THE MEG (2018) Reviews and overview

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‘Pleased to eat you’

‘Chomp on this’

The Meg is a 2018 American-Chinese action science fiction horror film directed by Jon Turteltaub from a screenplay by executive producers Dean Georgaris, Belle Avery and Colin Wilson for Warner Bros. in conjunction with China-based Gravity, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura producing.

The movie stars Jason Statham, Jessica McNamee, Ruby Rose, Rainn Wilson and Bingbing Li.

The Meg is an adaptation of Steve Alten’s 1997 novel Meg, which has been in ‘development hell’ for the last twenty years, having first been Disney and then New Line Cinema projects with directors attached such as Jan De Bont and Guillermo Del Toro. Eli Roth (Cabin Fever; Hostel; The Green Inferno) had also been mooted as director on the project.


A deep-sea submersible—part of an international undersea observation program—has been attacked by a massive creature, previously thought to be extinct, and now lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest trench in the Pacific…with its crew trapped inside.

With time running out, expert deep sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is recruited by a visionary Chinese oceanographer (Winston Chao), against the wishes of his daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing), to save the crew—and the ocean itself—from this unstoppable threat: a pre-historic 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon.

What no one could have imagined is that years before, Taylor had encountered this same terrifying creature. Now, teamed with Suyin, he must confront his fears and risk his own life to save everyone trapped below… bringing him face to face once more with the greatest and largest predator of all time…


Most critics have been too kind to The Meg, perhaps seemingly in awe of its $130 million budget which, frankly, is not on the screen. Time will tell , hype will elapse, paid reviewers will fade away and many observers will realise that this US-Chinese co-production is an appallingly poor effort in the style of more recent Roger Corman or Syfy monster movies, with Jason Statham on particularly robotic form. Laughing at a movie for all its clichés is not what we expected, yet laugh we did. Continually.

The Meg is enjoyable, but as with Jaws: The Revenge, that’s not a recommendation, just a warning. This movie was in ‘development Hell’ for a long time so only the mockingly moronic Elon Musk-like character has any relevance to 2018. At least we can enjoy that. He’s the real monster in this movie. The Meg is mega-crap.

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

“A big dumb shark attack movie starring Jason Statham ought to be a deliriously silly, popcorn-munching good time, and while The Meg is rather ridiculous throughout its ample running time (114 minutes), it doesn’t have the guts to go full tilt crazy. Rather, it’s an adequate time-killer…” Erik Walkuski, Arrow in the Head

” …if a lot of the plotting (and some of the dialogue) is colossally stupid, it’s presented in a cheerful, old-fashioned, thoroughly unpretentious way, built on the simple premise that scaring people with sharks in summertime is a tried-and-true convention […] The movie also stumbles occasionally in its efforts to be cute, veering out of its lane to incorporate little bits involving a dog and a kid.” Brian Lowry, CNN

The Meg is all about getting the job done. It’s no one’s idea of great filmmaking, except maybe Roger Corman (whose Piranha this resembles from time to time), but you’ll still find yourself on the edge of your seat hoping against hope that a fluffy little dog makes it back to his boat in time during the Meg’s third act siege on a popular Chinese tourist beach. Anyone looking to see Jason Statham go head to head with a massive primeval horror won’t leave unsatisfied either.” Don Kaye, Den of Geek

The Meg is a crowd pleaser whenever it isn’t focusing on ex-wives and strained relationships that have nothing to do with the plot or cheesy monologues about saving the ones you love. It may take a while before deciding if the price of admission was worth it, but it’s hard not to give in to the spectacle with Jason Statham is taking one last stand staring down Meg.” Robert Kojder, Flickering Myth

“Nonsense science and monster-movie cliches pile up in the latest marauding-shark thriller – but it’s lots of fun, too.” Mike McCahill, The Guardian

“This movie probably would have been better as an R-rated Eli Roth film, which was the original plan, but honestly, I’ve seen a lot of worse shark movies. A lot of them. If you saw the preview and thought, “I’d probably like this movie,” you will probably like it. Just remember that once you leave the theater, megalodon is extinct.” David Shiffman, IndieWire

