I admit, I’ve seen all the Jaws movies, and most of the other films featuring those terrors of the sea. My grandkids even got me to watch the Sharknado movies recently, that are more humorous, in an eye rolling kind of way, than scary. Not being a frequent swimmer in any of the world’s vast oceans perhaps eliminates any sense of fear I might have about sharks. (This line of reasoning doesn’t hold true, however, for my younger daughter, Adriel. For years, after seeing the original Jaws movie as a young child, she was afraid sharks might show up in the bathtub…and forget getting her into any large body of water!)
When The Meg opened last week, my mom, sister Linda and my elder daughter Elissa met at the theater to watch this latest shark on the attack flick.
The Meg stars Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis, Winston Chao, Shuya Sophia Cai, Robert Taylor, Òlafur Darri Òlafsson, Jessica McNamee and Masi Oka. This action horror film, directed by Jon Turteltaub, is based upon the novel Meg, written by Steve Alten. The Meg carries a PG-13 rating, for action/peril, bloody images and some language, and has a run time of 1 hour and 53 minutes.
On a mission in the Mariana Trench, in the Pacific Ocean, a submersible discovers a deeper section beneath a cloud of hydrogen sulfide that has formed a thermocline. In this never before explored place in the sea, scientists Lori (McNamee), Toshi (Oka) and The Wall (Olafsson) are excitedly reporting to the Mana One, a nearby underwater research facility, when the unexpected happens. A large unidentified animal strikes the sub, disabling it.
On Mana One, billionaire financier Jack Morris (Rainn), Dr. Zhang (Chao) and his daughter Suyin (Li) are supervising the dive with their team. Knowing rescue is dangerous and nearly impossible, and unsure about the cause of the mishap, they send for expert diver Jonas Taylor (Statham), whose ex-wife Lori is trapped aboard the damaged sub. Jonas has retired from diving, after an incident five years before in which a rescue dive went awry due to an attack from a giant sea creature. An associate, Dr. Heller (Taylor), dismissed Jonas’ story, citing pressure-induced psychosis. Dr. Heller is now a team member aboard Mana One, and he opposes bringing Jonas in.
He is overridden and Mac (Curtis), another team member at the underwater facility, fetches Jonas from Thailand. Back at the lab, Suyin decides to attempt a rescue on her own. Her small sub successfully sinks beneath the thermocline however it too is attacked, first by a huge squid, and then by a massive shark. Jonas shows up in time to distract the shark so that Suyin can return to the surface. While attempting a rescue of the scientists aboard the damaged sub, the shark strikes again. Toshi sacrifices himself, staying behind in the battered sub and blowing it up so that the others can return to the lab.
Back at the facility, as the team analyzes the data, Suyin’s young daughter, Meiying (Cai) sees the shark outside the lab when it strikes a glass wall. The team discovers that the monster sized creature is a megalodon, a prehistoric shark thought to be long extinct. Similar to a great white shark, the meg can grow to a length of 75 feet and has a huge jaw span. When the rescue sub rose back through the thermocline, a temporary trench was formed, allowing the meg to pass through.
The most fearsome and powerful predator the world has ever known is now free to roam the ocean, and she is hungry. No ship, no beach, no swimmer in the water, is safe. It’s up to Jonas, Suyin, and the Mana One team to warn the world, and find a way to stop a monster.
As far as shark movies go, this one was well done. I always research a film, after I’ve seen it, and megalodons did indeed exist at one time, which is a terrifying thought! The movie accurately portrays the size and ferocity of these ancient sea creatures.
Of course there are heroics, pockets of humor, a smattering of romance and the obligatory gory scenes of toothy shark attacks, which are all the right pieces that fit together to make up a shark movie. However, it was packaged as a fun and intriguing movie to watch, with jump worthy moments and some truly tense action sequences.
And that’s why we go to see shark movies, unless your name is Adriel, bless her heart…to be a little scared, and much relieved when it’s all over, and to ponder the wisdom of ever swimming in the deep blue sea again! I’m glad at the moment that I’m land locked.