I love a good shark movie. I really do.
You produce a good shark movie; fill it with a action, suspense and a touch of horror and I’m there!
The Meg – the latest entry in the shark genre – is sadly, not a good shark movie. It’s not a bad shark movie – it’s just not a good one.
I’ve just got back from the flicks, having watched the Jason Statham-starring The Meg. I knew what I was in for before I ponied up my ticket money and I was all ready to sit back and enjoy Statham Vs shark, with a large bag of popcorn to boot.
Alas, what I hoped would be two hours of action and laughs, with tongue firmly in cheek, turned out to be a bit of a snooze fest. I’ll be honest, there were times when I was bored and checking my watch.
As noted above, The Meg isn’t a bad movie; however it isn’t what it should be. While there are a few laughs and a couple of scenes designed to unnerve audience members, overall it’s just a bit pedestrian – and nothing we haven’t seen before.
Similar to the Dwayne Johnson-starring Skyscraper (which I did enjoy), The Meg has been made with an eye to attracting the Chinese market. As such, I’ve got my suspicions about why this film was put on the big screen in the first place.
To me, The Meg feels like a sub-par B-movie, which would ordinarily be reserved for a direct-to-DVD release. Somewhere along the way, the film got a bit of an upgrade thanks to Chinese investment (which is why China plays such a heavy part in the movie) with the thought that, ‘well, if it bombs in the US it’ll at least recoup its costs overseas’.
That’s fine – and a sound way for a studio to ensure its movie doesn’t tank – but at least make the film good! Understand what type of movie you are making and push it firmly in one direction.
The Meg isn’t suspenseful enough to be Jaws (1975); it isn’t action-packed enough to be Deep Blue Sea (1999); and it isn’t self-deprecating enough to be Deep Rising (1998). OK, so that last one isn’t a shark movie, but it’s set at sea and features monsters and… look, it’s the same kind of thing.
My point is, The Meg just doesn’t really know what it wants to be and as a result it ends up being a middle-of-the-road affair that’s watchable but not really exciting. It’s also not the hammy movie that the trailer suggests it is – so don’t be fooled!
Had someone like Dwayne Johnson starred in this movie (alongside Statham) then maybe it would have elevated the film somewhat and given it a few more laughs – but then, maybe not. Either way, The Meg disappointed me and is not something I would rush out to recommend.
Are there any redeeming features?
Erm… there’s a bit with a dog which made me laugh.
Yeah, that’s about it.
The 12A rating makes this film too tame for the horror crowd and the action is too infrequent to satisfy those looking for a big blockbuster. There are simply much better shark movies out there than this.