As Summer soon begins to end, it has felt bereft of what truly is the reason for the season: shark movies. Ever since JAWS swam into theaters in 1975 and took a bite out of the box-office, blockbuster films have become a staple with many seeking to emulate the Steven Spielberg classic. Now we have a Summer blockbuster about the biggest, baddest shark in history; The Meg!
The movie follows Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham The Mechanic, The Transporter), a professional rescue diver known to be the best in the field until a botched deep sea mission results in a loss of life. Jonas saw something in the darkness near the ocean floor. Something big and powerful enough to take a bite out of a nuclear submarine. Years later, his hunch is confirmed after a disaster at the underwater research facility “Mana One”. There’s a megalodon on the loose! Now, Jonas must team up with the experts at Mana One and find a way to kill the biggest shark to ever stalk the sea!
The story itself is fairly by the numbers. You have Jason Statham as the expert who was derided and put into self-exile for something nobody else believed of him. Then you have Rainn Wilson as Jack Morris, the obnoxious billionaire financier of Mana-One, as well as the ensemble cast making up team of scientists and deep sea experts. But, the cast plays pretty well off one another, especially at the peak of underwater action even if their dialogue can be a bit cheesy. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s a pretty fair set-up for the true star of the show.
The Meg is based on a science-fiction horror novel of the same name by Steve Alten and has been in development hell as a film since the 90’s and is at last on the screen directed by Jon Turteltaub of the National Treasure film series. But the wait seems to have been well worth it in bringing the titular Meg to life. In true JAWS style, it’s a little bit of time until we actually get a decent look at our pre-historic super predator, but when we do it’s pretty outstanding and terrifying to behold. At around 75 feet, The Meg is one seriously huge shark with an appetite to match!
Overall, The Meg is exactly what it sets out to be and what we expected: a Summer Blockbuster. You want a movie where Jason Statham fights a giant shark? Well, here it is and it delivers and then some. I recommend seeing it in Imax or the largest screen you can for the full effect. So, while it’s still in the biggest theaters, the temperatures are still hot, and the beaches remain open, in the water or out, go watch The Meg where you can.