“The Meg” stars Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, and Cliff Curtis. Released on August 10, 2018, the film has a research crew trying to prevent a prehistoric shark from attacking the mainland.
The film is directed by Jon Turteltaub, who also directed films such as “Cool Runnings”, “Phenomenon”, “National Treasure”, and “Last Vegas”. It is based on the 1997 book, Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror, by Steve Alten. There’s always that type of movie that’s so terrifying it makes people think twice before going into the water this summer. That type of movie is the one that involves sharks. Whether it’s Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” or “Deep Blue Sea”, shark movies always have the tendency to keep people away from the beaches. This latest horror film sets out to keep that trend alive by introducing us to a shark that’s big enough to eat a whale in one bite. Oh, and we also got a new team of humans joining in on the bloody fun. Yes, I did say “bloody” because every shark film needs to have buckets of blood, especially this one. Will it be able to take a bite out of everyone’s expectations in a good way? Let’s dive in and find out.
If you’ve seen the trailers a bunch of times, then you should already know these three things. First off, it’s a movie about a giant prehistoric shark. Second, it has Jason Statham fighting a giant prehistoric shark. Lastly, it’s telling you that it’s supposed to be a ridiculous shark movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Expecting this film to be the next “Jaws” is like expecting Plankton’s chum to be as delicious as a Krabby Patty. You’re only setting yourself up for a massive stomach ache. However, if you’re expecting it to be a silly, yet entertaining, ride, chances are you’ll wind up having a swell time swimming with the sharks. The first half does take a little while to get itself going, but once the shark shows its rear ugly head, it’s nothing but smooth sailing from here on out. Jason Statham was once again very enjoyable as Jonas Taylor, a rescue diver who teams up with a research team to hunt down the Megalodon while also dealing with his own personal issue. When Statham’s not out kicking some bad guy butt and taking names, he relies on his attractive and humorous charisma to keep the film afloat. It’s a bit cheesy, yes, but I couldn’t help but be amused by his sense of humor. Li Bingbing and Rainn Wilson also did a nice job in their roles as Suyin Zhang and Jack Morris, respectively. The film’s visual effects weren’t anything too special, but the design of the Megalodon was huge (no surprise there) and scary enough to make the young kids wet themselves. There were a couple of moments where I got a little scared by the Megalodon, but like its horror aspect, the impact from those moments were pretty salty. There were also times where the film tries to be a bit more serious, but its screenplay made itself difficult to find the right balance between silliness and drama. It had a few funny scenes, in my opinion, but I don’t think its use of humor will impress everyone. I guess that’s what happens when you watch a B-movie, let alone a B-movie that has a giant shark. Despite that, Jon Turteltaub was able to make the sequences fun and entertaining in terms of his direction, mostly the ones that involve the main characters trying not to become the Megalodon’s dinner.
Overall, “The Meg” is no shark classic, but it did its part in providing an enjoyable late summer snack. Once you get past its flawed blend of silly and serious and its average screenplay, you might have a good time with it as well. It won’t earn any points for originality and scares, but it does earn points for attempting to maintain its own identity. For people who like watching shark movies, it’s worth checking out in the theater with the best sound.