The Meg (2018)
On this trip to the moving picture house I was joined by my brother, Andrew. We both knew very little about The Meg, but figured it might be fun. Jason Statham and a big f’in shark, should be good for a laugh, right? Wrong!
This wasn’t scary and this wasn’t funny. The CGI was only slightly better than what you’d find in a Sharknado movie. This is a film that wasn’t sure whether it wanted to be self-aware of its obvious silliness, or play it serious. A film desperately trying to find its niche within the pantheon of fishy action thrillers, and finding there was no room for a prehistoric sixty-foot-long shark.
That unwillingness to commit to a direction really hurts the film. The Meg wants to setup great characters you’ll care about when the action starts, but gives us two-dimensional clichés you’ll want the shark to eat. Jason Statham is the brooding misunderstood hero type, Bingbing Li is there for the Chinese audience, Rainn Wilson is the obnoxious billionaire, and Rudy Rose is the know-it-all hacker. All dumbly swimming along in a screenplay that doesn’t seem to care that their exchanges don’t make any sense.
This joint US, Chinese production reportedly cost $150,000,000, and to be honest, I didn’t see that money on the screen. The shark in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws looked more realistic and was certainly more terrifying. For that kind of money, I would expect to see something really special, but instead we just got a big fish, not the Megalodon we were promised.
Starring: Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis, Winston Chao, Ruby Rose
Directed by: Jon Turteltaub
Written by: Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 1 hr 53 min.