While no cinematic project is ever guaranteed to be a success, Jason Statham vs. a gigantic prehistoric shark seems like a pretty difficult concept to screw up.
Of course, we’re talking about The Meg, which in an era of endless superhero sequel sagas and franchise movies looks to be a breath of fresh air with its simplicity, overt trashiness and sense of fun. And, judging from these early reactions, it’s sounding as if the film has more than hit the mark:
Our own Matt Donato had the following to say after seeing it:
Obligatory “I’ve seen #TheMeg and it’s crazy stupid blockbuster fun!!” tweet (sans some intentional soapy melodramatics). Statham vs. Supershark battle does *not* disappoint. Every summer season should have at least one underwater ”Asylum But Better” flick like THE MEG. pic.twitter.com/8ayuTmlRJX
— Howlin' Matt Donato (@DoNatoBomb) July 28, 2018
Other critics were similarly effusive, saying:
#TheMeg is the most enjoyable movie of the summer. You'll scream, you'll laugh, and you'll stay the hell out of the water.
Seriously, I can't sing this movie's praises enough. It's pure fun from start to finish. Everything you want out of a trip to the movies. @MegMovie
— Drew Dietsch 🦈🎞️ (@DrewDietsch) July 28, 2018
I saw #TheMeg at a screening last night and I can honestly say that I really enjoyed it. It's legitimately well-executed in its tension and action scenes and it 100% knows what type of movie it is without resorting to dumb Sharknado levels of stupidity. Perfect late summer film.
— Conner Schwerdtfeger (@ConnerWS) July 28, 2018
The descriptions of it avoiding Sharknado levels of stupidity and being “Asylum but Better” particularly raise my hopes. Lord knows we’ve seen enough giant shark movies from the studio over the last few years, including their long-running Mega Shark franchise in which a very big and angry fish battles various other big, angry aquatic creatures. While the concepts behind the films are generally sound, they’re often a chore to watch, apparently settling for being bad knowing that the bar is set so low.
This particular giant shark caper sounds like it’s going to avoid these traps, though, and without seeing the film, I’m going to predict that much of this is down to Jason Statham. To put it simply, the guy commits to a part, no matter how ridiculous what he’s being asked to do is. Anyone who’s seen the gonzo action films Crank and Crank 2: High Voltage can testify to what the man can do with a straight face and without too much winking at the camera.
The Meg makes its way into theaters in just two weeks, and I imagine that it’s going make money hand over fist (over fin). If there’s one evergreen genre in summer cinema, it’s the shark movie, and this is shaping up to be the toothiest, craziest and most swimmer-munchin’ shark movie of all-time. Sign me up!