Here’s a big old dumb blockbuster with a massive shark. No, it’s not Jaws! It’s got The Stath in it. And it’s silly fun.
Jason Statham has done a lot for us balding men. The handsome chap makes a shaved skull look effortlessly cool.
He’s also a top action movie star who’s in a lot of ridiculous movies, which also happen to be a whole heaping wodge of daft fun.
On the dumb shark movie scale, The Meg veers towards Deep Blue Sea (1999). It shares a lot of similarities with that thing, like the scriptwriters ripped it off a bit.
Not that it really matters. This film is popcorn fodder and doesn’t have any lofty pretensions of superiority.
You get that from the plot, which is moronic.
Meet Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) who’s a deep-sea rescue diver. During one mission, things go wrong and he’s accused of being drunk on the job.
However, Taylor claims a massive shark ruined the mission. But no one will believe him.
Five years later a billionaire has a built an underwater research facility (yes, exactly like the one in Deep Blue Sea) where oceanographers do their thing.
This includes Dr. Minway Zhang (Winston Chao) and his daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing).
They eventually need help from a deepsea rescue team as one research mission goes a bit wrong. And Taylor is brought back into the fold.
Setting out to rescue the crew, they head on into the murky depths.
Predictably, there’s a massive bloody great big shark down there and things hit the fan.
The megalodon shark down is on the loose and soon finds the underwater facility, where it says hello to Suyin’s daughter.
Naturally, the film then becomes about trying to blow the shark to smithereens. And an all-out battle for survival ensues.
There’s a bit of a daft development involving another shark along the way, all while the cast of characters gets bumped off one at a time.
Of course, The Stath is in the film. And there’s no way he ain’t ready to wipe out a megalodon 1,000 times the size of him.
Much of the film revolves around him doing battle with the beast, although Suyin does her part as well.
But the Meg really makes a lot of ridiculous nods to other shark films. Mainly Jaws, like in the scene below.
We guess the idea was for a loving homage, ramped up to the massive side of things. But it’ll be lost on most younger cinemagoers.
Asides from that stuff, The Meg’s draw remains with the special effects. And the shark looks pretty good and supermassive.
The Stath is also in fine form doing his action movie star stuff. He doesn’t mess around, the actor knows what he’s good at. And he’s got a solid screen presence.
But, yes, he essentially does the same thing in every film. But we like the guy, he’s got charisma.
That adds a dollop of fun to The Meg, although we do feel its overall predictability is a bit… you know. Dumb. Like the whole plot.
It’s popcorn fodder and we feel it largely does its job well enough.
Just don’t go in expecting anything other than total, mindless, pretty enjoyable stupidity.
The Meg’s Production
The budget was over $130 million and the film went on to make back some $530.2 million. It was the hit everyone expected.
Filming began in 2016 over in New Zealand and Sanya, China.
Upon release… hell, you couldn’t miss the thing! On our way to work, we passed the most enormous bloody film poster we’ve ever seen day after after.
Despite its success, The Meg came under a lot of criticism from the media and film buffs.
Critics said it failed at its B-movie efforts and misses a lot of the thrills you expect from the genre. Many cinemagoers were also left feeling flat about it.
The film ended up being a 12A, gore toned down to get as many bums on seats in cinema theatres. We think a ramped-up 18 version with more horror would certainly have worked a lot better.
Jason Statham said he was disappointed with the way The Meg turned out, but will be turning out for the sequel—The Meg 2: The Trench.
Despite the criticism we still hold out we enjoyed the film for what it is.
Sure, we’re not going to be watching it again anytime soon. But it fulfilled its big shark promise for us and we were left happy about that. Snarl.