Quote from The Meg by Jonas Taylor: “You’re going to tell me your story and I’m going to say no. You’re going to offer me money and I’m going to say no. You’re going to try to appeal to my better nature and I’m still going to say no because I don’t have one.”
Before I begin with my review, I have to say I was flipping through channels today and watched a little bit of 5-Headed Shark Attack on SyFy. I lasted about two minutes into it before switching to another channel. I couldn’t tell you for certain which head bit into the prey (I think the middle one) because the scene ended prematurely and left a trail of blood that almost disappeared from the screen. On the other hand, The Meg because who wants to pronounce megalodon will not disappoint. Yes, this story has been done before, but unlike the countless others before it, this one involves a creature from the past. I went into it thinking, at least, I’ll be able to see a CGI gigantic shark and ponder what it would’ve been like to have been around when they existed during the slow parts. I never did the latter and it kept me more on edge than I thought. While never one to scream in movies, a few times I was caught off guard. In addition to the relationships of the divers and the Big Tooth, the relationships among the land and water crew were done to satisfaction. Most of the comedic scenes had good timing and a few where I think I was the only one laughing.
The Meg is an adaptation from Steve Alten’s book and written by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, and Erich Hoebar. It is directed by Jon Turtletaub. The story mainly focuses on the characters of Jonas Taylor and Suyin Zhang played by Jason Statham and Bingbing Li. One is an ex-Naval Captain while the other is an oceanographer. It also stars Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis, Winston Chao, Ruby Rose, Page Kennedy, Robert Taylor, Jessica McNamee, Masi Oka, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, and Shuya Sophia Cai. This is a Warner Bros. Pictures production and had the release date of August 10, 2018. The MPAA rating is PG-13 for action/peril, bloody images, and some language. It runs 113 minutes. Put plain and simple, The Meg is a man vs. beast kind movie that starts in the deepest parts of the ocean and ends in the shallowest.
The Meg opens with Jonas Taylor who is a great swimmer and diver with greater reflexes. He can keep calm during stressful times and make the right decisions when others think he has failed. Because of this, he decides to leave the Mariana Trench to drink and tool around his moped in Thailand. It will take a lot to get him back into the water, but with some coaxing by some of the team stationed on the underwater research facility, Mana One, Jonas finally comes back home. He does his best to get along with everyone, even his nemesis of Dr. Heller. He receives the necessary information from the scientists and crew. He then submerges into the Mariana Trench to do what he is asked. He doesn’t need to prepare. He knows his stuff. It is deep in the water he gets even more evidence that something “big” lurks below, but it’s up to Dr. Minway Zhang and his financier, Jack Morris, to make the next move. It’s decided that to save humankind or at least keep the casualties low, the scientists and crew must find the shark and kill it. Remember that every fight has unintended consequences and the massive rows of teeth on this beast along with its quickness under water proves difficult to slow down. It is here you see the great advancements of CGI and the athletic prowess of Jason Statham in his action scenes. It’s not enough and the meg wants more of a challenge. It swims toward a crowded beach where you see all kinds of Chinese beach bums including a child who likes to eat popsicles when he should be swimming instead. The remaining team devises a plan to stop the water beast once and for all or if you prefer, water creature.
I was intrigued with the CGI in this movie. I’m not well versed in this area of movie making, but I’ve seen enough extras to know it takes a lot of behind the scene work to make something that doesn’t exist anymore as realistic as possible. I knew the shark wasn’t real for the obvious fact megalodons don’t exist anymore, but when I saw the close ups of the shark, to me it was real. Yes, that’s an enormous fish with teeth that are fourteen inches long and bodies that are between 31 to 38 feet long although this one is 70 feet long. I will also say the shooting and editing of this movie was done well in the eyes of a lay person. There wasn’t any abruptness or discontinuity that took you out of any of the scenes. A movie of this caliber wouldn’t have this issue, but I wanted to say it anyway. Sound plays a vital role in this movie and the reclining seat I was in shook unexpectedly during the loud parts. Get ready for the rendition of “Hey Mickey” by Pim.
I preferred the first half of the movie more than the second half. It might have had to do with the fact I thought it progressed better with a good mixture of subtle humor and obvious seriousness. The second half seemed to push the humor a little too much in places. I’m thinking of one character that could’ve had a change up in dialogue. He said the same thing over and over and after a while it wasn’t so funny. There were some other minor mishaps, but don’t want to go in depth or I’ll give away some plot plots. Let’s just say when I put two and two together in my head, I came up short by one number. Despite having said this, while I wouldn’t have minded keeping its original R rating, I enjoyed this lighter hearted version too. It’s not every day you get to see a prehistoric creature on the big screen, even if it’s done through CGI. I would recommend this movie with the thought this story has been done before, but good overall entertainment.
I rate the overall experience of this movie 88%.