I‘ve been looking forward to this movie since I saw the first trailer because—like space movies—there’s something about the ocean that really draws me in. Of course, Jaws set the seed, but I have enjoyed other films with similar ideas like Deep Rising, Deep Blue Sea, Leviathan, and Deep Star Six. So how would the Meg stack up to these other films?
We start off with Jason Statham’s character doing a deep sea rescue from a submarine. Unfortunately, things go very wrong and a couple people die so it’s something his character must live with. We fast forward a few years and meet the science crew on an oceanic discovery platform out in the South China Sea. Here we find the goofy guy from The Office, whom I can’t stand, Rainn Wilson, is the billionaire who footed the bill for the whole thing. We also meet the crew and quite honestly, they were kind of a bland mix of people. Li Bingbing plays the single mother of the little girls we saw in the trailer and also the love interest for Statham’s character. Ruby Rose was in this. That’s about the extent of her role. She wasn’t bad, but she was definitely just supporting cast. Winston Chao played a scientist who is also the father of Li’s character. We round out with Cliff Curtis, whom I think was the captain, but the more I try and remember what he did, the less I do.
There were some other cast members, but they had even smaller parts. Really, the entire focus was on Statham’s character the entire time. So pretty much the entire cast was all bit players. Now that I think about it, I would say the Meg itself and Statham are the main characters. This isn’t much different than some of Statham’s other movies where he’s the big action hero. Take the likes of The Transporter, Crank, or The Mechanic and you pretty much have The Meg, which is not a bad thing if you’re into those kind of action films.
I’m getting a bit ahead of myself though. The first thing to note about this movie is that the trailer kind of leads you to believe the movie will be a bit different. Don’t get me wrong, what you see is what you get, but the first half or two thirds really focuses in on the scientists going into the deep ocean to try and find new and interesting discoveries. That’s why the big science platform was built. The beach stuff you see in the trailer is really much later in the movie. So my perception was that this would be a bit more like Jaws. Instead, I would compare it more to Deep Blue Sea except that instead of a genetically altered shark, it’s simply an old dinosaur shark. The grounded aspect of the big shark was pretty cool. We’ve had the mutated monster in all its forms, sometimes it’s nice to just have a regular old big dinosaur make a comeback and not in the gene splicing Jurassic Park kind of way either.
So I was actually surprised to watch how the story unfolded. I mean it’s not going to win any awards, but I would say this is a bit different, maybe not original, but different. If you’ve watched any of the films I’ve mentioned so far, you’ve seen this. Big monster comes out and humans fight it off. Is it worth your time though? Again, if you’ve watched and liked the movies I’ve already mentioned, absolutely! I loved this and it was very much worth watching on the big screen. TV’s are getting big, but holding a seventy-five foot Megalodon is something only the true big screen can handle.
Since were comparing this to the other movies of its kind, I would say, visually the effects were really good. There was a giant squid scene early on that was pretty well done. I wish more came from that actually. The Meg itself looked really good and whatever CGI was used, was well done, in my opinion. Computer effects can sometimes be very distracting and on the first viewing, wasn’t here. I know the last time I watched Deep Blue Sea, the sharks hadn’t aged well. The Meg seems pretty comparable to the Jaws shark in terms of effects, but definitely a lot more fluid in the modern age.
I haven’t even mentioned the rating yet which this comes in at PG-13. In my experience, your typical PG-13 movie is pretty much watered down kids movie; however, there was enough death and destruction here that it didn’t feel too watered down. There wasn’t much foul language to speak of either. I’m not sure an R rating would have helped or hurt though. I love violent movies, but sometimes that can get in the way of telling a good story, which in this case, I think it may have. Then again, I saw an interview with the director who indicated they wanted an R movie and had some really cool death scenes lined up. Apparently the studio did not want that, so they didn’t even shoot those scenes. I kind of wonder what this could be.
At the end of the day, The Meg is a lot of fun, and I really think this stacks up well to the other deep sea movies, but overall, I am kind of mixed on this. You have equal parts generic action film and cool monster movie. I would say if that interests you, then get out to see this in the theater because it’s worth it. I will definitely be adding this to my collection when it comes out on Blu-ray. All in all, I give this one 3/5 stars. It’s a lot of fun, but you know what you’re getting here.