Just when you thought it was safe to head back to the cineplex, along comes The Meg for some late summer dining. So does this shark roar (not Jaws The Revenge roar) or does it sink like it’s been blown to bits by Roy Scheider? Read on!
The Meg follows the story of a team of scientists on board Mana one, a state of the art underwater research facilitie, who are exploring new depths of the ocen and the life within. On a research trip gone wrong, the team runs into a prehistoric shark, the titular Megladon, who has been hiding deep below what was believed to be the bottom of the ocean. When the shark escapes its underwater cavern, its up to the team of scientists along with a dive rescue expert (Jason Statham) to keep the Meg from chowing down on too many unsuspecting tourists!
The Meg features a very likeable cast of both new and familiar faces (plenty of local Aussies get a run here too, as the film was shot in local waters). Statham brings alot of charisma to the film and is a likable lead. Along side him are a beavy of characters, all of whom the film gives their moment to shine, which is a nice change from the usual shark food secondary characters normally seen in this genre. Rainn Wilson seems to be having a good time playing the billionaire who runs the station, and Li Bingbing does well with the material she’s given in her first lead in a western film.
The Meg is a silly concept on paper, but to it’s credit, the film knows exactly what is it, and tries not to take itself too seriously. Theres plenty of silliness on display here, but the film leans into it and all in all it plays out rather nicely because of it. Director Jon Turteltaub brings plenty of serious laughs and thrills to a not so serious concept, and I think its the combination of knowing its place in the cinematic foodchain, and a fairly likelable group of characters that make the film stand out againtst a number of other Shark based films from the last few years.
Theres some good effects on display here, a couple of jumps and an awesome sequence where the Meg finally hits a populate beach for chow time. I quite enjoyed alot of the submarine based exploration that happens during the first half of the film, and was pleasntly reminded of The Abyss a number of times. The film is unlikely to remain in your head outside the two hours in the cinema, but if your looking for a fun film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, then I think the Meg is a worthy contender for your viewership.