AUTHOR, JOURNALIST, TV PERSONALITY
Unless you have been living under a rock or had your head in the clouds for the past few weeks you will be fully cognizant with Jason Statham’s (The Transporter Trilogy) man versus megashark summer flick, thanks to Warner Bros. relentless ad campaign, which is clearly aimed at the family trade. If you are one of the lucky ones who managed to dodge the shark bait, here’s a quick brief on the shameless popcorn B-movie outing.
The Meg is based on a book by Steve Alten (Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror) and follows the underwater escapades of a Navy deep-sea diver, Jonas Taylor. The film The Meg, set to hit screens this very weekend, is yet another English/Chinese co-production that features an international cast led by Statham as the courageous Taylor, who attempts to save a group of scientists, among them Dr. Heller, played by Australian actor Robert Taylor (The Matrix) from a massive underwater shark attack.
The Meg, a flimsy-handled Frankenshark sci-fi horror adventure has been vastly scaled back for the PG13 summer vacation audience and fails to achieve any real level of threat due to the neutered nature of the beast. It is directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure), who once again goes right back to the template he roughly used with National Treasure, bombarding the audience with cringe-inducing implausibilities and unbelievable plot devices, while pandering unsurprisingly to every killer shark cliché ever to grace the big screen, floating (bloodless) arm included.
While The Meg has magnificent CGI schlocky splendour and decent deep sea action, which is the only real reason to buy a ticket, it is busy with instantly forgettable characters, filled to the seabed with cardboard melodrama and has very little suspense. What suspense the film does possess is more often than not colossally stupid. Statham does what Statham does best; selling the audience a straight-faced action hero with a healthy dose of self-mockery, but beyond that The Meg has little to offer.
Overall, The Meg is a simple beast presented essentially as a live-action comic book with an old-fashioned B-movie formula for the summertime audience. It has a tried-and-tested convention that doesn’t try to rock the boat of originality with cookie-cutter dialogue. If you did however succumb to the Sharknado franchise and don’t mind your shark movies blandly unthreatening I’m sure you will find The Meg just as endearing.
For the rest of you who prefer your shark movies with real bite, lashings of gore and half-decent character development, avoid!
The Meg is in cinemas 10 August.
The Meg is a B-movie, live-action comic book adventure that feels more suited to the SYFY channel than the big screen.
Mary Shelley panders to several biogra-phical faux pas and eventually loses sight of what the material’s premise set out to do. Shelley becomes a Mills and Boon revival with Catherine Cookson undertones.
10 August 2023
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Review / Published 10 August 2023 @ 12:00 PM