Audiences have fascinations with films about sharks. Whether it’s Jaws, The Shallows, or Sharknado, the track record is off the charts. But I am not one of those people who shares the fascination because I really like the ocean! So, with a mix of trepidation and fear, overcome by my Jason Statham fandom, I watched The Meg, which was a hilarious, exciting, entertaining throwback to thrillers of the 1980s and 1990s thanks to the direction of Jon Turtletaub (Cool Runnings, National Treasure, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice).
Statham is Jonas (Jonah?) Taylor, a former special ops type who is blamed for abandoning members of his team years before, when he says a giant creature attacked. Of course, no one believes him and he ends up drunk and isolated, but a new threat emerges when Mana One, the research facility built by Dr. Minway Zhang (Winston Chao) for billionaire Jack Morris (Rain Wilson), strands a crew underwater. Called out of alcohol-induced retirement, Taylor must save his ex-wife, Lori (Jessica McNamee), and the other researchers onboard.
The Meg is reasonably hilarious and definitely has some visually impressive stunts and images to captivate the audience. Statham doesn’t get to hand-battle the sharks which would’ve been an added bonus, but it somehow allows us to see the way that he emotes even when he’s not punching things. That is helped along by Zhang’s granddaughter, Meiying (Sophia Cai), who Cai portrays as a cute, smart, and incredibly aware little girl, who aims to set her mom up with Taylor.
While The Meg won’t win any Academy Awards, and probably defies science every time it says anything scientific, it’s fun – and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Even if the subject is the biggest, baddest beast we’ve seen this year, making even T. Rex look little.