Given the number of shark-related shows on television, and the fact that some channels dedicate a whole week to them, you’d have to come up with a pretty extra special shark movie to move people to get off the couch, drive to the theater, and pay good money to watch the same thing they’re getting at home on the big screen.
“The Meg” is not that movie.
Oh, it’s not bad. It’s just totally average. It does just what you’d expect of a giant shark movie but somehow does it without any sense of urgency or excitement. It’s so outlandish that it comes across more as a cartoon than an action thriller.
And it’s so predictable. The movie opens like just about every other action movie of this type, with our hero suffering a tragic setback on the job which causes him to go into seclusion until, you know, that one job rears its head that only he can handle.
In this case, our hero is Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham), the best damn rescue diver in the world — except that, well, five years ago a couple of people died on a mission (not his fault) and he gave up the life.
He’s called back into action because some scientists working in an undersea lab have gotten trapped while doing some research in the deepest depths of the ocean. Along the way they accidentally set loose a giant, prehistoric shark known as a Megalodon. It’s the kind of creature that eats whales whole, yet spends an odd amount of time chasing after humans who really wouldn’t even be much of an appetizer.
Taylor is joined in this expedition by all the usual suspects, including: The guy (Page Kennedy) who can’t stop whining about the situation (we’re supposed to find him funny, but he’s really just tiresome); the adorable, precocious child (Shuya Sophia Cai); the evil businessman (Rainn Wilson); the guy who doesn’t trust Taylor but eventually believes in him (Robert Taylor); and of course, the beautiful and brilliant scientist (Li BingBing) who works out quite nicely as a love interest for our hero.
“The Meg” starts off slow but picks up speed once the main attraction takes center stage. To be honest, a giant shark is pretty cool and there are some exciting moments and impressive special effects. It’s just all so absurd and silly you can’t take it seriously. And that’s the point, I suppose.
If you’re really looking for thrills, go see “Mission Impossible: Fallout” and save “The Meg” for its inevitable debut on “Shark Week.”