Summer monster movies are fun and summer monster movies starring Jason Statham should be even more of a slam dunk, but killer shark flick “The Meg” is extraordinarily irritating and repetitive, even for a mind-numbing action movie.
Riddled with ridiculous scenarios and some of the worst special effects outside of “Sharknado,” the movie feels like more of a chore than a good time. When a deep-sea research station is attacked by a massive shark, an eccentric billionaire (Rainn Wilson) and his distraught crew (Bingbing Li, Ruby Rose, Robert Taylor) contact a rescue diver (Statham) to help save the team trapped below. I’d love to expand on my description of the plot, but that’s all there is.
The film’s outline looks exactly like this: the giant shark aggressively attacks, a brave person sacrifices themselves for another, and Statham jumps in to heroically save someone else. Repeat. Repeat again. Then repeat yet again. (Thankfully the filmmakers throw in some shirtless shots of the leading hunk for good measure). I expected to love this creature feature but became disengaged early on. I was nearly ready to bail after the first 30 minutes.
Some story elements come out of nowhere and feel like they are there just to move the film along (or more likely, to heavily pander to the overseas box office market — China in particular). The special effects are abysmal, and not in that laughable, ironic way. It’s funny to enjoy cheesy CGI when it’s a low-budget made for television film Sci-Fi Channel, but not so much when it’s a major studio release. Most of this movie looks as bad as it is completely idiotic. Not only is it uninspired, it isn’t ridiculous enough.
Even worse, it isn’t thrilling at all. A giant killer shark picking off scientists as bite-sized snacks should make for some off the charts B-movie fun. Instead, it’s so lame that nobody really cares.