Although released in 2018, Jason Statham starrer “The Meg” only recently popped up on Netflix’s notification, as one of the top 10 movies to watch—in Nepal. Couldn’t be more thankful to Netflix for the recommendation when finding a movie worth watching was getting difficult, especially with the influx of boring Halloween-targeted horror/thrillers.
The Meg—loosely based on the 1997 book “Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror” by Steve Alten—features a gigantic megalodon, the largest shark ever discovered and thought to be extinct for two million years. Like most action, sci-fi, adventure movies that deal with gigantic creatures, the plot is simple and predictable. But there are definitely twists that demand the audience’s uninterrupted attention—the giant creature can be suddenly on-screen to scare you out of your wits.
Retired after a botched rescue attempt that caused the death of his colleagues, rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is called back for another mission by an underwater research facility called Mana One. Reluctant to take up the mission at first, Taylor finds more than one reason to agree to the deep-sea rescue, below the Marian Trench. First, his ex-wife Lori (Jessica McNamee) is among the stranded crew. Second, the creature that attacked his vessel in the first mission seems to be back.
So our hero undertakes the rescue mission and successfully brings back the crew. The story doesn’t end there though. This is not a one-time rescue flick. Later, Taylor and the crew of Mana One find themselves engulfed literally between the devil and the deep blue sea and getting out alive becomes their biggest obstacle.
Directed by Jon Turteltaub, The Meg was a box office success following its theatrical release in RealD 3D. Even without the 3D on our computer screens, we can only imagine how terrifying the 75-feet-long megalodon would have looked on the big screen. The film’s special effects and CGI are top-notch, and go well with an evenly paced script and disciplined direction.
But as enjoyable as it is, this movie is not to be confused with the sci-fi masterpieces that created benchmarks in global cinema. The Meg is more like a cross between “Jaws” and “10,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, with improved cinematic technology. The acting is basic, the dialogues simple, and subtitle eye-friendly, and the plot is mostly one-way with no backstories or sub-plots to alleviate the monotony.
But again, The Meg makes up for all its simplicity with great visual effects and straightforward screenplay. Unlike most sci-fi films that fail miserably because of way too much melodrama and human interest stories, The Meg refrains from overdoing this bit. In any case, it doesn’t give the audience much time to think about what’s wrong with the movie through most of its 1hr 5 mins runtime.
Who should watch it?
The Meg is a movie made for a wider, global audience. It may have taken many liberties in explaining the science behind its story. Still, it is definitely entertaining for most of the audience and although it may not have as big an impact as the groundbreaking “Jurassic Park” series, its sequel titled “Meg 2: The Trench” is already in development.