Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is an expert sea diver forced to make a difficult decision on a rescue mission for a submarine stricken on the seabed. Five years later he’s called into action as the only person capable of rescuing a crew who have gone deeper in the ocean than anyone else. The cause of both disasters are a 70 foot Megalodon Shark, thought to have been extinct for millions of years. Can Taylor stop The Meg before it reaches populated areas?
The Meg is an incredibly difficult film for me to review for two main reasons. Firstly, there is the question of how tongue in cheek and self referential the film is trying to be. Secondly, there is the fact that it is so middle of the road with as many fun moments as there are awful.
Given the cult following of the likes of the Sharknado and Mega Shark series the idea of a studio film with a proper budget making a film about a 70 foot shark filled me with the possibility of a knowingly joking film where an action hero with an equally cult following gets to punch a shark. There are moments when this seems like what the film makers are going for, mostly when Rainn Wilson is on screen playing a billionaire who speaks his mind. But, this is about the only time that is the case. Otherwise it’s a mostly straightforward action movie with ridiculous circumstances. The problem then is I tend to apply a different standard to what I’m seeing, and there are plenty of moments when what is on screen is just dull exposition with a poor script.
Perhaps the issue with this is that I’m disappointed by a film I thought was being put in front of me rather than reviewing what was put in front of me. What The Meg is then is an action film that survives purely on its heroes star power. Just like Rampage and Skyscraper this summer were quintessential Dwayne Johnson action flicks, this is a Jason Statham flick. There are some fun moments, mainly ridiculous action beats and Rainn Wilson as I said above. But there are as many boring moments where we are supposed to suspend disbelief when it would have been better to steer into the ridiculousness.
If anything, what I came out of the film thinking the most was how this film was financed. Starring Li Bingbing, set mostly in Asia and featuring some serious product placement it seems a film that is looking to make some serious money in Asia, a huge growing market for Hollywood.