Movie Review: The Meg
The latest creature feature to hit the big screen over the weekend is the shark extravaganza, The Meg. It was directed by Jon Turteltaub and written by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, and Erich Hoeber. The story follows a group’s encounter with a megalodon shark and is based upon the 1997 book, Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror. The film stars Jason Statham as rescue diver Jonas Taylor, and Li Bingbing as oceanographer Suyin Zhang. The film’s cast also includes Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis, Winston Chao, Ruby Rose, and Page Kennedy.
The film begins with a submarine rescue mission led by Jonas Taylor and his team. During the rescue, an unseen creature rams the hull, where some of Jonas’ team is still trapped. In order to save everyone else, Jonas chooses to leave behind his two remaining team members, which eventually leads Jonas to walk away from his career field. The film then picks up later at the underwater research facility, Mana One. Part of the team uses a submersible to explore a potentially deeper portion of the Marianas trench. However, when the mission goes awry, Jonas is brought on board to rescue the team and comes face to face with a prehistoric threat.
I, personally, had about zero expectations for this giant shark tale, which means that I was able to find The Meg an entertaining watch. This is a movie about a giant, prehistoric shark, and while it does not live up to a classic like Jaws, it still has its good moments. I think the visuals for Mana One and all of the sea crafts were beautiful, and they utilized some unique camera angles to increase the tension. There was more than one occasion where the camera was used as the person’s point of view, and I think it made for some intriguing panning shots and fake outs. There were moments when the movie acknowledged just how terrible some of the character’s plan were, and those were the moments I could truly appreciate. I would also say that the little girl in this movie, Shuya Sophia Cai, was really the standout of the movie for me. The rest of the cast had some good moments throughout the story, but she consistently stole every scene she was in. She also made Jason Statham’s character all the more likable with her funny nicknames and eight-year-old insights.
So, while there were some redemptive qualities to the movie, this is obviously not an award winning film. The whole premise is ridiculous, and while they try to explain these events through scientific jargon and reasoning, it is a little hard to take seriously. The unbelievable moments abound in this movie from a prehistoric shark partially jumping over a boat to being unnoticed by hundreds of people on a beach. The story and its supposed twists and turns are predictable. It tries to be dramatic, but the best moments involve underwater action sequences with the gigantic shark.
At the end of the day, The Meg does not in any way live up to something like Jaws, but there is still fun to be had. Any movie where a character actually punches a shark is a little hard to turn down purely from an entertainment factor. The story and some of the characters are not nearly exciting as they could be, but the visuals and action sequences are well executed. I am not sure I can give a wholehearted recommendation to see The Meg in theaters; however, for any action movie lovers out there, it seems to be a pretty solid choice. Also, for anyone who has a soft spot for shark-based films, then I am sure they will find The Meg to be an entertaining ride.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.