As a writer of horror/thriller novels, I am, of course, a fan of the genre. My oldest son asked me to go see this with him and as any of you who have teenagers know, they don’t normally ask to hang out with you so I said yes and then my middle daughter said she would like to see it and since the rating was PG-13, I said yes again.
CAUTION: Spoilers Alert!
Before seeing it, I knew what to expect. Jason Statham would be the reluctant hero and he would be surrounded by other reluctant heroes whose different skill sets will help stop the monster from the depths they released. All of this was in the trailer so I expected it. And as a tried and tested formula, I saw no reason for it to fail. And for me, it didn’t.
Jason was the haunted past hero, reluctantly helping to stop a horrific monster from prehistory and since this is his niche, he did the job well. There wasn’t any suspense in the film and that could be because of watching so many horror films I have become immune. I don’t usually get scared anymore and this movie was no exception to that. But it was fun and lame and awkward and well, just fun to watch. There was some great jump scares (I didn’t jump but my daughter and son did) that made you laugh after and kept your eyes on the screen.
My son argued there should have been more gore. And I have to say a lot of the violence was either implied or very short-lived. There was an impression of great violence but never the visual realization. I don’t think it needed more violence. It was fun without it and really, the reason why the film-makers went that route was to keep the low rating. What child wouldn’t want to see a film with a giant shark in it? I know I would have. But would I have taken a child to see it if it had an AA rating? An R rating? Nope, I wouldn’t have.
I’m not saying this is a family film because it is not. I will say it is a fun film that was made to appeal to a broad audience that a more aggressive rating would have prohibited. I will say it was a film that didn’t take itself too seriously and knew it wouldn’t be winning any awards. I really liked the few nods it made to JAWS. The dog in peril named PIPPEN, the child who pestered his mom to go swimming, the three floating docks the megalodon got snagged on (like the three yellow barrels in JAWS) and I’m sure there were more nods to other movies as well.
All in all, I knew what to expect and the movie delivered it. I was not disappointed. Will you be scared? Maybe. Will you jump? Maybe. Will you roll your eyes at lame jokes? Absolutely. And, most importantly, will you have fun? In my opinion, yes, yes you will. You just have to let yourself and instead of watching it and looking for flaws, just watch it and appreciate it for what it is: a big budget B-movie (I know, I know, this is contradictory).
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