By Jose Jara
THE Meg-nificent MEG!
By Daniel Guzman
The Meg, another shark thriller for the summer is hitting the big screen this week ready to sink its teeth against its former predators (i.e, Jaws, Deep Blue Sea, The Shallows, 47 Meters Down). I was fortunate enough to take my whole gang (daughter, son, and wife) along for this wet & scary ride that this film was ready to dish out. With a plethora of movie viewing palates compiled in my family nucleus, the overall verdict coming from my brood is that The Meg satisfies your craving for an underwater carnage all within the comfort of your cushioned theater seat on comfortable dry land.
Any director set on making a shark thriller must always have in the back of their mind the comparison that is going to be made of their film versus the iconic Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. Many films have tried to replicate Jaws’ successful recipe and have more than often fallen flat, unable match its box office reign as well as its influence in forever scarring the stereotype that sharks are villains out to kill any oblivious beach goer crossing its path. Director Jon Turteltaub is able to deliver good nail-biting nerves and jump a little in your seat fright in The Meg by bringing back to life an extinct gargantuan water predator known as the Megalodon shark. In other shark films that try to one up Jaws, their attempts come with making the shark smarter, but director Turteltaub decided to put the focus on the lore of the possibility that a prehistoric shark has been out of our radar thanks to mother nature’s secret underwater homeostasis for those things that are far too deep to be unmasked.
Every story needs a hero, and who better to play that role in a larger than life shark action film than actor Jason Statham (Transporter, Expendables) who plays a deep-sea rescue diver named Jonas. Jonas is called to help rescue his ex-wife, a deep-sea submarine pilot, from a botched underwater exploration mission that goes horribly wrong after an unknown underwater predator, Megalodon, leaves the mission crew stranded in an undiscovered floor of the ocean. This mission is being funded by billionaire entrepreneur, Jack Morris, played by the hilariously funny Rainn Wilson (The Office). The movie packs a few side characters that gives this film more appeal, such as the scene stealing presence of a little girl named Meiying, actress Shuya Sophia Cai. Other honorable mentions were actor Cliff Curtis (Whale Rider, Fear the Walking Dead), who plays as Jonas’ well-known friend, Robert Taylor (Longmire), who plays Dr. Heller, a Dr. who had gone on a previous rescue mission with Jonas and believes his judgement is questionable. Both play their parts respectably adding a good mix to the story that is needed.
The biggest star in this film though is not the people, but the Megalodon. The people will come to the theater to watch the Megalodon come from the deepest bottom of the uncharted sea and wreak havoc, tearing boats, submarines, and limbs apart at every theater near you. The shark scenes pack on plenty of gut wrenching scares. The film doesn’t top the king of all shark films, Jaws, but I don’t believe that is what director Turteltaub was aiming for in this movie. The Meg isn’t only an action shark thriller. The film also has plenty of things that it purposely wants you to laugh about. The Meg doesn’t take itself too seriously yet has not given up all realism like Sharknado did. The outcome ends up being a colossal shark ready to eat everything and everyone, with Statham on the helm of death defying heroics, and plenty of laughs to boot. If you enjoy shark scares and a few chuckles along the way, go and catch yourself the biggest fish out in the theater, The Meg!