The Meg is a lousy monster movie featuring a bloated plotline and one-dimensional characters. Not only does the script fall flat, but also the movie’s title character, the Meg, is a watered down version of the killer shark made famous in Jaws. At a grueling 113 minutes, The Meg will have you stirring in your seat for all the wrong reasons.
At an underwater research facility near Shanghai, China, a group of scientists work to prove that the deepest part of the earth’s surface has yet to be uncovered. Funded by an affable billionaire (Rainn Wilson), the research facility sends a submersible carrying three crewmembers to the bottom of the ocean in hopes of confirming their theory. When an unknown object strikes the submersible, leaving the crewmembers stranded, the research team enlists Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham), an esteemed, yet damaged deep-sea diver, to rescue the crew. However, Jonas uncovers something much more sinister living at the bottom of the ocean—the megalodon, an extinct mega shark species.
My expectations for The Meg were realistic, or so I thought. I assumed I was going to be served up another action-packed Jason Statham-led movie. I was wrong. While The Meg does have plenty of Jason Statham, it doesn’t have a whole lot of action. Even the movie’s climax failed to deliver a single exciting moment. I was so unengaged that I tuned out the last 20 minutes or so and didn’t realize it until the credits started rolling. It’s not Jason Statham’s fault though. He and the other actors did their best given a lackluster script.
There’s a lot of exposition happening in the script, and consequently on the screen. We’re provided explanations on Jonas’ past, how the megalodon infiltrated our waters, how to kill the megalodon, how a shark cage works, and so on. While these things are meant to provide additional context, they really just drive up the running time. I wish there would have been less exposition and more character development because we end up learning a lot about nothing important.
In the end, The Meg offers little else than a reminder to all beachgoers to stay vigilant this summer. Fortunately for us all, the megalodon remains extinct.