Breihan Dryden, A&E Writer
Back in 1975, Steven Spielberg unleashed his cinematic masterpiece onto the unsuspecting masses in the form of Jaws. Adapted from the (surprise) hit book of the same name, Jaws made waves with both critics and audiences alike, creating not only the summer blockbuster, but also solidifying and legitimizing the shark genre of film into what we know today. The Meg, much like Jaws, was also based on a novel. Written by Steve Alten, The Meg (the novel’s name is simply Meg) has been stuck in development hell for quite some time now. Originally, New Line Cinema was to release the film in 2008 with Guillermo Del Toro directing, but when 2008 came and went without a splash from our favorite prehistoric monstrosity, back into the depths the
project went. After the rights were dropped from New Line and Del Toro was gone, next up to direct was the saint of splatter himself, Eli Roth. But, surprise surprise, this never happened. Finally, after twenty one years of teasing, we the fans finally get to take a bite out of this lonnnnnng awaited treat. So, does The Meg sink or swim when it comes to adaptations of shark novels? Oh, it swims baby. Like a megalodon creeping up from the bottom of the ocean.
This review is not going to go into much detail concerning the story of the film, because it is still making serious bank in theatres and I don’t want to spoil it for those who are still planning on going to see it. In summary, Jason Statham plays Jonas Taylor, a rescue diver who loses two men during a deep sea rescue. While in the depths, something rams into the hull of the submarine that their on and forces Jonas to leave the remaining men in order to save everyone else. This royally screws Jonas up and he “retires” to Thailand, disgraced and thought to be crazy. Fast forward five years and Jonas is dragged out of “retirement” in order to rescue his ex-wife (who left him after the incident on the sub) from the bottom of the Marianas trench, where her crew has discovered a gosh darn megalodon. While this story isn’t going to wow you with utter brilliance, it will keep you hooked from the start with some smart pacing and some genuinely wonderful acting from all those involved. Outside of god-king Statham, we have Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) playing an eccentric tool of a billionaire and boy is he delightful. Cliff Curtis (the stepdad from Fear The Walking Dead) is another treat as Jonas’s old partner who wrangles him back into the water. This is a film with what feels like genuine people genuinely trying to do good. They’re nerds in thewater that accidentally release a megalodon and actively try to contain and/or kill the monster. It’s almost like Lake Placid, but with an even bigger beastie.
Water and shark based puns aside, The Meg is a solid summer blockbuster and the best shark film since Deep Blue Sea (suck it The Shallows and 47 Meters Down). The characters are likeable and entertaining, the story has a quick pace, the cinematography is wonderful at capturing the scale of the monster, and the CG is actually really, really good. They’ve even thrown in some great practical effects as icing on the cake. Look, you already know if you’re going to be the kind of person who enjoys this movie. If you aren’t interested in seeing Jason Statham fight a megalodon 1.) What is wrong with you? and 2.) What is wrong with you? If that totally seems up your alley, then you won’t be disappointed. Trust me, you’ll have way more fun with this than Jurassic World 2.