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Blu-ray Review: The Meg

November 13, 2018

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

A surprise box office hit when it was released over the summer, The Meg could be best described as that movie where Jason Statham does battle with a big ass shark. If that’s all you’re looking for, and you don’t care about the fact that this is essentially a cheesy B-movie, then The Meg might just be the film for you.

Five years after losing his job when he failed to bring back the full crew of a nuclear submarine, and was deemed crazy for claiming to have seen a giant shark, rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Statham) is recruited by oceanographer Dr. Zhang (Winston Chao) and his daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing) to rescue the crew of a submersible that has become trapped at the bottom of the Marianas Trench.

But the researchers have accidentally uncovered an ancient 75-foot shark known as the Megalodon, a massive creature that is capable of biting killer whales in half with its powerful jaws, and is thought to have gone extinct millions of years ago. Now it has returned to wreak havoc upon the crew of the Mana One, an underwater research facility. Trapped in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and having to deal with the meddling of incompetent billionaire Jack Morris (Rainn Wilson), who is funding the whole expedition, Taylor must help them find a way to stop the creature before it reaches the populated beaches off the coast of the Sanya Bay.

First off, it’s hard to describe The Meg as anything other than a mediocre monster movie. Directed by Jon Turtletaub of National Treasure fame, and based on Steve Alten’s 1997 novel, which different studios have been trying to adapt into a movie for years with it having been stuck in development hell for the longest time, in a sense the film actually seems a bit dated. It almost feels like something that could have just as easily been made back in the ’90s or early 2000s, and the jokey tone that pervades most of it keeps the film from being consistently effective as an actual thriller.

The characters are mostly cardboard cutouts, the one-liners are pretty corny, and the story itself is very predictable. The film also takes a bit too long with its setup before we get to the good bits, namely the sight of this giant shark attacking everything that crosses its path. But once the film does hit its stride, The Meg is bolstered by fairly decent special effects, and some of the set-pieces are admittedly kind of fun to watch as it goes along, including a well done sequence involving a diving cage.

It’s no Jaws, but if all you’re looking for is a straight forward and unpretentious giant shark movie that never really takes itself too seriously, then The Meg is a mildly entertaining blockbuster that modestly delivers on those very narrow terms.

The Blu-ray also includes the two production featurettes Chomp on This: The Making of The Meg and Creating the Beast, as well as a brief piece about shooting in New Zealand.

The Meg is a Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release. It’s 113 minutes and rated 14A.

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