Complete A-Z list

Meg, The


Stars: Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, Page Kennedy, Jessica McNanee, Olafur Darri Olafsson, Robert Taylor, Sophia Cai, Masi Oka, Cliff Curtis

Director: Jon Turteltaub

Back in 1975 Steven Spielberg, fortuitously aided and abetted by his Oscar-winning editor Verna Fields, made his name and career with Jaws.

Inevitably, sharks then became a cinema staple and not simply in cash-in sequels.

Among the shoals was my favourite, Shark in Venice, along with such perhaps lesser-known celluloid gems as Mega Shark Versus Mecha Shark, Shark In New York, Shark Night, Sharktopus and Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus.

The Meg sets out to go one bigger, pitching mighty ocean rescue diver Statham against the even mightier 75-foot-long prehistoric shark called the Megalodon ('Thought to have been extinct for over two million years') which returns to modern days to bite big at the box-office by attacking a deep sea submersible and trapping its unfortunate crew on the bottom of the Pacific - before later setting out to terrify luckless holidaymakers on an Asian beach, leaving Statham to rescue the sunken submersible crew and, eventually, see to it that The Magalodon will have to wait for a sequel to be brought back to life.

Think of a seaborne King Kong with effective up-to-date special effects rather than rounded characters and you have The Meg. The cast, headed by the apparently unsinkable Statham and including Rainn Wilson and Ruby Rose, do all they are required to do and keep commendably straight faces while director Turtelaub keeps the show moving fast and furiously without much genuine depth (apart, of course, from the sunken deep sea submersible).

Result - fast, furious and often fatuous but painless enough for lovers of by-the-book mega-monster movies.

Alan Frank

USA/China 2018. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Colour.
113 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 08 Sep 2018