The Meg

"Meg versus man isn't a's a slaughter."   - Jonas Taylor

release year: 2018
genre: giant monster drama
viewing setting: home Bluray 4/28/20 and 11/21/18, and theater 9/8/18

synopsis: Deep-sea scientists accidentally unleash a gigantic prehistoric shark into the world's oceans.

impressions: It was definitely entertaining, but it could have been so much better. The single biggest problem was the lack of use of this shark's sheer could have (and should have) been destroying boats and ships with impunity, and eating swimmers by the dozens with a single bite, the way big whales just move through the water scooping up plankton. Instead, we get a few confirmed deaths despite there being dozens of watercraft and thousands of swimmers. Logic problems: 1) if the Meg lived in the special/unknown/deeper part of the ocean all this time, then how did they encounter it in the regular ocean five years ago? 2) why did the Meg attack and destroy some boats, then later just hang around the boat of the main characters when they show up, then even later it chases them? 3) how can a shark this big swim in shallow water near a beach? There might have been more but those are the main ones I can recall. Anyway. The characters and acting were good, no problems there, and what action scenes we got were well-done and suspenseful, especially the deep-underwater ones. It's just that the overall sense of menace (doom, really) that the Meg in the novels possessed is mostly lacking here. To be fair, there are numerous stories out there about the studio forcing the director to cut out a lot of gore and death, so this may well be yet another example of idiotic studio interference. This movie should have been "R" rated to begin with; there's really no other route to take when dealing with a 100-foot-long shark.

acting: Jason Statham has his first role in a sci-fi or horror movie since Ghosts of Mars and he's good - serious and competent, yet spouting frequent funny lines. Li Bingbing is the main scientist who he kind of becomes interested in. Shuya Sophia Cai is her young daughter, who's actually got some of the funniest lines in the movie. Cliff Curtis is the guy in charge of the diving expedition. Rainn Wilson is a flippant billionaire who owns everything. Ruby Rose is a sassy engineer. Page Kelledy is a technician who provides some good comic relief.

final word: Good solid giant shark monster movie, but could have been a lot better.

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