, is sufficiently large and in-charge. It menaces and mangles effectively, and even outsmarts a hapless human or two. The premise around where and how they find this beast is mildly interesting, despite the occasional disregard for high pressure physics.
One of my favorite things to do with movies is to call out where I know the actors from. Here you have Dwight from The Office, and Travis from Fear TWD — we’re supposed to believe he’s Statham’s brother, which is a pretty hard sell, unless one is adopted. Oh, and that short-haired techie chick with the annoyingly hipster name? That’s the lead singer of ‘Evermoist’ from Pitch Perfect 3!
Where It Hits and Misses
You get some cinematic moments of shock and awe, a few tearful goodbyes of self-sacrifice, and a handful of suspenseful close-calls. And obviously, some big meaty carnage.
Unfortunately, the dialog falls a little flat sometimes, and the humor isn’t always snappy. Now, you’re not watching this for deep character development. The only thing deep here is the water. But there could have been a bit more emphasis on some key elements that would make the characters more memorable or relate-able.
Comparisons Are Fair Game
It’s quite natural to compare this to Jaws, and the many myriad of mimics that it spawned. Obviously, this film has no such aspirations, nor does it feel the need to shove this fact down the audience’s throat. Unlike, say, Sharknado, which tries way too hard to be “so bad it’s good” that it ends up looping back around to terrible again.
Furthermore, the actors understand this, which means that, while they do take their roles somewhat seriously, they allow themselves to have fun with it. Nobody’s trying to impress the Academy here. And frankly, nobody’s expecting you to watch more than once. Your enjoy it for what it is, and then you walk away.
The Verdict: one solid thumb up
Lets be honest. You’re going to watch this because you enjoy big sharks, Jason Statham, and/or ocean-themed action-adventures / creature-features. And you won’t be disappointed. It’s just good-old-fashioned shark-movie fun. Enjoy your popcorn, then go about your business.