Shark Week may be over but the adventure is in theaters this week where all your giant shark dreams (and nightmares) come true in The Meg.
Researchers about to open a billion dollar facility 200 miles off the coast of China make a scientific breakthrough and unwittingly bring a prehistoric giant megaladon back to the surface, who promptly starts eating everything in sight. Fearless rescuer Jonas (get it? Jonas like Jonah and the whale? –played by Jason Statham) arrives to help save the Pacific from the Meg along with the help of a group of driven and endearing scientists, including biologist and love interest Suiyin (Bingbing Li) and her adorably precocious daughter, Meiying (Sophia Cai). Rainn Wilson plays Morris, the billionaire investor in the project who provides comic relief and cheerleading. Supporting cast in the film include familiar faces: Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black), Cliff Curtis (Fear the Walking Dead), Page Kennedy (Weeds), Masi Oka (Heroes) and Olafur Darri Olafsson (Trapped).
The Meg is a big budget action film with a giant shark that successfully weaves human relationships between ridiculous (ly fun) action sequences and bite scenes. This film is light on science and accuracy, but seriously, that’s not why you’re here, right? You want to see a giant shark do giant shark stuff. There’s plenty of that in the Meg but also be prepared for a strong dose of character and relationship development. Often in these types of films the effort to show connection between the characters falls flat and serves only to interrupt the action, but the Meg is able to feature these interactions in a way that is sweet and authentic.
What I liked: The film is beautiful to watch especially the early underwater sequences in Real D 3-D. Brief but important commentary on shark finning for soups in Asia. Jason Statham in a towel. Supporting cast from beloved shows. Giant shark. I repeat, Giant Shark.
What I didn’t: Giant shark eats baby whale and makes me sad. Some moments of action hero-ness feel almost over the top enough to pull me out of the moment of the film, ie I have to work hard through some moments to stay in the movie. Filmmakers missed the opportunity to recreate this viral photoshop job (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicopter_Shark)
7/10 for sheer enjoyability.