The meg, Ever since the release of Jaws, the public has everlasting fear of sharks. Many sharksploitation films have been made, from the grim and thrilling survival films such as The Reef and The Shallows to ridiculous and over the top flicks like Sharknado. We seem to never get enough of this predator, and The Meg gladly offers you the classic sharksploitation experience.
An underwater submersible of One, an underwater research facility, lose contact after it collides with a massive, unidentified creature. Jonas Taylor, a rescue diver with a troubled past, is asked to save the crew by James “Mack” Mackreides, Mana One operations manager. Jonas Taylor has to dive deep into the Mariana Trench and confront his past to save the crew before it is too late.
The Meg leans into the kitsch territory while still giving a suspenseful and fun dive (pun intended). The shark is highly massive in size (25 meters long), which increases the stakes and amps up the thrill. The premise is simple and formulaic, but it is still used effectively in the film. The moments that do not involve the shark are dull and boresome, mainly the scenes in the early part of the film. The movie really takes off once the shark shows up and starts killing its prey. There are an adequate amount of chilling moments and jump scares, making the viewers hold their breath. The movie also doesn’t take itself seriously, giving several comedic moments throughout its duration. The thrill is also multiplied by the setting of the movie. The dark and hazy dark blue of the deep sea is very effective in building suspense. Jason Statham, who plays Jonas Taylor, also gave a convincing performance of highly experienced rescue diver.
However, the important ingredient that is missing in The Meg is the gore. This might be due to its PG-13 rating, but it is still a disappointment to not be able to see the victims’ blood. A shark film is incomplete without a pile of blood and body parts floating on the ocean surface, and The Meg provides severely unsatisfying amount of gore.
Overall, The Meg is a fine addition to the sharksploitation subgenre. The film is filled with suspense and scares from the gigantic creature. It also has humorous moments in between, creating a nice balance between the bone-chilling scenes and lighthearted moments. The performances from the actors, especially Jason Statham, are also believable and amusing enough to watch. However, if you’re looking for grittier and bloodier sharksploitation film, The Meg is not the movie for you.