Rating: ★★ 1/2
Before I start my review, I think I should add a quick disclaimer. I knew fine well that I wasn’t walking into a Oscar-worthy, perfect film as soon as I booked my ticket for The Meg. With the exception of Jaws, how many shark films have actually been award worthy? We’ve seen a huge boom in shark popularity ranging from plausible to the downright stupid (yes Sharknado, I’m looking at you and your buddies). But despite my already low expectations, I still have a fair amount of criticism for what I saw.
My biggest problem from the get-go is that we get no explanation for why the megalodon, a shark that’s been extinct for 2 million years has suddenly came back to gobble people up. How did it survive? Why is it there? Even the most low budget, downright awful creature features try to offer some silly scientific explanation for why the antagonist exists at all. It’s dumb, but hey, at least they tried. The Meg makes no effort to try and explain anything which was frustrating to me. The most we got was “Oh hey, there’s this really big creature that we thought was extinct but it’s actually living down in the Marianas trench – surprise!”. This might be a sufficient explanation for some, but not for me.
Having said that, was it an entertaining film? Sure. I did really enjoy the visuals especially and thought they did an excellent job with the CGI and actually bringing this creature and the underwater facility to life. Cinematically it’s a stunning film to look at, and despite all this implausibility, it still transports you to this huge, unknown, underwater world for the duration. I’ve seen some terrible CGI in my time, but thankfully The Meg doesn’t fall into this category. These visuals make up for the cringe-worthy script and lines that were supposed to be serious and instead made me burst out laughing. But let’s be honest, I’d be disappointed if the script wasn’t this god-awful. You walk into a film like this expecting to face palm a couple of times, don’t you?
I would’ve liked a bit more brutality as the Meg is supposed to be a terrifying, monster shark that’s approximately 60 feet in length. (The Great White shark can grow up to 20 feet for comparison). Despite it’s 12 rating I’m sure more blood and violence would’ve been acceptable as Jaws managed to get away with it back in 1975. Who could forget that scene where an unfortunate fellow slides down into the shark’s mouth? Brutal. Whilst I appreciate this isn’t necessarily a horror film, it actually needed more violence and less filler scenes in my opinion. It’s not often that I ask for more violence, especially in an action film, yet here we are.
To conclude, The Meg is a fun way to spend your evening, but it ultimately felt like a high budget B-Movie. The actors tried their best with the script they had, but even people like Jason Statham and Ruby Rose couldn’t make it better. (what was up with Statham’s accent, by the way?!). If you’re wanting a silly shark film with more substance, I’d recommend Deep Blue Sea instead.