If you watched the trailer for The Meg in which a 90-foot shark appears to stalk a wedding party because the bride’s tiny dog jumped in for a swim while ‘Somewhere Beyond the Sea’ blares over the speakers and hated it, then The Meg is not for you. The Meg is continuing a growing trend of low-tier Hollywood movies knowing exactly what they are. It is big, loud, preposterous, silly, funny, and so over the top, it hurts. It leans into these descriptors so hard that I found myself sort of admiring the fact that everyone involved was like, “We’re gonna see how ridiculous we can make this and the audience will either smile or their eyes will roll out of their head.” I found myself chuckling at the absurdity of it all, but not in a malicious way. I enjoyed the movie but will never see it again.
Still not sold on The Meg? Let me hit you with a recap of the first twenty minutes. There is a submarine stranded on the floor of one of the deepest trenches in the ocean. A rescue sub-team arrives to rescue the submarine crew. This rescue team is led by Jason Statham who is the best. Not second best. THE best rescue diver ever. During the rescue, something starts to ram the hull of the sub and Jason can’t save everyone and he is forced to leave some crew behind before the sub blows. FLASH TO 5 YEARS LATER. A research station off the coast of China believes that the bottom of some trench is actually just thick gas and there is a World beneath the gas of new ocean creatures. The research sub is disabled by a giant creature and trapped on the bottom. After fierce debate, the research team goes to get the best rescue diver ever. Jason Statham is reintroduced in this movie, living in Thailand while a Thai version of ‘Mickey’ (the “Oh Mickey You’re So Fine” song) plays. He is convinced to come to rescue the team and within one hour finds a wetsuit that is perfectly skintight and superhero looking. During the rescue, they discover a megalodon, a 90-foot shark, and it escapes to the surface preparing to kill all in its path.
Once the shark is loose we are treated to over an hour of shark attacks and attempts by our team to kill the shark. Everyone is represented. Rich guy with an ulterior motive? Check. Black comedic relief? Check. A woman who swore to never love again but meets a shirtless Jason Statham? Check. Sexually ambiguous hacker? Check. Overweight bearded nerd? Check. Cute child under the age of ten? Check. Former nemesis of Jason Statham who learns to trust him? Check. This movie checks all the boxes of all creature features that came before it and delivers them quickly and mostly in an entertaining fashion. There is never a moment where you don’t know, generally, what is going to happen next and that’s ok!
In the age of spoiler alerts, twists, and surprises there was a moment during this movie that I thought it was nice to have a film that just wants to entertain the audience and nothing more. It had nothing profound to say. It had no ambitions beyond delivering a 90-foot shark attacking things to your eyeballs. The surrounding plot, I felt, was played loosely for laughs. Again, if you thought the trailer was the dumbest thing you’ve ever seen then you won’t like this movie but if you just want to see Jason Statham attempt hand to hand combat with a 90-foot shark? This is your Citizen Kane.
P.S. This Fast & Furious spinoff with The Rock and Statham can’t get here soon enough.
Written by: Dan Moran