Director: Jon Turteltaub
Cast: Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, Rainn Wilson
Release Date: November 13, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
A deep-sea submersible—part of an international undersea observation program—has been attacked by a massive creature and now lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean…with its crew trapped inside. With time running out, former deep-sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is drawn out of self-imposed exile by a visionary Chinese oceanographer, Dr. Zhang (Winston Chao), against the wishes of his daughter, Suyin (Li Bingbing), who thinks she can rescue the crew on her own. But it will take their combined efforts to save the crew, and the ocean itself, from this seemingly unstoppable threat—a prehistoric 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon. Thought to be extinct, the Meg turns out to be very much alive…and on the hunt.
Five years before, Jonas had encountered this same terrifying creature, but no one had believed him. Now, teamed with Suyin, Jonas must confront his fears and risk his own life to return to the ocean depths…bringing him face-to-face once more with the apex predator of all time.
When a deep sea submersible vessel from an underwater observation area exploring a previously unknown region of the ocean is attacked by a massive unknown creature leaving the crew stranded, the only option with much hope of success is bringing in the supposedly insane Jonas (Statham) whose claims of a similar attack years prior were written off as lunacy. But when the rescue mission uncovers proof of a gigantic prehistoric Megalodon shark believed to be long extinct as the culprit of the attacks, the rest of the crew quickly discovers in the worst possible way that Jonas was entirely sane. And once the massive beast finds a way through the breach and starts wreaking bloody havoc across the open seas, Jonas and this ragtag team must put their differences and fear aside in order to try and stop this deadly force before it can do any more damage.
Directed by Jon Turteltaub (Phenomenon, Cool Runnings) from a screenplay by Dean Georgaris (Paycheck), Jon Hoeber (Battleship) and Erich Hoeber (RED) which was itself based upon the novel ‘Meg’ by Steve Alten respectively, Turteltaub does a more than capable job at the helm of ‘The Meg’ delivering a fun and goofy shark attack movie. The film also benefits from a pretty decent cast that features many familiar faces and includes Jason Statham (The Expendables), Bingbing Li (Transformers: Age of Extinction), Rainn Wilson (Cooties), Ruby Rose (John Wick: Chapter 2), Cliff Curtis (Sunshine), Winston Chao (Skiptrace) and more, with the majority providing pretty solid and fitting overall performances in each of their respective roles.
‘The Meg’ is a goofy, humorous and enjoyable giant shark attack movie that serves up plenty of over the top fun and its share of exciting moments and attack sequences, while still trying to spend plenty of time focusing on our human characters, although perhaps a little more time than necessary. Unfortunately it takes a bit longer to get moving than most would probably expect and has trouble finding a balanced tone much of the time, although it shines brightest with its goofy nature when done right. Its tendency to get excessively silly with certain elements occasionally pays off marvelously with some of the film’s most rewarding moments, but oddly enough at other times comes off as downright cringe inducing, frequently either making or breaking the scene. Even while it certainly has its share of faults and can get a bit too ridiculous at times, I would encourage those who have been anxiously looking forward to this one to try and make a point of giving ‘The Meg’ a shot whenever possible. Albeit imperfect, it still easily delivers a great deal of crazy fun that might be worth taking the time to check out at some point down the road if nothing else, and probably sooner than later for those really looking forward to it who likely won’t have any regrets about at least renting the film.
Overall, ‘The Meg’ is quite the fun ride filled with plenty of laughs, exciting moments and of course the undeniable entertainment that one can expect from a giant shark attack flick that’s not afraid to have some fun with itself. It has its issues, but even so I would still recommend ‘The Meg’, especially to anyone that was already thoroughly excited about this one and will surely want to decide for themselves. As a whole it’s still a pretty enjoyable and amusing ride that has its share of rewarding moments throughout and should prove worth a couple of hours of your time and probably the cost of a rental at least, especially if you try to keep your expectations limited when going in.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Meg’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great for the most part and provides a relatively sharp, clean and smooth presentation from start to finish with no noteworthy faults or issues to be discovered throughout. It holds up admirably even during the many dark, heavily populated and/or fast moving moments, never resulting in anything becoming negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a pretty solid high definition video presentation that aside from a bitrate that tends to be a bit lower than one might expect at times, still holds up quite well and shouldn’t have much trouble satisfying fans and first time viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD presentation. This multichannel soundtrack makes a magnificent compliment to the on-screen fun and delivers a crisp, clean and thoroughly hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It constantly embraces all seven available channels in order to send water elements crashing or splashing, along with sea life, people and more zipping throughout the various speakers regularly, and never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in any way. Overall, this is a spectacular Dolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 compatible soundtrack) that delivers across the board and contributes plenty of extra fun itself to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Meg’ includes a couple of decent extras in the way of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that feature interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, plus some behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Chomp on This: The Making of The Meg’ (running approximately 12 minutes in length) and ‘Creating the Beast’ (running approximately 10 minutes). A ‘New Zealand Film Commission’ promo (approximately 2 minutes) is also included.