Not Jaws, but still fun.
In honor of Shark Week 2021, our blog reviews will cover two shark based films this month. We’re also choosing films we hadn’t seen before. First up, The Meg!
The Meg (2018) preys on our fear of the deepest parts of the ocean we’ve yet to discover. The film is a fun escape and has some bite to it.
The film has been out for a while, so why did it take so long for us to watch it? Truthfully, we can’t really say. Sometimes you plan on seeing something, in theaters or on streaming services, and things just happen. Doesn’t mean the film is horrible; just that life sometimes gets away from you. Now that we’ve seen it, would we have spent the money in theaters? No. Is it worth streaming, buying a digital copy, etc? If you like shark films that don’t take themselves seriously, yes.
The Meg starts off like many other films in the same genre. A science facility funded by an uber-wealthy man tries to prove that the bottom of the ocean as we know it… well, isn’t the actual bottom. The cast of characters are as follows: the headstrong scientist, his colleague who also is his daughter, his innocent granddaughter, the sacrificial lamb who only lasts a few minutes, an expert who looks different than the protagonists expects, the drama of an ex-wife and new love interest, the tortured hero and even a dog that we screamed “PIPPIN” referencing Jaws at the screen. The dog in The Meg, also named Pippin, is an homage of sorts but please filmmakers just stop. Please leave our furry friends on DRY LAND! They didn’t ask for this… but we digress.
Considering all the above, why do we give it three stars? Because it never claims to be anything other than a cool, campy-esque type film. When the facility’s submersible proves that the mapped ocean floor isn’t the true bottom, they’re immediately attacked. Enter Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) as the ONLY person who could ever mount a rescue at that depth. He grabs the second submersible and heads down. Before we can cheer that the Megalodon still lives, their meddling opened the doorway for the fish to hit the upper layers of the ocean. Now the race to save the oceans and all the potential victims is on.
The action sequences showcasing the massive Meg with smaller sharks in the water or the beach with humans are done well and add to the fun factor of the film. The CGI doesn’t feel cheap in any of these scenes. The final battle feels too short, but maybe the budget couldn’t handle more at this point.
Nothing will ever come to the level of Jaws, and many films have failed trying to duplicate it. The Meg (2018) is simply a fun film. There is violence and some scares here and there, but overall it never takes itself too seriously. So, if it’s on streaming or you want a fun rental, go for it.