500 Days Of Film Reviews The Meg Starring Jason Statham And Li Bingbing
A deep-sea submersible - part of an international undersea observation programme - has been attacked by a massive creature, previously thought to be extinct, and now lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest trench in the Pacific… with its crew trapped inside.
With time running out, expert deep sea rescue diver, Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham), is recruited by a visionary Chinese oceanographer (Winston Chao), against the wishes of his daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing), to save the crew from a seemingly unstoppable threat: a prehistoric 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon.
Is It Any Good?
You’ve got to admire the marketing for Jon Turteltaub’s big fish blockbuster, The Meg. In a cinematic world full of dark ‘planet in peril’ stories, here is a movie that offers us one simple thing - pure entertainment. Here is a film that owns its silliness and encourages us to have some (much needed) fun.
So bring it on.
Like many films, The Meg does not quite deliver on the promise of its trailer. However, go in with the right frame of mind and you’ll have a lot of fun. This is a movie best seen in company. Half the joy is found in looking at your film companions, rolling your eyes, counting the many cheeky Jaws references and laughing as Jason Statham does what Jason Statham does best.
Few actors working today (with the exception perhaps of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) could make the character of Jonas Taylor work. Statham has to tread carefully to achieve this deceptively tricky balance of action, comedy and warmth.
Indeed, given the material they have to work with, the cast all do a great job. It certainly helps that The Meg has a fundamentally good heart. As well as being a story about a humongous fish, this is also a rather sweet tale of rehabilitation and family.
While The Meg is extremely enjoyable, it is also, sadly, rather toothless. Statham has talked about how Turteltaub’s final cut was not the film that he had expected to make. I share his disappointment at the lack of tension and proper (even within the confines of the movie’s 12 rating) scares.
It is not that I didn’t care about the characters - I did. It’s not that the shark isn’t impressive - it is. It is just that I didn’t ever feel even the slightest bit anxious about their safety. However, despite this reservation, I had a real blast watching The Meg.
Shout out to Pippin!
Have you seen The Meg? If you have, what did you think of this movie? Let me know in the comments section below or via Twitter. You can find me @500DaysOfFilm.