After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible.
This is an entertaining popcorn movie, plain and simple. If you’re expecting a suspenseful deep-sea shark movie with shocking moments and plenty of gore then The Meg is not the movie for you, but if you’re looking for tame mindless fun with Jason Statham vs a 70-foot shark then dive in.
I urge everyone to lower their expectations because The Meg is jam-packed with cringe-worthy dialogue, awkward and flat one-liners and pointless characters. Frustratingly the movie opened with an interesting premise of the Mariana Trench having a false bottom being covered by a large cloud which, once through, opens an entirely new world to investigate with new creatures to discover. This idea could have been used to explore and encounter the megalodon in an exciting way but unfortunately, the story quickly turns into a generic rescue mission which was a shame.
A big disappointment was learning The Meg was not going to be R rated, every time someone is eaten it’s mostly shot in a comedic way. In my opinion this movie should have included over the top bloody death scenes to give it an 80’s action movie feel, however, I have not read the novel that The Meg is based on so maybe it was always intended to be targeted at a wider audience. The tone of the entire movie felt very convoluted and merged between a heroic/redemption movie and a humorous monster movie, nevertheless The Meg does embrace its silliness.
Besides from Jason Statham’s character, there is little to no character development for any other cast members and I feel they did not impact the story in any way. Rainn Wilson plays an eccentric billionaire who has funded the expedition, Ruby Rose plays a witty technician and Li Bingbing plays the love interest. Statham’s character is a deep-sea diver and sub pilot for the United States Navy and as always, he is a usual macho badass and the best scenes in the movie are when he is taking on the giant shark 1-1.
Director Jon Turteltaub who is best known for the National Treasure movies delivers on the excessive action set pieces, however, The Meg could have used some more time in the editing room as the 3rd act and ending felt rushed. For me, there is not much of a build-up to the prehistoric creature and before you know it the film has ended and you’re asking yourself “is that it?”
Credit where it’s due, the cinematography and CGI are where The Meg succeeds. As you would expect a lot of the scenes are based underwater and luckily the special effects do not look cartoonish. Once through the cloud of hydrochloric acid, the film brightens up momentarily with the vibrant colors used for the plants and the unknown sea life.
Overall there are much better shark movies to watch such as The Shallows and obviously JAWS, but if you’re looking for a fun Saturday night popcorn movie then The Meg is a good choice. I was entertained but was hoping for more.