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The Meg

Opening Date
09 Aug 2018
PG13 Intense Sequences
113 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Jon Turteltaub
Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Cliff Curtis, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose
A deep-sea submersible—part of an international undersea observation program—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...with its crew trapped inside. With time running out, expert deep sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Statham) is recruited by a visionary Chinese oceanographer (Winston Chao), against the wishes of his daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing), to save the crew—and the ocean itself—from this unstoppable threat: a pre-historic 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon. What no one could have imagined is that, years before, Taylor had encountered this same terrifying creature. Now, teamed with Suyin, he must confront his fears and risk his own life to save everyone trapped below...bringing him face to face once more with the greatest and largest predator of all time.
By Thompson Wong  08 Aug 2018
It's all about the action, which thankfully is doled out in spades over the 113-minute runtime.
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The Meg is the perfect summer movie for families. For everyone else, it may be a bit of a bite and miss.

It begins with a familiar setup. After making a life or death decision during a deep sea rescue, diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is blamed for leaving his teammates to die in a stranded submarine. His claim that there was some huge beast to blame is roundly mocked, and the diver duly gives up the deep sea rescue business to retire to Thailand, ensconcing himself in cheap beer. Cue several years later, a visionary billionaire Morris (Rainn Wilson) and his team of underwater researchers face a new crisis that only Taylor can help solve.

It's a redemptive story at heart, and director Jon Turteltaub clearly wants us to be more invested in The Meg's motley crew instead of treating them as expendable, ready-to-eat characters. The Chinese money behind the film lends itself well to a racially diverse and eclectic crew led by Zhang (Winston Chao) and his headstrong daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing). Page Kennedy adds comic relief, Sophia Cai plays her wise-beyond-her-years kid role with aplomb, and Ruby Rose adds tough-chick charisma to her role.

Yet audiences do not watch a movie about a giant prehistoric shark (The Meg is short for Megalodon) for character development. It's all about the action, which thankfully is doled out in spades over the 113-minute runtime. One of the film's best scenes occurs when Statham finds himself swimming less than a few hundred metres towards an incensed Meg, and racing the angry shark to a little boat while strapped to a line. It's intensely filmed and shows us exactly why a killer shark movie can be such mindless fun.

The Meg may feel slightly contrived plot-wise, but to expect more out of a summer flick can occasionally be a result of unrealistic expectations. Sometimes, it may just be best to appreciate the film for what it is. The Meg could've been much more gory, as Turteltaub attested to in a recent interview, but its wise choice to aim at the widest possible market with a PG-13 rating will ensure lots of children will have their appetite for thrills thoroughly whetted this summer. For maximum enjoyment, IMAX 3D is where it's at - prehistoric jaws flying off the screen are an excellent use of the medium.
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