A group of scientists in an underwater facility send three of their team members deep into the ocean in a place which they claim to be even deeper than the Mariana Trench, hoping to discover newer species unknown to mankind. However, as they voyage deeper and start their exploring activities, they are attacked by an unknown being which nearly destroys their vehicle and cuts off their communication with the rest of the group in the facility. Completely helpless as to how to rescue the trapped scientists, the team contacts retired rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham), who might just know the real reason behind the attack.
Positive Points: –
- Seeing Jason Statham doing what he does the best is the most one can ask from a film like this.
- The Meg is undoubtedly entertaining and its horror elements have been fit in smartly into the narrative.
- Unlike most other such movies, The Meg understands its ludicrous nature and rarely pretends to be a great movie which only adds to the fun.
Negative Points: –
- The actors here understand the hollowness of the movie and hence make no effort to make an impact on the audience in terms of acting. They are merely physical performers here who occasionally speak some nonsense or the other to make the film a talkie.
- As obvious, The Meg is ridiculous in nature and incorporates almost all those elements which we have seen in not just shark movies but any action-horror movie, rendering it predictable at times.
- At times it feels that the runtime has been overstretched especially during the second half.
Direction, Screenplay & Other Technicalities: –
Shark movies are always popular no matter how bad they are and The Meg is no exception. It has a hollow script, poorly crafted characters and clichéd character interactions muddled with some zestless dialogues. What works well for the film is its understanding of all its shortcomings which it uses to its advantage (remembering Tyrion from GOT right now!). Director Jon Turteltaub understood that going the great film way for this flick would have only made it a disaster. So, he played it safe and focused more on its horror elements which are terrific to be honest, albeit hackneyed. If only he made his actor work seriously, I could have dedicated one entire paragraph simply extolling him and his work.
The technical work has been sound and the best work of all has been done by cinematographer Tom Stern. His work is the most glorious during the underwater sequences including the shark chases which are ameliorated further by a fitting score by Harry Gregson-Williams. Steven Kemper’s editing is also pretty good with the film’s premise.
It’ll be a waste of time discussing the performances of an ensemble where none of the actors put any effort into their work. However, I do appreciate Jason Statham’s charismatic onscreen presence which works wonders for the movie, especially during its thrilling climax. As an actor, he does nothing but we don’t care as long as he showcases his superhuman abilities as an action-star in his films. Moreover, let’s not deny the fact that almost the entirety of its audience went in to see Statham alone and not the film!
Final Verdict: –
I’m surprised that I’m stating it but I liked watching The Meg and enjoyed it wholeheartedly. It’s the kind of movie you’d see when you have watched too many serious and thought-provoking movies and require a break. It provides a wholesome entertainment in spite of being a PG-13 shark-film (and I have no issues with that) and manages to give you some genuine scares. Moreover, you get to see Jason Statham doing what he does the best. What else do you need!!!