Jason Statham wrestles a great white on steroids in The Meg, and takes absolutely no regard for science in the process. But honestly, who cares?

Monsters are back in fashion, so it seems. Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla, Jurassic World, and upcoming Godzilla: King of Monsters suggest that much. Enter The Meg, Warner Bros’ subsurface answer to the biggest trend in blockbuster moviemaking that isn’t superheroes. A quick search for The Meg will source you a range of spurious articles claiming that the shark of nightmares known as Carcharocles megalodon was real, as well as plenty of others crammed full with monster-size facts about the prehistoric predator. But lo and behold, according to a thoroughly researched Wikipedia entry, the Meg did in fact exist. At twice the size of a great white, with teeth almost as long as your school ruler, and at a length of up to 16 metres, the world’s biggest shark had no known predators and was the king of the sea in the Miocene and Pliocene epochs.

That was millions of years ago, but in The Meg, Jason Statham discovers that the creature is still very much alive deep down at the bottom of the ocean (there are still those who claim this to be true, you can find them in the corner of the pub with those who claim Earth is flat). Having accidentally caused a rupture in the deepest, darkest trench at the bottom of the ocean, scientist Jonas Taylor (Statham) inadvertently triggers a green light on the “superhighway for giant sharks”, allowing the Meg to wreak havoc on a team including Ruby Rose as a computer whizz and scientist Bingbing Li (and her character’s daughter, who is allowed to go on the dangerous submarine mission, no questions asked). 

Having lost a crew in shiny, glass balls with glowing lights that seem to be borrowed from this year’s other monster blockbuster, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, it’s left to Statham’s rogue marine explorer to save the crew (and his ex-wife). Not to spoil the complicated plot, but in a nutshell, chaos ensues and it’s up to Statham to battle the monster before it kills everything and everyone in the ocean.

If you’re honest with yourself, the likelihood is you’re going to see The Meg just to see Jason Statham being Jason Statham.  Those fans will not be disappointed, even if there’s less of the sweary, geezer, car-chase action than Statham fans might be used to. Those expecting a new Jaws should lower their expectations. Bring the bar down to the lofty heights set by Deep Blue Sea, and you’ll probably leave feeling satisfied.

★★★☆☆

The Meg is out now.