The Meg review
It ain't summer without the shark movies! Yep, every July, we are treated to shark week on a lot of television networks and a load of shark movies ready to go on Netflix. Aside from Jawsand The Shallows, it's hard to find other shark movies I find genuinely. If I do enjoy Sand Sharks, Sharknado, Octoshark V.S. Barracudaor Sharks Invade Venice, it's for the guilty pleasure factor of how ridiculous they are. Everyone has to notice just how many of these shark movies are made. Many of them have similar stories where the shark (or sharks) invades, a hero has to redeem him self personally by killing it and that’s it. They have to be the easiest stories to write, and thus, probably have no problem being sold.
Let's also talk about Jason Statham. He's one of the coolest and most iconic modern action heroes. He's also one of the few white guys in Hollywood who happens to be an expert in martial arts while having the muscle mass of a Stallone or Schwarzenegger. Even his movies like The Transporter, Crank, or Revolvermake him into his own exploitation stereotype. Someone knew it was time to put him and a giant shark together in The Meg.
A rescue diver Jonas (played by Jason Statham) retires after a mission to rescue scientists is a failure when he leaves early, with not everyone rescued. Cut to five years later when a large underwater research facility called the Mana One is on the brink of something big; the ability to traverse deeper then any submarine and submersible has gone. When a mission involving one of them goes wrong and breaks down, the head of research Dr. Zhang (played by Winston Chao) flies to Thailand to get Jonas. Though he declines at first, he agrees when he discovers his ex wife Lori (played by Jessica McNamee) was on there.
The mission to get them out is successful, but not only do they find out that a giant shark called a megalodon was responsible for the submersible crashing, but that it has broken through the barrier and is out in the South China Sea. Jonas, along with a crew that includes Suyin Zhang (played by Li Bingbing), Mac Mackredies (played by Cliff Curtis) Jaxx Herd (played by Ruby Rose) and Mana One owner Jack Morris (played by Rainn Wilson), they set out to kill the shark before it hits a populated area.
If you've seen the trailers for The Meg,then your going to get exactly what you've been promised; Jason Statham versus a giant shark. Director Jon Turteltaub seems to be aware of the abundance of bad shark movies and tries to make one of his own that's fun. Does he succeed? For the most part, I did have fun…but it takes some time to get there. In fact, the real shark action doesn't really come into play until halfway into the story. The first half tries to focus on the humans and each of their parts. I wouldn't have a problem with that if they were interesting, but many of them seem to be playing them selves. Jason Statham is Jason Statham, Ruby Rose is Ruby Rose and Rainn Wilson is Rainn Wilson. At the most, it's passable.
Once the shark does come on screen, things do take off in a more fun manner where at least there isn't a government agency trying to stop them. Except with one of the characters with another motive, the goal is simple; kill the shark. Even with the PG-13, I definitely got what I wanted.
The Meg is what you would call a big budgeted "B-Movie". It's a movie that's trying to have fun with itself without having to rely on too much story or character. To be fair, trying to recreate can be hard if your more used to typical Hollywood material. When it came to his previous work likeNational Treasure, Last Vegas, and Cool Runnings, Jon Turteltaub is more of a studio director. Visually, he knows how to shoot a B-Movie. He needed more work on the script to make that transition. It could have done without the character's dark past and predictable romance, but that's a nitpick.
I'll give this four megalodons out of five. I can imagine this playing well over TV airings in the next ten years. I can even see myself watching this again if I was board one day with nothing else on. If shark movies are not your thing, then you can skip this. If you are a fan, love Jason Statham or simple thrillers, then this is something worth biting. Just be patient for the shark action.