THE MEG

Cert 12A 113mins Stars 4

It’s man versus megalodon in this enjoyably silly slick and glossy action adventure.

Jason Statham experiences a sinking feeling when a prehistoric giant shark is discovered at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

The Brit star plays a retired rescue diver with a ropey reputation called Jonas, presumably in homage to the biblical who was swallowed by a huge whale.

Jonas realises he’s going to need a bigger boat if he’s to save the crew of a stricken submersible, lost off the China coast 11 miles underwater and faced with the 23 metre long hungry behemoth.

Various characters become fish bait as greed and self interest compete with bravery and noble sacrifice.

With the script merrily splicing Steven Spielberg’s 1975 masterpiece, Jaws, with his Jurrasic Park franchise, the big budget CGI and an international cast are designed to give this fishy tale a global appeal.

And with Statham being a former member of the British diving team, he’s completely at home when up to his neck in watery thrills.

Plus he’s well-practised at delivering outrageous lines with the straightest of faces. The film would be sunk without him.

Most impressively of all he swims against the tide of accepted wisdom by being adept at acting with animals and  children, establishing a lovely rapport with the cute-as-a-button ten year-old, Shuya Sophia Cai.

Her on-screen mother is Chinese superstar Li Bingbing, who is a strong foil for Statham, with equal screen time and action scenes of her own.

There are monstrous squids, schools of sharks, and holidaymakers oblivious to the peril of the cast spouting some of the best so-bad-it’s-good dialogue of the year.

This is knowingly broad not deep entertainment, a giant bite of popcorn fun which is totally jawsome.

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