Movie Review - The Meg
The title here is a diminutive of the Megalodon. There has already been a movie called Megalodon (2004) that originated in Japan that isn't so dissimilar from this one. Along side that, The Asylum, which does direct-to-video action flicks, has brought about several kaiju films about massive sharks. Substantially, this movie isn't that much better. Turteltaub is helped by a $130 to 150 million budget, co-financed by China, as well as the presence of a really engaging cast led by two incredibly, sexy action stars, Jason Statham and Li Bingbing.
Li Bingbing co-stars as Suyin Zhang, one of the scientists in this adventure, a marine biologist. She lives and works on what looks like an oil rig off the coast of China with her father who is also a scientist. With Suyin, there's also her 8-year-old daughter Meiying. When some people connected to Suyin become trapped in the depths of the Pacific Ocean, she attempts to save them, literally diving right in using a special, one-person vessel. Eventually, Jonas jumps in too to assist.
This movie though reaches more for Star Wars or the more recent Star Trek films. It doesn't quite get there, but it reaches for it. Some sequences here are reminiscent of being in outer space or on another world. Certain visuals could be confused for that kind of science-fiction. It certainly has that same kind of energy. Yet, I probably had more fun in this film than this year's Solo: A Star Wars Story.
It also makes better use of its supporting cast. When those cast members' characters were killed or put into danger, it was felt a lot more. Page Kennedy (Rush Hour and Blue Mountain State) who plays DJ was funny. Winston Chao (1911 and The Wedding Banquet) who plays Dr. Zhang was good as Suyin's father and Rainn Wilson who plays Morris, the wealthy white guy financing this whole thing was also a bit of a hoot.
Rated PG-13 for action/peril, bloody images and some language.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 53 mins.