Jason Statham’s latest movie, the Meg, features a 75-foot prehistoric shark. The fiercest, baddest, most dangerous thing seen in the ocean in thousands of years! Oh, the shark is pretty mean too.
So, we covered this upcoming movie in Podcast Episode VIII, in movies we are looking forward to this year. Mike put this one on the table as one to watch! The premise of the movie is that Jason Statham plays Jonas Taylor, a diver and scientist who had run into a giant prehistoric shark in the Marianas Trench and is forced to abandon half of his crew. Taylor gets discharged from his duties, (Your piece and your science badge! On the desk! Now!) And nobody believes his big fish tale. When his wife goes missing in the trench in a submersible, he is called into rescue mode…. ’cause the megalodon be real!
So, you have to buy into a couple of big conceits in order for this movie to work. First, that there is a prehistoric mega predator in the depths of the Pacific Ocean. OK. I can buy that. It’s a big, big ocean, and we’re just learning more about the abyss every year. Second, you have to buy into Jason Statham as an ocean-faring scientist. That’s a bigger stretch! My father is an ichthyologist (fish scientist) and my mother is an entomologist (insect scientist.) And, not many of their peers resemble Jason Statham. My mom, not the type suited for shark punching. Granted, he’s also a navy guy, so perhaps the navy scientists are more rugged.
I love shark movies, in general. Jaws is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I was a fan of Open Water, Deep Blue Sea, Deep Star Six, and the Shallows. However, for every effective movie like those, you get Sharknado. Or Jaws 3 in 3D. Or 47 Meters Down. The Meg might end up being a fun sharky romp… or it could be painful to watch. Something else to consider is that this is a joint American/Chinese funded project, like the recent box office dud The Great Wall. This movie features lots of Asian stars, like Li Bing Bing, Masi Oka, and Winston Chao. This movie is destined to be big box office in China, but the trends of movies that are getting pitched to the Chinese market tend to forgo complex plots and character arcs in favor of spectacle.
In the end, it comes down to this. There is so much potential for Statham on Shark and Shark on Statham violence. It begs the question…
Do we want to see it?
The trailer gives me optimism. Even if it is dumb, it looks fun! Why a little girl would be in an underwater laboratory is beyond me. I actually looked up underwater laboratories recently, to see what kinds of cool places are out there… there aren’t many. And they’re cramped. And because it’s expensive, usually only essential personnel are taking up the oxygen. But, I’ll probably see it anyways. Probably not opening weekend, as I’ll wait to see if there is good word-of-mouth. I do have movie pass, so it wouldn’t be money that I’d be wasting if it sucks, but time. So… tentatively yes. It looks like a so dumb it’s cool movie. And… fun fact… I have a megalodon tooth!
Yep! I’ll see it. One, because I always enjoy watching Jason Statham kick stuff and, two, because woohoo! Big monster shark! Can’t say I’m expecting The Meg to have any deep, dramatic undertones or heart-warming, emotional journeys as the characters develop. I’m mostly just wondering if Jason Statham is gonna kick the shark. Or does he kick that squid? I’ve never seen him kick seafood! Go on, kick it! You know you want to!
I’ve thought about picking up the Steve Alten book a few times, but never BIT the bullet. Sorry, just FISHing for laughs… Okay, I’ll stop. The tone of the trailer looks like it’s trying not to take itself too seriously while showing you Uber Jaws. I kind of miss when movies weren’t so worried about being made fun of that they could actually strive for awesome without trying to make them “tongue-in-cheek.” I’ll probably pass on this because I’m not a big creature feature gal, but I like the crazy high body count potential. If it’s going to be making fun of itself, it owes audiences at least some good kills.
Jason Statham + Dwight Schrute = hell yes. Super goofy. Super ridiculous. EMP-TY calories. Mmmmm…
The Meg is Rated PG-13 and will be opening in wide release stateside on August 10.