Jacob Richardson | 16/08/2018
Not nearly as fun as it should be, The Meg is at it’s best when it doesn’t give a fuck.
When a scientific research crew is stranded at the bottom of the ocean after an attack from a massive creature, they call in a man many believe is crazy to save the day. Rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) must save the day and bring the crew back to the surface. The only problem is, they don’t know what they’ve brought back with them; a 75-foot-long prehistoric shark known as the Megalodon.
If you’ve seen any of the marketing material, trailers or posters for The Meg, you should know what to expect going in (indeed, from the title you should have a pretty clear idea too). The Meg is pitched as a fun, laughter-filled gore fest with Statham battling a ridiculously big shark. And certainly, at some points, it succeeds.
There is a great final battle, man v shark. There are also a range of funny moments, one-liners and smirk-worthy shots. Alas, they are just too few and far between. For the majority of the film the laughs stem not from the sheer ridiculousness of the giant shark, nor from scripted comedy, but rather from the horrific script, laden with increasingly hilarious dialogue, and the poor acting on display in delivering it.
Ruby Rose, Bing Bing Li, Rainn Wilson and Page Kennedy are all dead in the water with this script. They can’t manage to bring any life or vitality to their characters. Indeed, it is only Statham himself and Jessica McNamee as his estranged ex-wife that have any sense of likeability. They at least manage to bring some measure of believability to their performance, and the interplay between them is nice. Comparatively, the rest of the cast is sleepwalking.
In the end, The Meg should have been a rip-roaring bit of B-movie schlock horror. But with little to no blood (it has a PG rating) and a script that presumably has had half of every scene torn out by a prehistoric shark, it ends up a plodding, boring mess of a genre film.
The Meg is a wasted premise, saved only intermittently by Statham, who has to carry a lacklustre cast on his back as well as the 75-foot shark.