By Bradley Griffith
There are movies that are meant to be serious dramas, focusing on important and weighty issues that may shape not only the future of our country, but the entire world. These movies demand your utmost attention and consideration. “The Meg” is about a giant killer shark.
A group of scientists built an enormous laboratory and scientific research station in the Pacific Ocean. Part of the station, named Mana One, is above water and part is below the water line. This team of scientists, led by Dr. Minway Zhang (Winston Chao), is out to prove that the Marianas Trench is not the deepest underwater location on Earth.
Dr. Zhang believes that he has found a deeper trench at the bottom the ocean. The reason no one has found it before is that, according to Dr. Zhang’s theory, the true bottom of the trench is blocked by a cloud of hydrogen sulfide called a thermocline. The thermocline traps warm water and allows animals to flourish at the bottom of the sea.
When a mini-submarine from Mana One pierces the thermocline and enters this unknown world the crew almost immediately runs into problems. They are attacked by an enormous sea creature, before they see their real problem. Just before their transmission to Mana One cuts out, the crew sees a shark thought to be extinct for millions of years. A megalodon.
Rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is flown in to attempt a rescue of the crew under the thermocline. As Jonas powers another mini-sub back up through the thermocline after the rescue mission he creates a temporary hole in the thermocline that would allow a creature of any size to escape.
This scenario becomes a reality when the shark, which is more that 70 feet long, attacks the research station. Even worse, it leaves the scientists and is heads for the open sea. The station is not far from mainland China, where the meg could wreak havoc. The scientists and Jonas must work together to stop the meg.
So, you should know going into the theater that this is a mindless action flick. That shouldn’t be a surprise, it’s a movie about a 70-foot prehistoric shark turned loose in the ocean. I was expecting corny and cheesy, and there’s plenty of that in the movie. What I wasn’t expecting were some pretty good and fairly original action scenes. It was a pleasant surprise.
The shark could have looked a little more real, but it’s obvious that a lot of money was spent to produce the movie and it shows in the final product. Other than Jason Statham the only actors in the movie that you may know are Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute to “The Office” fans), Robert Taylor (Walt Longmire to “Longmire” fans), and Cliff Curtis (Travis to “Fear the Walking Dead” fans). Most of the money allocated to the movie was spent on making the movie a top-shelf production and on special effects.
The first 45 minutes of the movie are not really about sharks. It’s about deep sea exploration as they attempt to break the thermocline and prove that the Marianas Trench is not the deepest underwater site on the planet. This part of the movie is interesting and is as good as any other movie about deep sea exploration. It’s not until after the meg gets free that it turns into a full-on shark hunt.
“The Meg” is not necessarily realistic, but it is based on a real shark that once roamed the oceans. The megalodons have been extinct for eons, but they were alive at one time and the thought that one might still be around is good fodder for this crazy movie and the novel on which it is based.
“The Meg” is not exactly Academy Award material. It’s a movie about a giant shark that wants to eat people, or anything else that it comes across. The movie is fun and funny. It’s the ultimate guilty pleasure. If you like shark movies you will like “The Meg.” If not, save your money.
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Rated PG-13 for action/peril, bloody images, and some language.