YOU can bet that what The Meg promises on the movie poster is what you’re going to get — a bloody big shark.
With the latest creature feature set to scare the bejesus out of anyone considering a wade into the ocean, here’s what you need to know before you buy your ticket.
Pitched somewhere between Jaws and Sharknado, if there’s one thing you need to know, it’s that you’re definitely going to need a bigger boat.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The Meg is based on a 1997 book by Steve Alten, Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror — now, that’s the kind of title that’ll make you shiver.
The story follows a diver named Jonas (Jason Statham) who witnesses an unknown giant sea creature destroying a submarine during a rescue operation. When he tells others of what he saw, they dismiss him and his tale as a psychotic episode. Dun dun dun.
Five years later, a group of scientists embark on a research mission in the concealed waters of the Marianas trench, the deepest point of the world’s oceans. When their submersible is hit by a large creature, they lose contact with the team at the base.
The creature is a 23-metre long megalodon, a previously thought extinct species of mega sharks that escaped the space that once confined it. Even Mick Fanning wouldn’t be game enough to punch this monster.
The story is almost inconsequential in a movie like The Meg, be honest, if you’re going to see this, all you’re looking for are some insane action sequences with an enormous creature threatening to chomp down on our heroes.
WHO’S IN IT
The poor man’s Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham is the headliner here as the daring rescue diver no one had the wisdom of believing. This is exactly the kind of movie Statham has carved his niche in.
Joining Statham are Rainn Wilson (The Office), Olafur Darri Olafsson, Page Kennedy (Weeds), Li BingBing (Transformers: Age of Extinction) and Winston Chao.
And because the movie was filmed primarily in New Zealand, there are some locals with Kiwi actor Cliff Curtis (Once Were Warriors, Whale Rider) and Aussie thespians Ruby Rose, Jessica McNamee (Battle of the Sexes) and Robert Taylor (Kong: Skull Island).
The Meg is directed by Jon Turtletaub, who’s best known for helming National Treasure, While You Were Sleeping and Cool Runnings.
SHOULD YOU BOTHER?
The Meg has had mixed reviews with its Rotten Tomatoes score sitting at 48 per cent with an average rating of 5.5/10. Its RT audience score is slightly better at 60 per cent.
Colin Covert at the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote: “This is the sort of late summer time waster that isn’t very good, knows it isn’t very good and knows you know it isn’t very good.”
Peter Howell of the Toronto Star said: “A Jaws knock-off designed to give Jason Statham meaningful employment where he can grunt heroically and cash a cheque bearing many zeros, now that he has reached the Steven Seagal phase of his career.”
Peter Sobczynski of rogerebert.com wrote: “It manages to hit upon a reasonably effective blend of action and humour that never sinks to the strained depths of the Sharknado saga.”
Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune said: “Forgettably entertaining/entertainingly forgettable.”
WHEN DOES IT COME OUT?
The Meg is out today, August 16, in Australian cinemas.