The Meg (2018)
A deep-sea submersible 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. Expert deep sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor is recruited to save the crew from this unstoppable threat: a prehistoric 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon.
REVIEW: While I'm not a fan of Steve Alten's later 'Meg' novels, I do really love his first two, the first of which this movie is based upon. As an adaptation of a book, The Meg movie is terrible. Other than the very basic idea of a giant prehistoric Megalodon shark being discovered in modern times and wrecking havoc on the surface, and a few character names (even though their personalities are totally different), the movie pretty much has nothing in common with the book at all. I would actually venture to say The Lost World: Jurassic Park has more in common with its book counterpart than this movie does, and anyone familiar with that movie and it's book knows there's very little in common, so that's saying something.
However, as a stand alone movie in its own right, The Meg is kind of fun. Nowhere near great, and nothing that's worth revisiting after your initial first watch, but still enjoyable enough for that first watch.
The acting is pretty wooden and bad, except from the little girl who actually does a pretty decent job and has some of the best lines in the movie. Even Jason Statham is pretty forgettable in this as he just didn't fit the role at all and really doesn't have much to do other than jumping into the water to swim frantically or jump into a submersible to pilot it frantically. In addition, the tone of the movie is all over the place and definitely reeks of studio interference. There'll be some moments that are quite dark and going for an almost creepy-type vibe, but then other moments (as in, the majority) are these light, fluffy, comedic and campy moments, the likes of which you'd see in any of SyFy's original movie of the week creature features such as their Sharknado movies.
The special effects are mostly great though, although there are a couple scenes where they felt far below the rest of the movie (the scene with the shark jumping over the ship comes to mind), and most of the action scenes and attack scenes involving the shark are quite fun, although sadly there's not as much of that as you would expect. Luckily the last 20 minutes or so tries really hard to make up for that in utter killer shark action insanity, and it mostly works.
In the end, the final overall product does feel like a bit of an uneven mess, with a lot of aspects just not working or meshing together like they should. However, when something does work the movie is a fun time waster that, while you won't remember much about it after the fact, it holds your interest enough while watching.
I miss the late 90s and early 2000s when creature feature movies would go theatrical quite often. Movies such as Lake Placid, Anaconda, Deep Blue Sea, and 8-Legged Freaks come to mind right away. Even though The Meg may not be the greatest creature feature movie out there, I'm thrilled that it did so great at the box office, because I'm hoping that maybe that'll pave the way for more of these types of movies to go to theaters as opposed to direct to video and VOD like they've been doing. If a so-so entry like The Meg can do so powerful at the box office, than an actual amazing creature feature, like 2015's comedic Stung or 2014's more serious Backcountry, as two examples that come instantly to mind, should be able to do even better, especially with a larger budget behind them such as this movie had.