It has taken more than two decades for Steve Alten’s “Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror” to be adapted into a feature film. The rights were originally obtained by Disney, but then passed on over to Warner Bros. Maybe Disney didn’t want to release a man-eating-shark flick. That however, didn’t stop Director Jon Turteltaub (who has done quite a few live action Disney films like “National Treasure”, “Cool Runnings”, and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”) from getting behind the camera here. “The Meg” is a big summer sci-fi shark movie, perfectly made for IMAX. Unfortunately, the script was perfectly written for a made-for-SyFy Channel movie of the week.
Five years after Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) lost friends during a deep-sea rescue gone horribly wrong, he retired from his work in the ocean. When his ex-wife Lori (Jessica McNamee) and a couple crew members get attacked by a large sea creature while exploring an undiscovered part of the ocean, Jonas comes back to the underwater research facility for one last rescue mission. It turns out that mysterious creature is 70-foot long shark knowns as a Megalodon, thought to be extinct for millions of years, and it is now very pissed off.
“The Meg” isn’t a terrible film, as it does manage to be entertaining at times. However, for a killer shark movie, the nearly two-hour runtime feels a bit too long. Another problem is that no matter how big the shark is, CGI creatures just aren’t all that scary. Yes, “Deep Blue Sea” had CGI sharks but it also had Renny Harlin behind the camera and a more claustrophobic feel. It also knew how to surprise the audience. That was a far superior shark film.
One of the things that saves “The Meg” is the cast. Statham can hold his own against the computer-generated terror and the supporting players, Bingbing Li, Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis, Ruby Rose, Page Kennedy, and especially Ólafur Darri Ólafsson do their best with the cheesy material that they are given. “The Meg” had the potential to be a great deal of fun, no matter how idiotic it was, unfortunately this shark flick doesn’t have much of a bite.
By: Marc Ferman