Pleased To Eat You
Despite the mega hype and box office success, The Meg uses shark-movie clichés and lacks originality.
While trying to reach a new level of the ocean floor that’s hidden by a layer of frozen gas, Scientists from a new underwater research station are attacked by a 75-foot prehistoric shark and as a result deep sea expert Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is called in to rescue the crew and must face off against the now escaped giant shark before it reaches more populated waters.
Aside from a few thrilling chase scenes (Jonas being reeled in like fish bait while the Meg follows close behind) the film doesn’t have much impact. The body count seems low if you subtract the one scene where the shark invades a beach full of tube-happy swimmers. The fatalities that do occur aren’t very exciting or memorable.
Statham’s tough guy character is a saving grace to the film and it’s enjoyable watching him outsmart Megalodon. He shares some decent on screen chemistry with female lead Suyin played by Li Bingbing but the rest of the cast are generic and borderline stereotypical.
Similarities to other shark movies make The Meg feel quite predictable. For example the cute Yorkshire Terrier named Pippin is comparable to Pippet, the unlucky Labrador Retriever in Jaws. Taken straight from LL Cool J and Deep Blue Sea, Statham stabs the shark in the eye with a sharp object. And although not a shark movie, we’ve had our fair share of prehistoric creatures attacking humans trapped in glass cages – Jurassic World.
Sadly, the film fails to live up to its eye-catching ad campaign and the ‘bigger is better’ rule doesn’t prove to be true here. The Meg is proof that special effects don’t automatically equal an effective thriller. Methods used in 1975 horror classic Jaws, like using the shark’s point of view are more frightening and add a layer of suspense. I think reality appears to be more terrifying here, the Meg is impossibly large, a real shark may pale in comparison, but I definitely fear this real-life creature lurking bellow the depths way more than a bloated CGI fish. Spielberg said it best “it’s what we don’t see which is truly terrifying.”