Starring: Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, Rain Wilson,
Runtime: 1Hr 53 Mins.
If a movie features a shark, the first question that comes to mind, “Is it Jaws worthy?” But should this be the first question? Remember, Jaws was directed by Steven Spielberg. Yes, Spielberg. The Academy Award-winning producer and director who is known for some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters in movie history; Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List, E.T. and Saving Private Ryan, just to name a few. Films like Sharknado and Deep Blue Sea have proven to be popular by public standards but not worthy of the Spielberg Stamp of Approval; not many can. But The Meg directed by John Turtletaub and screenplay by Dean Georgaris and Jon Hoeber, although not in the Spielberg category, is in the genre of a B-movie with an A-plus rating.
Expert Sea Diver Naval Captain Jonas Taylor (Jason Stratham) must face a fear so devastating that it has been five years since he has returned to the ocean. But he finds himself going back to the ocean to save his ex-wife who is trapped with two other crew members at the bottom of the sea. Taylor finds out that his fear is a 70-foot shark and must do everything possible to keep the creature for doing any more devastation.
Although lacking the dramatic effect, the comradery, adversity, and dissension among the ranks of Chief Brody, Quint, and Hooper of Spielberg’s classic, The Meg has an interesting dynamic between Taylor (Stratham) and his best friend Heller (Robert Taylor) that adds to the tension and comic relief of the film.
Along with billionaire Morris (Rain Wilson) who does everything to protect his investment at any cost and the love interest Suyin (Bingbing Li) who wants to live up to her father’s expectation but must ensure the safety of her scene-stealing daughter (Shuya Sophia Cai), the cast is diverse and a pleasant surprise.
Shuya Sophia Cai as Meiying is both adorable and captivating. It is evident that when she is in a scene with adults, she is the smartest and most mature among them. Her portrayal of the character does not take over other cast members onscreen performances, but the moviegoer’s eyes are forced to be drawn to her like that of Drew Barrymore’s performance in both E.T. and Firestarter. The silver screen dons a bright shining light for the talented actress’ future.
The film is hilarious from the Hey Mickey! anthem (Okinawan style) to Masi Oka’s performance as Toshi.
His unselfish heroic act is reminiscent of his Hero’s character, Hiro Nakamura, as he tries to save the life of his fellow crew members. Also, Jason Stratham has a “hand-to-fin” combat with a shark. His superior martial arts skills have been witnessed in action hits such as The Transporter and The Expendables. But who could of imagine that he has a face-off with a 70-foot eat anything shark? Does it work? Yes, for this movie. The subplots of the main characters and the corny comedy are intentionally done to add entertainment and fit in with the spirit of the movie. It reminds the moviegoer not to take it too seriously but emphatically stressing that there is a prehistoric killer shark out there.