Giant shark versus Jason Statham? Well, I suppose it’s not as ludicrous as a tornado filled with sharks. But that’s almost a shame. The problem with The Meg isn’t that it’s a bad film. It is self-aware enough so that it doesn’t foolishly aspire to be Jaws. But nor is it quite silly enough to belong in the pantheon of outrageous sharksploitation flicks like Deep Blue Sea. It is, alas, deeply average.
The lunatic plot concerns a billionaire and his ought-to-know-better scientific cronies discovering a new deep-sea ecosystem and inadvertently unleashing a huge Megalodon shark. Cue retired diving expert Jason Statham to the rescue, who has the regulation no-one-believed-me “past” with this creature. A cast of stock B-movie characters await to provide shark fodder.
There is absolutely no point applying logic to a film like this, although it is disappointing that the major shocks and twists are so painfully predictable. Director Jon Turteltaub stages the odd mildly effective set-piece (Statham’s attempt to swim to the Megalodon to plant a tracker on its fin, for example), but most of the action lacks anything approaching a sense of peril. That’s also down to the poor dialogue and equally poor acting, particularly in the first half.
The best gag in The Meg occurs in the very last shot, by which point you might smile if you are feeling good natured enough. In the interests of fairness, I must report that my nine-year-old greatly enjoyed the film, so perhaps if you have a monster movie obsessed child, it might prove diverting. Otherwise, there are better blockbusters out there at present.