The Meg (2018)

the meg poster 2018 movie
4.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

Giant shark

Dull story with little direction

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Meg

Studio:  Apelles Entertainment

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Horror

Release Date(s):  August 8, 2018 (Indonesia/Philippines)/August 10, 2018 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

the meg shark beach scene

There’s something new in the water

Billionaire Jack Morris (Rainn Wilson) has funded the Mana One underwater research facility run by Dr. Minway Zhang (Winston Chao) that has just made a major discovery.  Beneath a hidden layer of the ocean floor is a deep trench teeming with life…and something else.  When the research sub is attacked by a thought to be extinct megalodon, deep-sea diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is called in to rescue the sub.  Unfortunately, the megalodon has been released into the open ocean, and it is hungry.  Now Jonas, Zhang’s daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing), and the researchers must find a way to stop the meg before it eats everything in its path.

Directed by Jon Turteltaub, The Meg is a horror action movie adaptation of Steve Alten’s 1997 thriller Meg.  The film was tied up with production problems for years with Disney initially tied to the film.  Purchased by Warner Bros., the film’s original director Eli Roth dropped out to be replaced by Turteltaub.  The film was released to a big box office but mixed to negative reviews.  It received a Razzie nomination for Worst Remake, Rip-Off, or Sequel.

the meg shark eats cage

Yeah. No one saw this was a bad idea

I actually read Meg not long after it was released.  It was a rather cheesy, “dumb”, light book that took the ideas of Benchley’s Jaws a step further by having a massive shark.  The trailers for The Meg really didn’t sell me, but I hoped for a fun, popcorn movie…but I don’t think it delivered.

The problem with The Meg is that not only is it predictable (it knowingly plays with some shark movie clichés), but it is kind of dull.  The story plods along with little direction as the shark first menaces the research station, then menaces a boat, then menaces a beach…only to be done in rather unsatisfyingly with the action never really feeling like it peaked.  An R-Rating, more danger, and more of a self-reflexive script might have done better kind of like Piranha and the remake of Piranha which had fun and pushed the edge of the format.

The cast is also rather blasé.  Jason Statham does his best Jason Statham impression and fights the shark sometimes literally.  I’m not a huge, and he just doesn’t have the timing of a comedic actor nor the punch of one of the big action stars.  Rainn Wilson gets the “meaty” role as the goofball millionaire, but it is also just feels like an amalgam of other similar characters in similar movies.  Ruby Rose feels like her role was cut because it never felt like her character developed, but Li Bingbing wasn’t bad as the romantic lead.

the meg ending jason statham kills shark

Man wins another battle of “Man vs. Nature”…at least Jason Statham won this one

The special effects are so-so.  There has been a lot of technological improvement since Jaws was made in 1975, but with the PG-13 rating and the push for action over horror, The Meg doesn’t feel like it has the same substance as early shark movies.  With CGI sharks and monsters, they feel like they don’t have substance.  The Meg looks a lot better than “Bruce” from Jaws, but the danger felt bigger.

The Meg was a disappointment because it should have just been a fun movie.  Instead, it lacked fun and just had people repeatedly falling into the water (and generally nothing happening to them).  With so many bad SyFy Channel movies with Mega-Sharks and Octosharks, The Meg shouldn’t have taken itself so seriously.  The success of the film has led to plans for a sequel, so the Meg will swim again!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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