If you’ve seen any of the posters or trailers for The Meg, you know exactly what you’re in for. It’s basically Jason Statham versus a big ass prehistoric shark, and that’s pretty much all you need to know. If you’re expecting a decent script, without any clichés, or any kind of decent acting for that matter, then you’re likely to be disappointed. This movie pretty much does what it says on the tin.
Jason Statham stars as Jonas Taylor, currently retired from deep sea diving hero work and living a chilled life in Thailand, beer permanently in his hand. Five years earlier, Jonas was involved in an underwater operation which ended badly – a mysterious sea creature put a huge dent in the side of a submersible and Jonas had to make the painful decision to leave some men behind in order to save the rest. But when a hi-tech marine research station sends a crew down more than 10,000 metres into the ocean, beyond an icy barrier of hydrogen sulphide and into unexplored waters, they encounter a 70ft megalodon and find themselves trapped. Time for Jonas, the only man capable of rescuing them, to be lured out out of retirement. Unfortunately though, as the submersibles return to the surface, they unknowingly create a thermal pathway through the icy cold layer, and the meg follows them back up.
By this point we’re nearly half way through the movie, and we’ve so far only caught a couple of glimpses of the meg and the kind of damage it can cause. The rest of the time up until now has been filled with introducing us to a large number of dull characters, both on the research station and the submersible. To be fair though, the script is terrible – full of clichés and failed attempts at humour and one-liners, but even then the delivery from literally everyone involved is pretty awful, the acting on show here is shocking. When things do kick off with the shark though, it’s less talk more action, and that’s when the film is at its most enjoyable.
Many of the action scenes are, as you’d expect, ridiculous, over the top and wildly enjoyable. Jonas tries ‘sneaking up’ on the meg in order to fire it with a tracking dart, only for the meg to give chase as Jonas is rapidly winched back in, swerving to avoid the huge jaws. Later on, the meg finds its way to a densely populated beach. Hundreds of nicely arranged bathers in their rubber rings, men rolling around in zorbs, people on jet skis – the perfect scenario for mass panic and carnage.
Overall, this is a good fun action movie which really should have focused a little more on a tighter script. Still worth a watch though.