The Meg Review
"Man vs. Meg isn't a fight; it's a slaughterhouse!"... well, almost
Jason Statham is back once again in an action packed role but this time he’s up against a Megalodon.Based on a novel written by Steve Alten, published in 1997, a filmic adaptation of The Meg has apparently been in the waterworks for some time. With a number of different directors having rumoured to be attached to the project, some of which included Eli Roth and Guillermo Del Toro, it eventually fell to Jon Turteltaub to bring the novel to life on the big screen.
Once it gets going, The Meg finally delivers what it promise - Statham going fist against fin.
Statham plays Jonas Taylor; once a deep sea rescue diver, he now spends his days drowning his sorrows in Thailand after his last mission went south. But guess who’s the first port of call when an exploration team find themselves in a bit of pickle way down in the deepest, darkest depths of the Mariana Trench? You guessed it, our main man Jonas. Playing the reluctant hero Jonas joins a team of scientists at Mana One - a research facility out in the middle of the ocean - to help facilitate the rescue. The team is a mixed bag of characters, each one falling into reliably stereotypical roles: the nice guy Mac (Cliff Curtis), the techno whizz Jaxx (Ruby Rose), the (attempted) comic relief DJ (Page Kennedy), the love interest Suyin (Bingbing Li) and Morris (Rainn Wilson) the billionaire who funded the facility who’s in way over his head and may or may not have ulterior motives.
Much of the films opening is full of exposition, set up and a lot of talk. The titular beast that we were expecting to make a grand entrance slinks in and out briefly but doesn’t get the opportunity to make a big impact until about half way through. Once it gets going though, The Meg finally delivers what it promised - Statham’s Jonas going fist against fin in open water, sort of. The team make various attempts to stop the beast from wreaking any more destruction, each one not going quite to plan, and just when they think they’ve stopped Meg in it’s tracks they realise a densely populated beach is next up on the menu.
One of those films that will sit nicely alongside other ridiculous man vs. beast movies.
The Meg is one of those films that will sit nicely alongside other ridiculous man vs. beast movies. That’s not to say it’s a wholly bad film, it is possibly one of those ‘it’s so bad, it’s good’ types. The storyline is predictable and at times laughable. But then, I think that is part of what’s expected with these films. You can’t take it too seriously when the dialogue, unintentionally funny, in places feels like it is being reeled off in order to get to the next scene. Even though director Jon Turteltaub uses a fair few jump scares, which you can pretty much count down to, he does on several occasions manage to amp up the tension and suspense as the gigantic prehistoric shark tries its best to out do our hero. Adding to the ‘so bad it’s good’ vibe is the occasionally questionable use of FX in creating the behemoth that is Meg. But overall everything that happens in the film, bar the some of the unnecessary talky scenes, is exactly what you would expect from a movie of this calibre
The Meg is one of those summer blockbuster movies that will draw audiences in looking for a couple of hours of mindless escapism. It’s not going to be a movie that will be remembered for its clever and witty dialogue or amazing visual sequences. But it does do what it says on the tin: a big beast of a shark goes up against Jason Statham in an action movie that’s ridiculous but fun all the same. And unlike the number of sequels to Alten’s books, it doesn’t look like Meg will be making a come back any time soon.
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