Directed by: Director: Jon Turteltaub
Starring: Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Winston Chao, Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis and Shuya Sophia Cai
Run Time: 1h 53min
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
2 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
‘The Meg’ is as entertaining and campy as any remake based on a huge success is; in that you’ll enjoy seeing it for what it reminds you of but then you’ll be irritated by its lack of living up to the goal you undoubtedly set for it. Here, you’re looking for that other film, I’m obviously speaking of ‘Jaws,’ and what you get is a cheap knockoff. I say that because what bothered me most was Meg, herself. Spielberg did a better job in the ‘70’s of making Jaws something to fear than Turteltaub does here. You never get a true sense of the beast except in what the people have to say. When you do see her, its digital performance isn’t all that beastly, to be honest.
There are elements of indulgence that make ‘The Meg’ the perfect film for your youngsters to view because they need to have something to talk about when they go back to school. They can talk about their first scary movie and they will also learn some things they can take back to science class. There were several younger viewers at our screening, ages around nine and ten, and they were thrilled and excited by the film. This could be because they don’t have anything to compare it to. That being said, it’s not a bad movie, it’s just not a good ‘remake.’ Since it isn’t a remake and you just want to watch a nonsensical action/horror, you could definitely do worse. Jason Statham brings you a believable enough hero to root for and the little treasure, Shuya Sophia Cai, plays a darling character for you to hope is ultimately saved.
Meg is a Megalodon, a prehistoric shark that’s discovered when scientists, who should know better by now, move beneath what has been thought to be the ocean floor but is really a freezing thermal cloud that houses a new ecosystem and keeps new species safe below. They intend to find these new species by cruising a sub down and busting into this ecosystem. When they actually do this, they never prepare for the worst, of course. They’re happy they made the discovery but that’s short-lived when Meg, bothered by their lights, finds them and isn’t interested in letting them tell the world about her home. Morris, (played badly by Rainn Wilson) an annoying billionaire who is interested only in his profit margin, insists the team do whatever it takes to keep the operation going. Jonas (Statham) enters because one of the team members below is his ex-wife. He comes to the rescue because he has been in the position before and this ends up being a chance to prove himself… not that he needed one. You’ll learn about as the film opens.
There are a lot of incredibly tense scenes in the film, especially after Meg is tagged. When this happens, the action never stops, but it is a bit slow to get started. There’s a lot of humor, as well, which surprised me. One hysterical moment that the entire audience chuckled at was when Jonas tries not to think about the beast as he’s swimming in her waters. To himself, he sings Dora’s ‘Just Keep Swimming’ song from ‘Finding Nemo.’ There are several well-placed jump scares to keep you on the edge of your seat and when you think they’ve done about all they can, they give the audience a little more so don’t think it’s over just cuz Morris thinks it is. If you go to see ‘The Meg,’ please pull for Pippin. She’s the cute little pup who falls in the water during the trailer. I won’t tell you if Meg finds her to be an adequate snack or not, but I was heartbroken by her fear, as I’m sure you will be, too… I hope.
In the mood for some action with Statham? Check out ‘The Meg.’ It’ll be a better view if you can catch it on IMAX but if you’re not a huge Statham fan, you’d probably do well to watch during a matinee or wait and see it at home. It’s too predictable to be mind-blowing but Turteltaub gives you enough with a few characters to keep you interested and amused. One last note. Just about everything out of the mouth of Morris is weak and tired. This character could have and should have been improved.