Warning: Mild spoilers ahead!
The first thing viewers are going to need to understand about going to see The Meg is that it’s clearly intended as a popcorn movie. There’s no art house profundity, no powerhouse acting, no bar-raising story to tell, just a lot of action and Jason Statham being the answer to all life’s problems.
And to that end, filmmakers succeeded with The Meg.
There’s ample suspense, as Statham floats in the water mere inches from the mouth of a giant, prehistoric shark, just after shooting its fin with a tracking device. We watch a tiny dog try to escape the jaws of a shark the size of at least one school bus.
There’s even a vague moment of intensity when an 8-year-old girl stands unknowingly before the gaze of a giant monster-shark, just the other side of a glass barrier.
Jason Statham, as per usual, is all business and solves every problem by simply being Jason Statham. Audiences who have seen and enjoyed Crank or The Transporter will no doubt appreciate the unwavering simplicity of yet another action movie focusing on one, infallible principal:
Nothing beats Jason Statham. Period.
Big shark? No problem, get Jason Statham. He will swim down to the bottom of the ocean and stab a megalodon in the eye.
Yes, it’s way over the top, but if it’s a movie formula that isn’t broke, why try to fix it? And The Meg is living proof that the super-human Jason Statham formula still works.
That said, The Meg fails in one area where Crank didn’t, that area being having the gumption to actually “go for it.” Filmmakers had the opportunity to “go for it” and instead opted for a PG-13 rating. It’s common enough, but in the end, the movie usually suffers, as was the case with The Meg.
If filmmakers are going to extend the runtime of their over-the-top action/sci-fi blockbuster by taking audiences to a crowded beach, offering up a veritable buffet for a gigantic, man-eating shark, great! That sounds like a worthy cause for keeping someone in a theater. The problem is that the shark only shows up at the beach to give a few scares and cause a few mediocre, mostly-offscreen deaths, and that’s just not right.
As recently reported by the Inquisitr, Jason Statham was quoted as saying the final product was a bit different from the script, complaining that a lot of blood and gore was removed from the film. Jason’s complaints now make perfect sense, as what could have been one of the greatest scenes in shark-movie history turned out to be a mildly interesting one at best.
Overall, The Meg is a lot of fun and probably worth the price of admission, if you’re just looking to turn your brain off for the evening and have some fun. However, for those looking for serious horror movie gore-fests like Piranha 3D (2010), be prepared to not find it here.
Now if we could just get a comment from Neil deGrasse Tyson on how accurate the science was in this movie.