By James Davidson
In the newest movie starring Jason Statham, “The Meg”, deep-sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Statham) must rescue a team that has dived deeper than anyone else in history. During the rescue, the team unwittingly unleashes a giant, prehistoric sea monster, known as a “megalodon,” on the world. The group must destroy the monster before it reaches a heavily populated tourist beach.
Going into this movie, I was expecting to see a cheesy, cheaply made, ridiculous “B” monster movie. I was surprised that the plot was actually very strong and suspenseful throughout the entire movie. While the premise is very ridiculous, it is well-written and a lot of fun to watch. I appreciated that the movie did not seem to take itself too seriously and poked fun at how ridiculous the plot is.
While the acting was better than I was anticipating, it was very inconsistent. I thought the movie had a decent cast; highlighted by Statham, in addition to Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, and Robert Taylor. The acting differs depending on the actor and scene. Some scenes and actors/actresses are downright horrible, while other scenes are well-acted.
The special effects are also very inconsistent. Most of the special effects are Computer Generated (CG); some done very well and others more cartoon looking. There are also several scenes that are obviously done in front of a green screen with the entire background being computer generated. This coupled with the inconsistent acting creates an inconsistent feel to the film.
While the film is inconsistent, I enjoyed it nonetheless. Strong writing saves a cheesy, ridiculous plot. Except for a love story between Jason and scientist, Suyin (played by Bingbing Li), which I found unnecessary, there are not a lot of wasted scenes. The film is very fast-paced as it goes from one action scene to another, which made the two-hour run time fly by. I did have to question why these people are risking their lives trying to kill a giant prehistoric shark when they could just evacuate the beach. I also found myself wondering how many times someone could fall off of a boat into the ocean.
Strong performances by Statham and Wilson save lackluster acting by the rest of the cast. Robert Taylor and Binbing Li also have strong performances, the rest of the cast is very inconsistent with their acting.
“The Meg” is rated PG-13 for action/peril, bloody images and some language. The movie was very gory, but not overly so; which tends to be the case in cheaply made monster movies. Due to the gore, “The Meg” is not appropriate for younger viewers.
“The Meg” is cheesy and inconsistent, but is still a lot of fun and will be enjoyable as long as you go into the movie expecting that. I will probably rent this when it comes out on DVD to watch again, although I am not sure if it would be worth owning. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.