IT'S THE FRIDAY MOVIE: Meet Mega Jaws … pursued by tough guy Jason Statham, says BRIAN VINER

<pre><pre>IT'S THE FRIDAY MOVIE: Meet Mega Jaws ... pursued by tough guy Jason Statham, says BRIAN VINER

The Meg (12A)

Verdict: gracefully ridiculous

Classification:

A powerful survivor against all odds, aggressively wallowing at the bottom of the ocean, dominating his kingdom like an old and angry king, but now and then, menacing, rumbling on the surface, a huge torso that induces cries of amazement and amazement despite his great years …

Yes, tough guy Jason Statham is back in an action movie, fighting a giant shark two million years old.

It's been almost 16 years since Statham caused a storm in The Transporter, the first of his exaggerated action roles. He is now over 50, so adamantly bald and gruff that he could easily get a comfortable job at EastEnders as Mitchell's lost brother.

Li Bingbing and Jason Statham in the movie "The Meg", just when you thought it was safe to go back to the water

Instead, here is splashing energetically in The Meg, a movie of such heroic impudence that I can not decide if I urge you to see it or I urge you not to. Either way, you can not lose.

Meg is short for megalodon, a colossal shark species that for a long time was thought to have become extinct for the solid reason that it is, having died towards the end of the Pliocene age.

But in Hollywood, extinction is a concept in itself as dead as a dodo. Where would the summer box office successes be without the snarl of the primordial beasts, terrorizing the modern world? The Meg is half Jurassic Park, half Jaws, and completely barmy.

Start with the character of Statham, Jonas Taylor, extraordinary diver, rescuing the crew of a bat submarine.

"Something is crushing the helmet," shouts someone, possibly Jonas, although it's hard to tell in hand-to-hand combat. The implication is clear, for us if it is not yet for them. There is a megalodon the size of an articulated truck in general.

Meanwhile, a legend says Philippine Trench, which is not the name of the film's heroine but an underwater spot, and the first clue that a part of The Meg's production money came from the Far East.

More evidence comes to the beautiful form of female love interest, Suyin Zhang, played by Li Bingbing.

The Meg is half Jurassic Park, half jaws, and totally barmy, according to Brian Viner

The Meg is half Jurassic Park, half jaws, and totally barmy, according to Brian Viner

The Meg is half Jurassic Park, half jaws, and totally barmy, according to Brian Viner

Suyin is not just a pretty face, she is also an intrepid diver and enviously well connected.

His father is Dr. Minway Zhang (Winston Chao), the brilliant scientist who runs an ocean research station 200 miles off the coast of China, funded by an American billionaire named Jack Morris.

He is played by Rainn Wilson, who is not up to Rainn and his name. Some of the performances of this film are as subtle as a shark attack, although it is compared to the dialogue and deserves rewards for being so.

In the projection I attended, small waves of joy turned into big frothy waves, as he began to realize that each character had at least one contender for the saddest line.

If director Jon Turteltaub had the intention to make his audience laugh, I'm not sure.

There is some deliberate suggestion of irony, and no less important is the funny caption of the film, but in general I think we are destined to take it seriously, which is the greatest of all.

Jason Statham in the new Warner Bros. movie: The Meg (2018): after escaping an attack for what he says was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor (Statham) must face his fears to save those caught in a sunken submersible

Jason Statham in the new Warner Bros. movie: The Meg (2018): after escaping an attack for what he says was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor (Statham) must face his fears to save those caught in a sunken submersible

Jason Statham in the new Warner Bros. movie: The Meg (2018): after escaping an attack for what he says was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor (Statham) must face his fears to save those caught in a sunken submersible

As for the story, it resumes five years after Jonas's initial rescue, which was only partially successful and damaged instead of improving his reputation as the man to turn to in a submarine crisis, because his claims about a massive shark were considered Well, suspicious. Consequently, and inevitably, he is now a beach bum in Thailand.

In movies like this, discredited heroes always end up as beach bums. But at the research station, they need Jonas in his neoprene suit.

