The Meg tries to be the next Jaws copycat, but like so many others, it proves to be nothing more than a pale imitation. Not even Jason Statham has enough bite to save it from being dopey and cheesy through and through.
Statham stars as Jonas Taylor, a diver called by a research facility to dive deep into the Mariana Trench. I guess they never got the memo that James Cameron already beat them to the punch, but I digress.
He reteams with his ex-wife (Jessica McNamee) as well as a motley crew of other experts including an arrogant billionaire (Rainn Wilson), and an oceanographer (Li Bingbing) and her spunky daughter (Shuya Sophia Cai).
Once they get down to the surface, they find a submersible that gets attacked by a giant shark known as a Megalodon, which has been long thought to be extinct for a million years. At this point, the plot is nothing more than something to hang on to the inevitable special effects as well as the countless times the characters come face to face with the shark.
One of the problems I had with The Meg is that we don’t get enough scenes of the shark in action and the movie makes us wait an incredible amount of time. Not to mention it also wimps out by going for the PG-13 rating so any kind of graphic violence is off-screen. If we got an R rating, this could’ve been a blast in the most over-the-top way possible.
Another drawback is there are no real scenes that are scary or creepy. We know every time when a shark is going to pop out and scare and attack its unsuspecting victims. It tries too hard to take too many pages out of Jaws’ book, but it ends up more in Sharknado territory just with a bigger budget and a bigger boat.
Statham could carry this movie if it knew what it wanted to do with itself. I’ve already mentioned it lacks any real scares to be a full-fledged thriller and not campy enough to be self-aware. Every time it wants to be one thing in terms of its tone, it shifts direction and goes another route, kind of like the shark.
The result is marginally amusing, but ultimately forgettable and disappointing.
(Rated PG-13 for action/peril, bloody images, and some language.)