“The music is poppy and upbeat. The effects are super-realistic but used in suitably cheesy ways. Even the cinematography ebbs and flows with the mood of the movie. Basically, The Meg is dumb, but it knows it’s dumb and buys into it entirely. That gives the whole thing a real cohesion that makes it work. It’s exactly what you hope it will be.” Germain Lussier, io9

The Meg, stolidly directed by Jon Turteltaub, winds up proving a fairly obvious theory about its chosen sub-genre: the more massive the shark (and the budget), the lighter the scares and the lower the stakes.” Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

The Meg largely removes the cheese factor of the genre, but still remains a fun popcorn flick. The shark, despite being an enormous creature from the Pliocene era, behaves like an actual shark. The characters deal with it as such, adding a dose of realism to the fantasy.” Julian Roman, Movie Web

“It’s not quite Sharknado or Mega-shark Versus Giant Octopus level, but The Meg is certainly on the sillier end of the big, dumb shark-movie spectrum. And for world-class stupidity, the crack teams of researchers, divers and assorted megalodon fodder are more than deserving of their place on the bottom of the food chain.” Wendy Ide, The Observer

” …a reasonably effective blend of action and humor that never sinks to the strained depths of the Sharknado saga and similar films that have emerged since the technology was developed to bring poorly rendered CGI sharks to the masses […] And when The Meg finally arrives at its most overt Jaws reference, the film proves to be more clever and amusing than one might ordinarily expect under the circumstances…” Peter Sobczynski,

“Statham has more chemistry with the shark than with Li, and the film’s long opening half could have been cut down by at least 10 minutes. But when Turteltaub brings it all together, like in the gonzo finale where the Meg turns a crowded Sanya Bay into her own personal Old Country Shark Buffet, it’s a lot of fun. And Statham gets to put his old competitive diving skills to good use fighting this big-ass shark.” Matt Singer, Screen Crush

The Meg resonates in the end for the way the computer-generated beast (and similarly manufactured scenario and stock players) makes way for the Statham-acious spotlight, summer moviedom’s trashy and bloated technological production assembly ultimately deferential to the flesh-and-blood actor’s incandescence in real space and time.” Niles Schwartz, Slant

“Imagine a trashy empty-calories combo of Sharknado and the gore-and-nudity-heavy Piranha 3D—two horror movies loaded with lovable dumbness. Then dial back those expectations by several nautical miles, deep into mild PG-13 territory, and you have The Meg, a disappointment for fans of pure summer nonsense.” Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out

“The movie is a glum-witted procedural — a how-to-kill-the-beast thriller. Our heroes try to attack the meg with grenades, and when Statham swims out to shoot a tracking dart into its fin, there’s some good split-second suspense hinged to whether he’ll make it back in time. But the grandiose horror that a contemporary Corman-style thriller needs has been neutered and PG-13-ified.” Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“Unlike his action-movie rival Johnson, Statham does not have the charisma to carry this film. He gets the job done all right, but makes it feel more like work than play.” Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

“The film is so much of a mess that the writers and director can’t even decide what type of film they are making. There are certain moments where it feels like a dumb over-the-top B-movie but then the tone changes and it seems like it is a serious big-budget blockbuster. The Meg does have its share of campy movements, but they never feel earned. Instead, they always come across as bad filmmaking, acting, or storytelling.” Scott Menzel, We Live Entertainmen

Cast and characters:

  • Ruby Rose … Jaxx Herd
  • Jason Statham … Jonas Taylor
  • Rainn Wilson … Jack Morris
  • Robert Taylor … Doctor Heller
  • Bingbing Li … Suyin – Nest 3DResident Evil: Retribution
  • Cliff Curtis … James ‘Mac’ Mackreides
  • Jessica McNamee … Celeste
  • Ólafur Darri Ólafsson … The Wall
  • Masi Oka … Toshi
  • Page Kennedy … DJ
  • Andrew Grainger … Morris’ Lawyer
  • Rob Kipa-Williams … D’Angelo
  • Glen Levy … Morris’ Speedboat 2nd Crewman
  • Winston Chao … Doctor Minway Zhang
  • Shuya Sophia Cai … Meiying


The Meg was released on August 10, 2018, in the USA and the day before in some territories.

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