The crew of an exploration vessel discovered that what was once thought to be the bottom of the ocean was not.

There is a completely new maritime world beneath it, which includes a family of megalodons, one of which has destroyed the exploration vessel, leaving it immovable.

Only one partner has the lung power, know-how and designer stubble to save it, and is drinking Thai beer and refuses to go to the rescue, until someone says: "Your ex-wife and her crew are trapped … "

Yes, the ship is skippered by Jonas's ex, the beautiful Celeste (Jessica McNamee), who, like all the other adult women who work in the research station, is extraordinarily beautiful.

The recruiting message is clear: if you do not see yourself as a beauty queen, you clearly do not have the necessary oceanography skills.

Then Jonas gets into his neoprene suit, which is a spectacle in itself, like seeing an extra thick meat sausage in a chipolata skin.

So, once you have joined Suyin's pretty daughter to prove to us that you would be at least as excellent a father as a shark hunter, the stage is set to save the world, or at least that small proportion of vacations in the world. Chinese resort of Sanya Bay.

That's where the megalodon goes, and where Turteltaub shamelessly restates the scene in Tiburon in which the child's anguished mother runs to the water while everyone else flee.

The open references to Steven Spielberg's 1975 masterpiece act as an involuntary reminder that the evolution of the shark film has receded in 43 years, in all but one sense.

The special effects in The Meg are splendid, so it's almost more visible than not.

And then, of course, there's Statham, who keeps an admirably straight face from start to finish, though he's reportedly tackling his own stunts, and he never says if the device he needs to plunge into the watery depths is let the oxygen in, or testosterone out

No friends: Dark Web (15)

Verdict: Ingenious horror

Classification:

A theoretical sequel to the 2014 horror movie Without friends, but really an independent project that marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Stephen Susco, Unfriends: Dark Web could make you want to go home and throw away your laptop. Or appreciate that you do not have one.

In any case, as the title implies, the film explores that sinister side of the Internet where predators and perverts flourish.

Like the original film, it develops almost entirely on a computer screen, which at first looks like a mocking novelty, but soon becomes more than tedious.

If you do not master the System Preferences and do not know your way on Facebook and Skype, then it's definitely not for you.

At the center of the story is an American man in his 20s, Matias (Colin Woodell), who has claimed the Apple Mac from a stranger in a lost internet cafe. More deceive him.

The laptop, soon appears, has some really weird things, which brings Matthias, the friends of his group to the Skype sessions and his deaf girlfriend to a grotesque world of extreme sexual deviation, not to mention kidnapping and murder.

The film is very well represented and ingeniously constructed, but in reality its naivety becomes a problem, because we are forced to believe in a set of cybernetic skills that become increasingly, almost ridiculous, implausible.

Still, like a fearsome modern fable, a kind of deformed fairy tale, it's quite effective. A fairy tale, when you think about it, it is about someone unwisely taking a byte of a poisoned apple.

The darkest minds (12A)

Verdict: derived science fiction rate

Classification:

The Darkest Minds is based on a novel for young adults and is presented as a pale version of The Hunger Games or Divergent films. It even stars the actress of The Hunger Games Amandla Stenberg.

She plays Ruby, a teenager infected by an illness that is killing all American children, except those who do not kill, who are surrounded by the state and forced to live in internment camps.

Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson, whose first live action movie is this one (she brought us Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3), lightens up the whole science fiction dystopia with an old-fashioned summer camp love story, but as a result the movie feels confused, neither one thing nor the other completely.

I think your young target audience will feel a little abandoned.

The Darkest Minds is based on a novel for young adults and is presented as a pale version of The Hunger Games or Divergent films, says Brian Viner

The Darkest Minds is based on a novel for young adults and is presented as a pale version of The Hunger Games or Divergent films, says Brian Viner

The Darkest Minds is based on a novel for young adults and is presented as a pale version of The Hunger Games or Divergent films, says Brian Viner

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