Just when we thought it was safe to get back in the water, along comes another giant shark movie. And we’ve every right to feel jittery. The title creature of sci-fi action thriller The Meg makes the monster in Jaws look like a shrimp. It is a 75-foot megalodon, a prehistoric shark long thought to be extinct.
Jason Statham’s strapping deep-sea diver Jonas Taylor doesn’t agree, but no one believes his claim that a giant creature from the deep tragically scuppered one of his missions. The disgrace has turned him into a boozy wreck. Yet five years later redemption comes knocking when he gets the call to rescue a band of international scientists trapped in a submersible at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, somewhere off the coast of China.
What we have here is essentially a B-movie with a big budget. It shares a sense of cheesy fun with all those schlocky shark movies the Syfy Channel churns out, but there’s a lot less gore than you’d find in a Sharknado film. The Meg is a family friendly 12-certificate movie.
It’s also a US-Chinese co-production, and you get the sense that the violence has been toned down for Chinese consumption. Hence, too, the film’s Asian setting and the presence of local star Li Bingbing as marine biologist and single mother Suyin. She’s Statham’s love interest here. To be honest, the pair’s romance is a bit wet, and so is much of the script.
Still, the film’s potential shark fodder – ranging from Rainn Wilson’s self-serving billionaire to a cute Pekinese called Pippin – deliver some nice, chewy moments. Most importantly, Statham enjoys himself enormously, and always seems to be in on the joke.
Certificate 12. Runtime 113 mins. Director Jon Turteltaub
The Meg available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Warner Bros.