Tuesday 14 August 2018

Film Review: The Meg

All shark and no bite; Stath versus shark turns out to be a rather tame affair. 

Ruby Rose in The Meg.
From the iconic (Jaws) to the downright idiotic (Deep Blue Sea), shark movies can be plotted along a wide spectrum of quality. The latest fish in the sea is John Turteltaub’s (National Treasure, Cool Runnings) The Meg, an American/Chinese coproduction that sees rough-and-tumble geezer Jason Statham pitted against a gigantic prehistoric predator – the megaladon (or megan, for short). 

After awakening the ancient beast from its slumber, a diverse team of scientists and explorers – played by the likes of Cliff Curtis, Rainn Wilson, Bingbing Li, Ruby Rose and Jessica McNamee – must call upon Statham’s gruff Jonas Taylor, a diving expert with a murky past, to destroy the titular giant shark, which is hungry for blood and headed for one of China’s most popular beach resorts.

Rather than a lean, fearsome apex predator, The Meg is a bloated, toothless affair that lacks bite. Paradoxically, it takes itself too seriously to be dumb fun and is too dumb to be taken seriously; possessing neither the taut thrills of recent efforts like The Shallows or the Syfy schlock of the Sharknado movies. 

Its ensemble cast is too many in number for the audience to care about and its action is too tame and bloodless to appease hungry genre fans. Slapped with a safe PG rating, this is a monster movie designed by committee, with broad characters and simple dialogue that will survive the international dub process.

After a plot-heavy opening act that spends too long forging meaningless character connections, The Meg never really gets going. The occasional gag or jump scare teases something greater, but it’s practically criminal how boring this movie about a 75ft-long prehistoric shark noshing on tourists is. Visually, it’s not screaming out to be seen on a big screen. 

The Verdict: 3.5/10

Skip the theatre and save it for a boozy Saturday afternoon when it eventually hits Netflix or wherever it washes ashore.

The Meg is in cinemas across Australia from Thursday August 16. 

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