Is there even a point to reviewing a film such as The Meg? Jason Statham versus a giant prehistoric shark. You’re either sold on the idea and will have fun or are completely baffled by its existence. For better or worse, The Meg is exactly the film you expect it to be. Cheesy dialog, predictable story beats and generic characters all come together in service of this monster movie. Somehow, it all works, and I found myself entertained from start to finish.

Jason Statham plays a Jason Statham like action hero character with his usual charm and wit and is as always, a delight to watch. Though he’s had more memorable moments in recent years, he does a perfectly fine job of playing the sort of role he does best here. Li Bingbing compliments him well and has good screen presence. Unfortunately, she’s also given some of the films clunkiest dialog. Rainn Wilson is underutilized. We’ve clearly seen that he has ample comedic chops and timing and yet here he is given one of the more serious and plain roles. The rest of the cast does fine too. They all share good chemistry and some of the dialog exchanges are fun. None of them are developed enough to make you feel anything when the shark devours them but they’re engaging enough that you’re not completely uninterested.

The true hero of this film of course, is the mentioned giant prehistoric shark. It is glorious. Well realized with the visual finesses of a top tier blockbuster, The Meg itself is truly a sight to behold. They spend some time just teasing it and the grand reveal doesn’t come until 30-40 minutes in. It’s worth the wait and the big fish gets plenty of screen time after. The highlight of the film is its action sequences. They are quite a few and are all creatively staged, well-choregraphed and cleanly edited. It’s always clear what’s going on and every set piece is unique and different from the last. They are absolutely thrilling and what elevate the film.

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The Meg is far from perfect. It is a film so objectively flawed and yet somehow so enjoyable. It’s self-aware and knows exactly what kind of film it is. It is also quite humorous and got a few good chuckles out of me. At 110 minutes, the film is well-paced and has minimal subplots or time wastage between the action.

I’ll end this review on the note it began. Jason Statham takes on the biggest shark to ever exist. If this even sounds slightly appealing to you, go ahead. You’ll be entertained and won’t regret it since the film is exactly as preposterous and fun as you’d expect. However, if you scoffed at the very idea of this film, then there isn’t anything here that’ll change your mind.


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