“All shark and no bite”
They promised you big, and big we got, but probably not necessarily what the producers were hoping for.
The BIG question lies in two classification rating. Whilst they strive to appease a wider market with an M rating, those hungry for some blood, guts, and full-on gore will be sorely disappointed. The Meg shark never really scares or shocks the audience and on more than one occasion appears happy to just swim around waiting for the humans to plan time-consuming methods to either tag or destroy the beast.
The movie does spend a hell of a long time building up some backstory to the main protagonists so that the audience will hopefully give a damn about their outcome but a lot of the time leans towards a predictable conclusion.
The main criticism is primarily focused on Jonas’ (Jason Statham) plight. The film set up shows Jonas needing to make a critical decision during a deep sea rescue, which ultimately leaves two of his comrades to die. The issue I found is that we aren’t really ever introduced to these two characters or their relationship with Jonas for this blow to have any devastating impact. This ain’t no Maverick / Goose moment.
Instead we rely on Statham’s angst at this supposed ordeal as he grimaces and tries to pull his best pensive expression.
The result leaves Jonas all washed up and resorting to drink.
So, when an experimental science expedition uncovers an unexplored underwater terrain, which inadvertently sets The Meg free, who should be could back into action to rescue those trapped in perilous depths? None other than our friend Jonas.
There’s some weak plots thrown into the midst, with Jonas’ ex being one of the survivors in need of rescue, but there’s enough of a twist to push the love interest in a different direction before falling prey to a predictable path.
To the writers’ credit though, there is enough interest in the characters to keep you interested… just. And the cast is solid enough to ground some of those characters.
Ultimately though, this is a Statham movie, so it’s not going to ground-breaking but it is going to be entertaining.
Naturally some people will want to compare this movie to Jaws, the Titan of shark movies, but as big as you will make the shark, the result will always fall under the giant shadow that Spielberg’s classic still holds. And no blatant rip-off beach sequence is going to elevate anyone’s belief in that stat, although I did love the inflatable water walking balloon and Pippin the dog for comic value.
Not Statham’s finest hour but worth the plunge all the same.
- Saul Muerte