The Meg

For over forty years, ‘Jaws’ has cast a huge shadow. Since it roared its way onto cinema screens, the tale of a massive shark terrorizing beach-goers has seen countless imitators. Some have been passable while others simply have been atrocious. A lot depends on how seriously they tackle the story. ‘The Meg’ goes for a definite tongue in cheek vibe. Although having a few dramatic moments, ‘The Meg’ is a glossy popcorn flick managing not to disgrace the memory of its better known predecessor.

Rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is part of a mission to dive further into the depths of the deep blue sea. Amongst the group are his ex-wife Lori (Jessica McNamee) and Dr Zhang (Winston Chow). When their research submarine accidentally awakens an enormous prehistoric shark, all hell breaks loose. Hungry for food after being dormant, the beast has Jonas and his friends in its sights. A watery grave awaits if they don’t defeat the monster before it chomps on more unsuspecting aquatic lovers.

Directed with a modicum of flair by Jon Turteltaub, ‘The Meg’ is an often outrageously silly flick. The acting is wooden, the script over-long and laughably dim with predictability the order of the day. It should be a complete disaster but manages to barely scrape through due to some excellent CGI and vague attempts at genuine tension. Take the best bits of the ‘Jaws’ films and you have ‘The Meg’. Its’ huge budget may not have been well spent but it has an amiable flavour that isn’t easily dismissed.

Statham and company ham it up for all its worth with the CGI shark giving a better performance. The beast is a suitably scary sight to behold with Turteltaub wringing what atmosphere he can from the shonky screenplay. The scenes in the deep-sea vessel plus the sea look amazing and it’s pleasing seeing a more multi-national group of characters lending believability. The rest of the film is pure schlock so it’s best not to take it too seriously.

Whilst having several terrible moments of bad film-making, ‘The Meg’ never commits the cardinal sin of being boring. There’s always something fun to look forward to whether it’s the ghastly acting or plotting. ‘The Meg’ is dumb fun proving it’s always best to stay alert when treading water.

Rating out of 10: 5

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