The Meg was, unfortunately, a film I was so looking forward to seeing. Now, after all of these years of waiting, I would wish nothing more but to un-see it.
Okay, it’s a killer shark movie, I get that. I wasn’t expecting anything special but I was hoping for a bit of gruesome fun. It was funny alright but in all the wrong ways.
If you don’t know already, The Meg is based on an international best-seller by Steven Alten. There isn’t just one book, nope, you can bet that big Meggy will be surfacing from the depths of the oceans for more battles with shark exterminator-diver-extraordinaire, Mr Jonas Taylor. It is easy to see why this movie is got made after all these years in development hell. They smell a Megaverse.
So here’s what happens: Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is a bad-ass Navy Seal, Marine, diver whatever guy. He is on a secret mission to try to bring back undocumented species from the cold depths of the ocean. Why?. Don’t know, don’t really care.
Of course, he succeeds, but sadly he loses a lot of men when a Megalodon smashed into his sub. Using his amazing gill-like swimming ability our fishy hero Jonas Taylor is able to save 11 of his men. When he goes back with stories of giant sharks he gets laughed at by his superiors. That’s the worst mistake the Navy or whatever the fuck he was in could ever make because it’s completely obvious that Mr Taylor is and will always be the best in the business.
Unable to live with the loss of his fellow divers, Mr Taylor now spends his days in Thailand drowning his sorrows. He has moved into an apartment above a small bar and has decided to drink his worries and guilt-ridden soul away.
That’s until his old pals come flying in to get him to do one last job. Jonas Taylor says something like (in proper Statham fashion)
“You’re gonna offer me a job. I am gonna say no. You’re gonna offer me money. I am gonna say no. You will offer me more money. I am gonna still say no. So, let’s just sit down enjoy a few beers and then you can be on your way“. They then reply with “listen to this, Jonas, it’s your ex-wife, she’s in trouble“.
He then agrees in what was the easiest mission persuasion/negotiation in film history. well, that was easy, wasn’t it?. There’s more to this, but I will leave this mind-blowing plot revelation until the end of this spoiler-filled review.
So, where was I? oh yeah, Jason Statham is now back in the wetsuit and ready to save his ex-wife from the jaws of death. His binge drinking days and rugged living in Thailand have enabled him to keep his 6-pack and physique. He looks pretty damn fit, and we have the top-off shots and drooling Asian to prove this.
When he gets to the boat and underwater Meg-proof HQ we meet our other characters. You can pretty much guess who is gonna die; we have some Asians, a black guy and a couple of white people thrown in, you know, just to keep us guessing. I am pretty sure these Asians were cast because Meg was partly financially backed by some big Chinese big-wigs ( Flagship Entertainment Group Gravity Pictures) If a movie is gonna be a hit anywhere else, it might as well be China. Maybe, I am wrong. I would like to find out if Alten’s novel had such a huge Asian influence.
AND, Oh My God, whoever designed Ruby Rose’s looks needs hit in the face with a fish. I am no hairdresser or fashionista. All I could think about when she was on-screen was, “I really wanna wash her hair”. Then a big shark appears on the screen and I am still like “I really think she really needs to wash her hair”. One of the most jaw-dropping scenes in The Meg was seeing her get her hair wet. I was hoping Jonas Taylor would’ve of jumped in with a bit of shampoo and started to scrub.
There is also a ridiculous scene with Bingbing Li’s character (what was her name?. Don’t know. Don’t care). Anyways, she and the crew think it’s a great idea to use a shark cage to battle this monster shark. Obviously, it’s the worst idea ever and she nearly becomes shark food. NEARLY, becomes shark food. That’s until Jonas jumps into the water and swims to the depths of the ocean to rescue her. Jonas’ alcoholic lifestyle in Thailand has also enabled him to swim better than Ariel from The Little Mermaid, or whatever Kevin Costner’s character was called in Waterworld. Not only can he swim better than a fish, but he also seems to be immune to the bends.
When Jason Statham finally puts his clothes back on and Bingbing Li’s hollow and poorly-written female character picks her jaw up off the ground we finally get to see Meg wreak some havoc.
This is over in the blink of an eye and we no matter how many people seem to be getting eaten, you just don’t give a shit. That’s until the best part of the movie enters our screen and steals our hearts. Pippins, the little dog is thrown accidentally and carelessly into the ocean by scared party-goers and left to fend for herself against big Meg.
She then disappeared, our heart sank, the best performance in this whole movie was gone within one minute of entering the screen.
A predictable, laughable experience. I enjoyed laughing at this and I am glad the girlfriend had the exact same issues as myself. Watch this with someone likeminded like yourself. It is still a bad movie but makes for a nice evening of laughs.
An obvious kiddie-friendly attempt to get young kids obsessed with Meg and to create the Megaverse. Here is what we can expect in the future.
MEG: Primal Waters
MEG: Hell's Aquarium
MEG: Night Stalkers
MEG: Purgatory Yup, all of the above are potential sequels
A film that really could’ve had some potential but followed every single cliche in the book. It’s easy to see why Eli Roth left the project due to creative differences.
OUT OF 5
Words By Gary Gamble Founder/Owner @ Moviehooker