….Surprisingly, for me, it was neither.
Reviews have not been kind on The Meg, despite it being one of the largest (pun intended) big budget shark movies since Deep Blue Sea (one of my favourites in the genre). But I’ve learnt that reviews, especially those from so-called ‘film critics’, are not always to be trusted. **Unless if it’s BvS. I think the all round consensus was that it was a piece of shite.
Either way, I went into the cinema with an open mind.
While I won’t call The Meg revolutionary, it delivered as a decent summer blockbuster, with some thrilling sequences and a likeable action star lead. Because let’s face it – how many of you watch Jason Statham for his acting chops? 😀
Jonas Taylor (Statham) is a disgraced rescue diver, implicated in causing the death of two of his crew mates on a deep sea rescue mission five years ago. Taylor protests his innocence, saying that the sub they were in was rammed by a powerful force from an unknown creature, and he had no choice but to leave them behind – but for plot’s sake, of course nobody believes him.
Now a drunk in Thailand, Taylor is forced out of retirement to save his ex-wife Lori, who is part of an underwater research facility called the Mana One. Lori and her crew were exploring a deeper section of the Mariana’s trench concealed by a thermocline (a layer in a body of water with different temperatures), when they were hit by a powerful impact, stranding their submersible at the bottom of the ocean.
Taylor heads down to rescue Lori, and they finally discover that the creature that Taylor encountered five years ago and was terrorising the submersible was a megalodon, an ancient 60-foot-long shark. Back at the facility above ground, they realise that during the escape, the submersible opened a channel in the thermocline – which was what was preventing the Meg from ascending into the regular ocean depths. Now loose, it wreaks havoc on boats and stuff – so the crew have to set out and kill it before it endangers mankind.
As with many monster movies, logic is not The Meg’s strong game. The movie was also unnecessarily draggy at two hours long, when it could have achieved the same effect at 1.5. That being said, I found the movie quite fun to watch, although the jump scares were pretty predictable.
A comment on a review site that I found particularly funny was where the poster suggested that the directors “give The Meg a gun to even things out” – suggesting that even when he is a tiny six foot human against a giant prehistoric shark, Jason Statham is ridiculously overpowered. This manly show of testosterone includes deep grunting, snarls, game face and shots of Statham’s chest muscles – but hey, that’s what people go to watch Statham for ha. And also to see him kick some shark butt (which he does).
Overall, The Meg for me was an okay film and not as bad as people made it up to be. Sure, sometimes it takes itself too seriously and never truly goes down either the Deep Blue Sea path or go over-the-top-crazy-its-so-bad-its-fun like Sharknado, but it’s not a bad action film in its own.