The Meg (2018) Review

Time: 113 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Jason Statham as Jonas Taylor
Li Bingbing as Suyin Zhang
Rainn Wilson as Jack Morris
Ruby Rose as Jaxx Herd
Winston Chao as Dr. Minway Zhang
Cliff Curtis as James “Mac” Mackreides
Director: Jon Turteltaub

A massive creature attacks a deep-sea submersible, leaving it disabled and trapping the crew at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. With time running out, rescue diver Jonas Taylor must save the crew and the ocean itself from an unimaginable threat — a 75-foot-long prehistoric shark known as the Megalodon.

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The Meg marks the end of the Summer Blockbusters season of 2018. In the lead up to its release, I have been having mixed feelings about it. Honestly while the movie looked like it could be fun, it felt that there are so many ways that this wouldn’t work. Yes, the idea of watching Jason Statham take on a giant shark sounds cool and all, but yet there was something about it that didn’t have me immensely hyped. Fortunately it turned out rather well. The Meg is not a great movie, and it does have its fair share of problems but I can’t deny that it’s still rather entertaining.

I found out in the end credits that The Meg is actually based on a book, but since I haven’t read the book I won’t make any comparisons between it and the movie. Something I should establish early is that despite the latest trailer working well, all the moments about the meg attacking people on the beach are from the third act. So don’t expect an hour and 50 minutes of that. The Meg doesn’t have the greatest of writing and is very straightforward and almost a little generic. The humour doesn’t really work like 95% percent of the time, and it can really miss. There is a forced kind of relationship between Jason Statham and Li Bingbing’s characters which kind of comes out of nowhere. Even though the latest trailer made it seem like a completely goofy shark flick, The Meg does have a weird mix of goofiness and seriousness. It actually quite surprised me how serious this movie felt a lot of the time. Most of the time you can look past it but whenever it tries to get very dramatic and when people are killed off, you don’t really feel anything. Despite its problems, I generally had fun throughout. It got better over time and by the time it got to the third act, I forgot about most of the problems. If you know what you’re in for, than you’ll probably like it.

Jason Statham is as usual entertaining and likable in the lead role and he does very well to lead this movie. The rest of the cast, which consists of Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose and others do well enough in their roles, but their characters don’t have enough depth. With that said, I didn’t really expect the characters to be really complex or anything, and they work well enough for the movie.

The direction of this movie by Jon Turteltaub is pretty good, it looks good and the CGI bits most of the time are decent enough. It does have some jumpscares, and annoying as they may be, a couple of them made me jump a bit. The tension is generally done well, I didn’t worry too much about the characters because I knew everything would be fine and all that (not to mention the film didn’t really give enough reason to care about them), but nonetheless a lot of the scenes can be very thrilling. However the movie does feel like it was held back a little bit, like it might’ve benefited a lot more had it been more over the top and more outrageous. Originally, Eli Roth wanted to direct this movie but because he wanted an R rating, the studio passed on him. While The Meg still works fine enough with a PG-13/M rating, I think it would’ve benefited from an R rating, with them going all out with it.

The Meg does have some faults and there are some aspects that could’ve been improved that would’ve made it better (like going all out with an R rating or outrageous and over the top) but on the whole, I had fun with what we got. If you saw all the trailers for The Meg and thought that you’d like it, go and see it, you’ll probably like it. I personally had a good time with it, and it was a good way to end 2018’s Summer Blockbuster season.

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