The Meg takes a nosedive


Graphic by Emma Hansen

Emma Hansen, Online Editor

Sharks. Action. Romance. What more could viewers want from a summer thriller? To start, maybe a more original plot. 

 The Meg starts its story with a past rescue mission gone awry. Macho man Jonas Taylor is in the depths of the ocean trying to save his friends and crew from their leaky submarine. He ends up having to leave two members of his crew behind to die so that the rest of them can make it out. 

That leads us back to a present day rescue mission gone right where Jonas is predictably sucked back into the game because someone close to him was trapped in the exact same situation. Wow what a coincidence. During this venture into the sea, the cast discovers, you guessed it, the Megalodon. The Meg, as they affectionately nickname it, is a 47 foot long shark that was thought to have died out around 2.6 million years ago. 

The whole rescue sequence was one of the more entertaining parts of the movie because it wasn’t one where I wanted to yell at the characters for being morons, and it introduced the real star of the movie: the Meg.  

The Meg was basically Jaws with better CGI and a bigger shark. The plot was unoriginal and underwhelming. They had a massive opportunity to make it almost a spoof of the traditional Jaws-type movie, and they missed it. They needed to play up the humor and utilize Rainn Wilson, their single comedic actor because the brief moments of comedy are extremely subtle, so subtle it’s like there’s no comedy whatsoever.  

Looking past the lack of humor, The Meg did have some lovable, if not predictable, characters. Meiying, the female lead’s daughter was my favorite by far. She was just the right dose of adorable to cut the sharpness of all of the other characters’ rigid, stock personalities.  

It was as if they took a list of the most basic action movie character personalities and just threw them all in there. There was Jonas, the rugged hero with a tragic past, Suyin, the strong but sensitive love interest, and a whole variety of brainy tech support characters. No character went out of their predetermined, one-dimensional box. 

In terms of the cast, they did manage to collect a very diverse group of international actors like Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, Cliff Curtis, Page Kennedy, and Winston Chao. The directors weren’t just thinking about inclusivity. Movies like these also tend to do extremely well in foreign markets, and with a majority of the scenes being shot in New Zealand and China, it was a pretty safe bet for Warner Bros and Gravity Pictures.  

I could’ve done without the 20 dramatic looks off into the distance made by Statham and the over abundance of shark chase scenes. It was as if they knew they did one thing well, so they decided to stick to it – for the entire movie. It was the same way with the jump-scares. Every quiet, tense scene was broken by some sort of loud noise and the appearance of a big shark. 

Overall, the best part of the movie was when a kid in the front yelled at the people next to him to shut up. That isn’t to say it wasn’t an interesting movie, but it isn’t a movie I’m dying to go back and watch again. That being said, if I were just flipping through the channels in a month and saw it on TV, I probably wouldn’t switch the station.