The Meg

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The Meg is about a group of people who devise a plan to defeat an extraordinary life form. The same can be said for movies like Deep Blue Sea, Anaconda, and Independence Day which are very entertaining.  Others like Deep Rising, Virus, and Ghost Ship are passable. But the Meg occupies a unique position of being in between those two groups; More than passable but not as  entertaining as one would hope for. In this story, a team of researchers work at a high tech underwater facility in the middle of the ocean. Using a submarine they discover a lower ocean bottom that flourishes with elusive life forms. But then a giant creature swims toward the sub, bashing it, creating an emergency situation. The creature is a prehistoric shark that later swims to the surface and heads for the shoreline. 

Performing the characters are a diverse cast including Winston Chao and Li Bingbing as father and daughter supervisors of underwater explorations; (Li Bingbing brings her young daughter played by Shuya Sophia). Then there’s Robert Taylor as a doctor, Rainn Wilson performing as a project financier, and Page Kennedy as a computer expert who insists that he can’t swim. Ruby Rose is the unconventional expert whose expertise isn’t really emphasized. And Jason Statham is Jonas, the go-to-guy for rescue operations. He’s been an alcoholic in self-exile (after a failed mission) and a couple of former peers persuade him to come back for the submarine rescue. With regards to thrills, they mostly happen during the hunt where they lure the Meg and try to hook it. These moments aren’t great cinema but have a sense of danger which in more than one scene involves a character swimming closer to the shark. The special effects are passable and the deep ocean looks a little scary on the movie theater screen depending on a viewer’s fear.  But The film is not without some obvious issues. A couple of the performances are a little unnatural and there’s also an over-emphasis on Jonas past failures (maybe because the tragedy at the beginning wasn’t emotionally conveyed enough). Nevertheless The Meg, directed by Jon Turteltaub (who did National Treasure), can strike viewers as a unique film. It isn’t as involving as Deep Blue Sea, for example, but it likely won’t be disregarded when released on video. 

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