The Meg Review

The Plot

A group of scientist uncover a deadly secret while exploring the very deepest recesses of the ocean. Now faced with a monster shark of unimaginable proportions they have to turn to the only man who has survived a past encounter with one and is just brave enough to get back in the water…

The Good

Jason Statham has the kind of rugged charm and self-aware swagger that wins over audiences quickly and allows them to largely suspend disbelief. It’s a valuable asset indeed with dealing with unashamedly silly action movie cliché’s. He clearly does his best to deliver predictably awful dialogue and to keep this film afloat. His presence certainly enhances the film considerably even if it might not be enough to save it overall.

For those most avid addicts of the guilty pleasure giant monster genre it will be nice to watch one on the big screen rather than on late night TV. Even if the quality is sadly much the same. The Meg at least has a significant budget and a few familiar faces on show.

The Meg offer some very occasional laughs and has at least a last minute flurry of action. Which thanks to the film’s 12 rating, can be watched by less discerning younger fans. At least the film is less likely to traumatise generations of people about going in the water like Jaws famously did.

The Bad

The Meg promised so much with a well cut trailer that worked miracles in projecting the film as a shamelessly silly and action packed monster thrill ride. Unfortunately those that flock to watch the actual film, hoping for big laughs and horrified gasps will find an embarrassingly short supply of both.

Aiming for a family friendly rating has largely neutered any potential horrific delights, robbing the film of the kind of genuine terror that makes Jaws such an undisputed classic. There’s very few moments in the film that will raise adrenalin levels much beyond abject boredom. Likewise for a ‘creature feature’ whose posters shamelessly boast of the gargantuan size of this prehistoric monster shark the film largely fails to deliver anything like that sense of scale. Poorly crafted and inconsistent effects work means that the shark never feels anywhere near as impressive or fun on screen as it does in single poster shots.

It’s also a shame to have to admit that the Meg gets surprisingly little screen time in a film that seems more preoccupied for large chunks with achingly dull family melodrama.

It’s also worth noting that the internationally co-financed production makes repeated use of Chinese locations, characters and language. The pandering for Chinese box office appeal feels a little distracting at times, particularly when it seemingly forces the film to focus on the dull human characters instead of the giant monster mayhem.

Even those most determined to enjoy the film thanks to its fun concept and appealing marketing campaign will find the slow paced, badly acted, lacklustre action and effects largely frustrates those efforts to take much pleasure from proceedings.

The Ugly Truth

The Meg had so much potential to be a perfect guilty pleasure, but sadly even Jason Statham’s gruff voiced charisma can’t distract from poor effects, non-existent plot and some truly atrocious acting. Even armed with a genuine blockbuster budget this film doesn’t offer any more than the typical forgettably awful monster movie that clogs up late night TV and the straight to DVD bargain bins.

Review by Russell Nelson

Leave A Comment