By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Summer just wouldn’t be complete without a monstrous shark movie. Last year brought Entertainment Studios thrilling, “47 Meters Down.”
That film pales compared to “The Meg,”
a truly ridiculous, yet ridiculously entertaining deep-sea adventure from director Jon Turteltaub (“National Treasure”).
“The Meg” is based on Steve Alten’s 1997 sci-fi novel, “Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror” and stars Jason Statham. Yeah, Jason Statham.
The super tough and uber cool dude known for taking down bad guys with the greatest of ease in the “Transporter” “Fast and Furious” and “The Expendables” movies.
This time around, Statham his hands full battling a 75-foot-long Megalodon that makes the shark in Jaws look like a sardine.
And if that doesn’t sound exciting enough, there’s a lovely—and I do mean lovely-- lingering shot of a dripping wet, half-naked Statham to view amongst all the mayhem. But, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.
Statham plays Jonas Taylor, a paleontologist and rescue diver who had a promising career and life with the United States Navy.
That all falls apart after one of his excursions resulted in a major mishap and the inability to save anyone. Plus, when he told his superiors that the reason for the botched effort was due to a giant-sized underwater predator he saw, but which scientist had labeled extinct, well everyone calls him as a raving lunatic.
Turns out, Jonas wasn’t so crazy after all. Five years later, his services are needed at the underwater research facility, Mana One, which is funded by eccentric billionaire Jack Morris (Rainn Wilson, TV’s “Adventure Time”).
Morris, along with Dr. Minway Zhang (Winston Chao, TV’s “The Negotiator”), his oceanographer daughter, Suyin (Li Bingbing, “Transformers: Age of Extinction”) and Jonas’ former colleague, Mac (a very good Cliff Curtis, TV’s “Fear the Walking Dead”) are supervising the expedition.
Jonas wants no part of their program especially after the way he was treated. All that changes however, when he learns that his ex-wife Lori (Jessica McNamee, “Battle of the Sexes”) and two other scientists, Toshi (Masi Oka, TV’s “Hawaii Five-O”) and The Wall ( Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, “The Spy who Dumped Me”) are trapped on the ocean floor in a submersible and have lost communication with the control center.
What’s worse, something big and scary is after them.
Can you guess what it is?
Not only does Jonas get to prove to everyone that he was right—especially Dr. Heller (Robert Taylor, “Kong: Skull Island” TV’s “Longmire”)--about the megalodon, but he also gets the chance to be the ultimate hero as he attempts to kill this humongous beast.
Doing so is far from easy.
Everything you’d expect from “The Meg” is served up here in grand style. The CGI laden effects are cheesy, but still work. And Statham is the perfect action hero for the role. He is equally funny and dramatic and the movie benefits greatly from his cool swagger.
The supporting cast shines too, particularly Page Kennedy (TV’s “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.”) who brings the comic relief. However, Bingbing Li, isn’t all that convincing as Statham’s love interest, but Shuya Sophia Cai is too sweet as her young daughter and is a real plus.
I like everything that Jason Statham does. That he has stepped outside of his comfort zone and done something zany and crazy like “The Meg” works for me.
“The Meg” is a pure escapist, B-movie that by no means takes itself seriously. It’s just a ton of fun and a perfect way to wind down the summer movie season.
My only regret is that I didn’t see it initially in IMAX, but I will because bigger is always better.
Watch This Trailer For "THE MEG"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Reel Awards Voting Academy and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.