OK, let’s get the basics out of the way. The Meg, directed by Jon Turteltaub, is based on the 1997 novel of the same name by Steve Alten. It’s a terrible, trashy beach read of a novel, dumb despite its supposed dedication to science, but just engaging enough to finish. The movie stars Jason Statham as a deep-sea rescue diver who is tasked with helping the crew of a massive floating research station defend themselves from a Megalodon. Yes, a Megalodon, the prehistoric shark that once ruled the seas millennia ago. The film co-stars Li Bingbing, Ruby Rose, Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis, Page Kennedy, Jessica McNamee, Winston Chao, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, and several other people, who all play scientists or engineers. There is also an adorable little moppet played by Shuya Sophia.
You see, according to the world of The Meg, the Marianas Trench is not the deepest part of the ocean. Instead, the bottom of the trench is actually some sort of scientific-sounding goo, and beneath that goo is a whole new world of creatures never before seen by man. The crew of this particular research station manage to penetrate the goo (and before you make a penetration joke there, don’t worry, the film beats you to it) and discovers this underwater wonderland. Except that in addition to beautiful glowing little squid and crabs and fishies, there are also Megalodons. I do not know what else lives there that would be enough food to sustain a single Megalodon, let alone the generations of them that have survived down there. Maybe there’s a lot of super-deep whales. But considering that estimates show that adult Megalodons would have to eat north of 2,500 pounds of food per day, well, OK, let’s just throw science and reason out the fuckin’ window because…
Because The Meg is preposterous and hilarious and DUMB and it’s fun as hell. Rarely does a movie live up to my expectations as spectacularly as this one does. It is exactly what I wanted it to be. The acting is perfection. Statham just fucking Stathams all over the place, sneering and shirtless and smarter than everyone. He doesn’t punch the shark, but he might as well. Ruby Rose is a joy as always. Cliff Curtis is the elder statesman of hotness, although Winston Chao gives that sexy motherfucker a run for his money, Li Bingbing is terrific. Rainn Wilson plays one of the better douchebags in history. Everyone successfully straddles the line between seriousness and silliness without somehow just erupting into laughter in the middle of their lines, no matter how ridiculous it is.
There’s a lot to love with The Meg, which is in no part due to Turteltaub’s keen direction. Yes, the guy who did National Treasure made a giant shark movie, and he cast Jason Statham, and as a result, we should worship at this man’s church. Jon Turteltaub made the National Treasure of giant shark movies, and those of you who are sophisticates of taste and style will know how high that praise is. The action is wild and actually genuinely thrilling in parts, and worth seeing unspoiled. It’s not too gory, just violent enough to give it a deserved PG-13, but mostly it sacrifices gore for excitement.
Seriously. Go see The Meg. It’s fucking balls-out silly. You should go see it. It’s utter nonsense. Why are you still reading this? It’s bananas. Seriously, get off your dumb asses and go see it now. Yes, now. You. Yeah, you, the ugly one. Go see it. You two in the back? Stop fuckin’ each other, and go see it. You — yeah, the drunk one. No, don’t bother sobering up. You’re better off this way. Just pour your shit into an Uber and go see it. If you choose to skip it, your life sucks and that’s on you. Just go see it. I’m done.