A movie about a 90-foot-long prehistoric shark has some simple requirements: Don’t take things too seriously, and give us a lot of 90-foot-long prehistoric shark. Director Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) hits most of his marks in a story about undersea rescue expert Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham), who gets pulled into the threat of a killer megalodon when it heads into open water from its deep-sea habitat. Plenty of the pieces seem creaky in isolation—Taylor’s redemption quest; an adorable kid; a romantic interest for Taylor (Li Bingbing); shorthand plot reasons for which cast members are sympathetic or antagonistic—leading to one of those scripts that feels built to check off boxes. But the set pieces deliver the requisite mix of shrieks, chuckles and cringes, including plenty of neat narrow escapes as limbs dangle tantalizingly close to an open megalodon mouth. And it’s good for a giggle when the screenplay offers nods not just to Jaws, but even to Finding Nemo. As summer movie season winds down, it’s okay to have one of those movies that only wants to do the silly, satisfying things that a summer movie can do.
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Producer: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Colin Wilson, Belle Avery, Randy Greenberg, Ben Ji, Wayne Jiang, Gerald Molen and Barrie Osborne
Cast: Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis, Winston Chao, Sophia Cai, Ruby Rose, Page Kennedy, Robert Taylor, Ólafur Ólafsson, Jessica McNamee and Masi Oka