A B-Movie about a massive prehistoric shark with a blockbuster budget and a Hollywood star cast is a recipe for fun if nothing else. The Meg takes itself the right amount of not seriously, with enough done po-faced and concerned while everything else is just downright ridiculous.
What is surprising is how the first act plays to the more serious side and is actually very effective. A deep sea rescue, people trapped and being terrorised by an unknown entity and Jason Statham as the only man who can save the day. Its tense, edge of your seat and very entertaining. It gives you hope for what the rest of the film can deliver.
When the movie is focused on these tense set-pieces, the movie works very well. It manages to keep the shark a believable threat without it being far too unstoppable and you are rooting for the characters who are going up against it. Their plans are fairly ridiculous but if you buy into it for the most part and can let the entertainment of the plot carry you along, you’ll find a lot to like here.
The cast also helps. Statham has proved himself as a capable action star and he has little to do here but tap into his past as an Olympic diver. Bingbing Li is also good as the female lead and holds her own against the shark and her male counterpart. The rest of the cast is solid too, from the likes of Cliff Curtis and Rainn Wilson through to newcomers like Ruby Rose and Page Kennedy. Sometimes they find themselves falling into stereotype but not enough that you can’t move past it and the right character get killed anyway.
Considering how good the cast are and how fun the movie is for key moments, its such a shame that the writing and script is so badly put together. At times you would believe this was a B-Movie script that got an injection of money, but nobody changed the dialogue. It can be painfully cheesy at times and does use some pretty predictable and well-worn plot devices to give characters cliched backgrounds in place of any actual development.
Overall, The Meg is a fun, well-cast and well-realised disaster movie with a budget bigger than it deserves. Statham is a solid action star up against a decent enemy in a prehistoric shark. The cracks begin to show with a poor script and cheesy, predictable plot points.
Rating – 3.5
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