The Meg – Film Review by Fran Winston
Directed by: Jon Turteltaub
Starring: Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, Cliff Curtis
In cinemas August 10th
A gigantic prehistoric shark called the Megalodon (or Meg for short) turns out not to be as extinct as was thought and terrorises a research expedition who are forced to call in a hard man rescue diver to save the day. No it’s not the plot of a SyFy channel movie or a Shark Week spin off. It is instead this summer’s aquatic creature feature.
This sees Statham make use of his championship swimming and diving background (it’s a thing – look it up) playing the aforementioned rescue diver. As is the norm in these films he has hung up his rescue gear following a trauma from a previous job that went wrong but is coaxed out of retirement for this job.
Realising that, despite the scientific magnitude of the discovery, the Meg must be destroyed the crew very wisely take to the open seas – or as the sharks call it the canteen – to attempt to take out the 75 foot carnivore. But let’s face it, if something that you thought was extinct for 2 million years is still alive it’s probably going to prove a formidable foe. Not as formidable as Statham obviously who jumps into the sea to shoot it with a GPS tracker, as you do! I mean swimming with sharks – especially gigantic prehistoric ones is a hoot. And clearly nearly becoming sushi for the shark once isn’t enough for him as he gets up close and personal with the beastie of several more occasions before we reach the conclusion.
If that all sounds a bit silly it’s because it is. In fact its borderline ludicrous at times. And has one of the cheesiest scripts committed to screen so far this year. In fact if it wasn’t for the presence of Statham et al it would probably indeed have been a SyFy special.
But that doesn’t matter because it’s actually great fun. I found myself enjoying this in spite of myself. There is a lot of humour in the script alongside the cringe worthy moments (and there are plenty). The effects aren’t ground-breaking but they do work and this does what it says on the tin. It’s the modern equivalent of the1950’s B-movies. It doesn’t want awards or plaudits. It just wants to help the audience escape for a few hours.
I can’t really break this down critically because it’s not that kind of movie. But it’s also not what you’d expect. It is quite the romp and has plenty of moments that will make you gasp even though you will probably see them coming.
This definitely isn’t Jaws but if you like your sea creature on the more prehistoric side and your action heroes on the rough and ready side then you’ll enjoy this. I can’t see it spawning any sequels but it should entertain most cinema goers. A word of advice though – try and see it in 3D to get the full benefit of some of the shark scenes.