A Chinese-American co-production, The Meg is a 2018 science fiction action thriller film directed by Jon Turteltaub with a screenplay by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, and Erich Hoeber, loosely based on the 1997 book Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten. The film stars Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, Jessica McNamee, Masi Oka and Cliff Curtis. The film follows a group of scientists who encounter a 75-foot-long (23 m) megalodon shark while on a rescue mission at the floor of the Pacific Ocean.
Haven’t I seen this movie before? Oh wait, right! I was thinking about 1998’s Deep Blue. As the movie opens, a rescue operation for sailors stuck on a damaged nuclear sub goes wrong as Jonas Taylor is forced to leave behind two of his team members as it would take too long. A creature attacked the hull and repeated hits causes the sub to explode after the rest leave. Only Jonas saw the damaged and his claims of an as yet unseen large sea creature is dismissed by his teammate Dr. Heller, who blames Jonas for the loss of their friends.
5 years later at the underwater research facility “Mana One”, financed by billionaire Jack Morris, Dr. Minway Zhang and his daughter, Suyin, an oceanographer, are supervising a mission to explore what may be a deeper section of the Marianas trench, concealed by a thermocline cloud of hydrogen sulfide. Morris himself is there to see the results of a mission conducted by Lori (Taylor’s ex-wife), Toshi, and The Wall in a submersible. The mission appears to be going well until a very large creature hits the submersible, causing it to lose contact with Mana One. James “Mac” Mackreides, another crew member at the station, suggests sending Taylor down to attempt a rescue, which does not go well with Dr. Heller but they bring him in anyway. Despite Heller’s objections, Zhang and Mac decide to travel to Thailand to recruit Taylor anyway. Suyin attempts the rescue herself, but a colossal squid intervenes. Before it can destroy her craft, a massive shark appears and kills it.
Taylor arrives and helps Lori & the Wall but on seeing the shark approaching them Toshi sacrifices himself by closing the hatch door and detaching the rescue vessel, allowing Taylor, Lori, and The Wall to escape safely while he diverts the shark’s attention to his sub, causing it to be driven into a thermal vent, causing an explosion. At Mana One, they discuss the shark, which is a a Megalodon, the largest shark ever known, believed to be extinct for millions of years. Meanwhile, Suyin’s daughter, Meiying, goes to the large glass leading to a beautiful underwater view of the ocean, and sees the Megalodon through the glass, and is petrified. When Suyin comes down with Jonas, they see a whale being eaten alive by the massive shark. The crew then realize that it has escaped from the depths of the trench by swimming through a hole in the thermocline created by the thermal vent explosion, briefly raising the temperature enough for it to safely pass.
They use a large boat and Suyin enters a cage to attract the meg and while injecting the Megalodon with a poison, Suyin’s oxygen mask gets compromised, but Taylor revives her with CPR. They capture the shark but celebration is cut short when Taylor comments that the teeth don’t match up with the previous attack. Shortly after, a second, more colossal Megalodon emerges from the water, devours The Wall and the smaller Megalodon, and capsizes the boat. It also devours Dr. Heller, who saves Jaxx’s life by luring it to himself. The surviving crew returns to Mana One in two dinghies, but Dr. Zhang succumbs and dies of his injuries. Morris announces that he has informed local governments and naval forces, but it is out of their hands.
At nightfall, Morris attempts to destroy the Megalodon himself by ordering a helicopter crew to drop modified depth charges at it, citing that the creature’s actions could result in lawsuits. He approaches the carcass of the supposed Megalodon in a boat but discovers it’s a whale and he himself is killed by the meg. Taylor and the remaining Mana One crew discover Morris’ deception and resolve to track and kill the shark, only to realize that it is en route to a crowded beach on the Sanya Bay. The Megalodon kills several beachgoers before the Mana One crew plays audio of a whale call to divert the shark’s attention towards them. Taylor and Suyin attempt to destroy the megalodon with rigged torpedoes, to no avail, and in the process, Taylor’s submersible is severely damaged.
Taylor manages to cut the megalodon with parts of his sub and stab it in the eye with a harpoon. Due to the presence of blood, multiple sharks in the area notice the blood and devour the Megalodon, killing it. During the fight, Suyin was able to evacuate everyone to a boat where a Chinese couple is getting married. Taylor gets on the boat, and he and Suyin consider taking a vacation to celebrate their triumph.
Very predictable and a bit cheesy and corny for a while. But….I did not have much expectation and that made it easier to enjoy the film. It’s ok for a late afternoon watch, eating a pizza from Pizza Hut and drinking a 7Up as I did. The movie looks a bit odd and I guess it looks more like a Chinese production. The production began in New Zealand and ended in Sanya, China. A Chinese-American co-production, it has grossed over $527 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics.