In the history of cinema there has been one great shark movie (Jaws), a bunch of dumb but fun ones (Deep Blue Sea, Sharknado et al, the Jaws sequels, etc) and weirdly, very few unwatchable ones. Maybe that’s because the mere presence of a shark bumps a movie up the viewer interest scale a notch or two – the slightest implication that a character might be subjected to toothy waterborne death is inherently fascinating.
Well, if the mere presence of a shark is intriguing, then the presence of the biggest shark the planet earth has ever known is a hell of a hook. Add in the presence of action cinema workhorse Jason Statham, and you’ve sold at least one ticket on opening day. Well played, The Meg.
“Meg” in this context is short for megalodon, a staggeringly huge but thankfully extinct ancestor of the modern Great White. Of course, in the world of schlocky sci-fi cinema, “extinct” is a word with a lot of flex in its definition, as the crew of a deep sea submersible find when they’re attacked by the eponymous beastie. Statham is Jonas Taylor, a rescue diver tasked with snatching the crew from the literal jaws of death. Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, Page Kennedy, Jessica McNamee, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Robert Taylor, Sophia Shuya Cai, Masi Oka and Cliff Curtis are along for the ride, and veteran journeyman Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) is calling the shots.
Based on the honestly terrible novel Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten, The Meg has had a long and tortuous swim to the big screen – at one point Eli Roth was gonna direct. Of course, Jaws was based on a pretty bad book too, but literary straw was spun into cinematic gold by jettisoning some of the more gauche and soapy plot elements – a lesson The Meg‘s makers hopefully took on board. Based on the trailer’s tone, this thing has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek, which strikes us as the right vibe to be shooting for in a flick where a 75 foot shark is chowing down on assorted cast members on the reg. We’ll find out when it hits Australian screens on August 30, 2018.