The Meg

Film, Action and adventure
2 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
The Meg

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Despite all the blood in the water, this supersized fish tale is nowhere near as fun or frenzied as you'll want it to be.

Imagine a trashy empty-calories combo of ‘Sharknado’ and the gore-and-nudity-heavy ‘Piranha 3D’ – two horror movies loaded with loveable dumbness. Then dial back those expectations by several nautical miles, deep into mild 12A territory, and you have ‘The Meg’, a disappointment for fans of pure summer nonsense (I count myself proudly among them). Developed over decades from a 1997 Michael Crichton–lite science-fiction novel by Steven Alten, the movie is a Jurassic-sized pretender, summoning a 75-foot Megalodon shark – the movie’s CGI is somewhat watery – but little in the way of menace, suspense or even goony laughs.

No one is coming to ‘The Meg’ for originality, but connoisseurs of Jason Statham’s lunkheaded charms will find his portrayal of Jonas – a guilt-ridden rescue diver who thinks he’s quit the game until his ex-wife gets trapped on the bottom of the Mariana Trench – limited. (The mope-ragey Sylvester Stallone of ‘Cliffhanger’ would have killed in this.) Accompanying Jonas to a high-tech underwater research station off the Chinese coast are a wise-cracking billionaire investor (Rainn Wilson, soaking his every line in ironic geekery and spoiling the mood) and a somber team of scientists led by Suyin (Li Bingbing), a single mom with an adorable tyke in tow.

The funniest moments are fleeting, like the creature’s enormous dorsal fin – as huge as a tent – displacing water with a sound louder than a motorboat, or someone uttering the trailer-ready bit of ridiculousness, ‘Are you saying we opened a superhighway for giant sharks?’ Mainly, though, this Chinese-audience-targeted mega-production, frequently subtitled and just this side of cheesy, makes you feel like you’re watching a foreign film; even when the characters are speaking English, they seem dubbed (or drugged). The immortal ‘Jaws’ works because it injects pop-‘Moby Dick’ monologues and technical solidity into the mix. ‘The Meg’ proves only that, at least cinematically speaking, great-white movies may have finally jumped the shark.

Details

Release details

Rated:
12A
Release date:
Friday August 10 2018
Duration:
113 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Jon Turteltaub
Screenwriter:
Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Cast:
Jason Statham
Rainn Wilson
Li Bingbing

Users say (3)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|3
2 people listening
tastemaker

Exactly what you would expect with giant sharks and Jason Statham


A fun trip to cinemas filled with jump scares and "interesting" graphics.


I have a phobia of sharks and all the jump scares are predictable so able to prepare yourself.

Tastemaker

Chomp, chomp!

Obviously not a great film, however, maybe due to low expectations, I’ve enjoyed it.

Pre-historic / mutant sharks, blood, adrenaline, cheeky romance & comedy makes a good cocktail that allows you to have fun.

Tastemaker

This film is every bit as wonderfully dreadful as the trailers make you suspect it will be! Go in with the most open of minds, the lowest of expectations and the desire to switch your brain off for a couple of hours and you'll leave thoroughly delighted.


Owing something of a debt to 1999's 'Deep Blue Sea', the story-line is basic and every member of the cast relishes chewing the scenery that delivers it. Jason Statham is Jonas, a tortured deep sea expert called in to save his ex-wife followed by an ocean research crew and ultimately EVERYONE IN THE WORLD from a megaladon, the world's oldest, biggest & hungriest shark.


The effects are decent - there's a seriously awesome shot courtesy thanks to the light-up trainers of the obligatory smart-aleck child  - and the film is peppered with moments of hilarity - it doesn't take itself too seriously and at times, flagrantly pokes fun at itself. Statham is oddly charming in a stubbly, wooden,10-pack-chested sorta way and Rainn Wilson makes a perhaps unusual but wholly satisfying baddie. The supporting cast including Li Bingbing do their best with a so-thin-it's-practically-translucent script although someone needs to get Ruby Rose a decent meal as her skeletal appearance was uncomfortable to look at.


'The Meg' is 100% the sort of popcorn flick that summers were made for - it clearly doesn't have the charm, talent or vision of that certain other shark film that kick-started the whole blockbuster genre but it's jumpy & big, it's flashy & vacuous and it's totally worth jumping into.