Movie review The Meg (2018): The Meg should be okay if it sticks for two purposes only. To highlight Jason Statham—recently has made quite a name as an action hero—in his diving tenure reunion is the first. To see that same Statham fights a colossal, prehistoric shark in the open ocean, both sides’ home ground, should be the second. The rest should be history. Alas it’s not a history we expect it to be. A series of historical meme is what it eventually deserves.
Fashioned as a pseudo sci-fi blockbuster (if there’s another sky above the sky, there should be another ocean under the ocean), The Meg unravels the beast right from the start to f*ck Jonas’ (Statham) rescue mission. There’s a few years gap between the opening and the ‘real story’; however, the focus gets back to Statham almost immediately when a deep sea research team is trapped in the bed of the ocean-under-ocean. The rescue mission apparently unleashes the Megalodon to the open water. For that, Statham’s Jonas must fight it before everybody on a tourist-laden beach becomes easy prey.
As if bringing Statham diving back to the depth isn’t enough, director John Turteltaub plunges him to a B-movie bonanza as well. From the direction, it’s apparent that Turteltaub intentionally throws multiple shark movie references under our nose. From Jaws’ crowd beach scenery to Deep Blue Sea’s shark-baiting monologue (which honestly almost made me proud as a Deep Blue Sea fan), The Meg seems to position itself correctly in the shark movie encyclopedia when it toils with those references. However, if there’s one thing that rejects The Meg from the shark movie hall of fame application, it would be their decision not to paint the ocean red.
A shark movie with only 1-2 litres of blood is unarguably dull. And, The Meg is exactly that kind of movie. First, the shark isn’t as colossal as depicted in the promotional materials. Second, the shark barely bites and chunks meat (mostly boats and glasses). Third, there’s barely gore-fest for a movie which ‘promises’ us a giant shark feasting over beach-swarming people. It’s safe to say that The Meg is a toothless shark trying to impress audience by hunting fresh meats. It’s painful to watch, but at the same time, is ridiculous enough to give a thrilling entertainment.
At some points, The Meg seems to be aware of their non-serious guffaw. The campy dialogues and punchlines (including that ‘the world’s best “I told you so”’ quote) and some of the over-the-top action sequences seem to embrace the campiness. On top of it, The Meg seems to always present massive setups and pose dangerous threat—including the China bay scene. However, the final bites never really hurt.
So, that’s what happen when a simple B-movie influenced shark bonanza diverts from the simple plan. It’s not that the shark isn’t as big as expected, it’s only that The Meg tries a little too hard to be big without any special attempt. Even Statham is more intimidating than the prehistoric shark.
The Meg (2018)
Action, Horror, Sci-Fi Directed by: John Turteltaub Written by: Dean Georgaris, John Hoeber, Erich Hoeber based on a novel by Steve Alten Starred by: Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Ruby Rose, Cliff Curtis Runtime: 113 mins