Re-Watch: The Meg (2018)

The Meg
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Writer: Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Based on: Steve Alten‘s novel Meg
Cast: Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis, Winston Chao, Shuya Sophia Cai, Ruby Rose, Page Kennedy, Robert Taylor, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Jessica McNamee, Masi Oka
Seen on: 16.1.2022
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Five years ago, deep sea captain Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) lost his job, his wife Lori (Jessica McNamee), his reputation after a mission that ended in failure and death – and his explanation that it was all caused by a Megalodon, a long extinct mega shark. Now his expertise as a rescue diver is needed as a submarine was stranded at the bottom of the Mariana trench – a submarine that happens to carry Lori and two other scientists. Called in by oceanographers Zhang (Winston Chao) and Suyin (Bingbing Li) to help, Jonas soon discovers that he faces the same threat he faced back then.

When I saw The Meg for the first time, I was surprised by how unironically I loved it. Seeing it again now, I’m not surprised anymore, but I still love it.

The film poster showing a bird's view of a shark with its mouth wide open swimming towards the surface where a woman is floating on an inflatable ring.

I turned to The Meg because I wanted a bit of a comfort watch, something that I knew would give me warm, fuzzy excitement. But also because I was curious whether my love for it would return on re-watch. And I’m absolutely glad to say that it did. It is the perfect fun action shark film of my dreams.

The reason it works so well, is, I think, because it just knows exactly what it is and what is setting out to do. So you get shark action, a believable-enough-for-suspension-of-disbelief scientific explanation, and most of all, it’s done with a sense of humor that doesn’t go into the ridiculous (like Sharknado) but also doesn’t take things too seriously (like Jaws, but then again, Jaws in on a different mission where that tone fits).

Jonas (Jason Statham) standing in front of a window. Behind the glass we can see the Meg.

Plus, you get characters you can honestly root for, characters you can be both scared for and scared with. And Statham and Li still have chemistry for like five films. It is honestly a crime that Li won’t be back for the sequel. But then again, I’m afraid that the sequel – directed by Ben Wheatley and exploring a “dark tone” will be so exactly the oppposite of what I love about this film, that my hopes for it generally aren’t very high.

Be that as it may, I will always gladly return to The Meg. What a masterpiece of wonderful fun.

A giant shark underneath a crowd of swimmers.

Summarizing: love it.

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