Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In On THE MEG
Jason Statham ("Spy," "Furious 7," "The Expendables" films) and award-winning Chinese actress Li Bingbing ("Transformers: Age of Extinction," "Forbidden Kingdom," "The Message") star in the Science fiction action thriller "The Meg," directed by Jon Turteltaub (the "National Treasure" movies, "Last Vegas").
In the film, 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 (Jason 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.
Rounding out the international main cast of "The Meg" are Rainn Wilson (TV's "The Office," "Super"), Ruby Rose ("xXx: Return of Xander Cage," TV's "Orange is the New Black"), Winston Chao ("Skiptrace," "Kabali"), Page KENNEDY (TV's "Rush Hour"), Jessica McNamee ("The Vow," TV's "Sirens"), Ólafur Darri Ólafsson ("The BFG," TV's "The Missing"), Robert Taylor ("Focus," TV's "Longmire"), New Zealander Cliff Curtis ("The Dark Horse," "Risen," TV's "Fear the Walking Dead"), Sophia Shuya Cai ("Somewhere Only We Know"), and Masi Oka (TV's "Hawaii Five-0," "Heroes").
"The Meg" is a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and Gravity Pictures. It is production of di Bonaventura Pictures, Apelles Entertainment, Maeday Productions, Inc., and Flagship Entertainment, in association with Beijing Digital Impression (BDI) Film, Inc. "The Meg" will be distributed in China by Gravity Pictures, and throughout the rest of the world by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Entertainment Company.
Watch the trailer here:
The movie hits theaters today, so check out what the critics are saying below:
David Fear, Rolling Stone: "There's just one tiny, minnow-sized problem: The movie you saw in your head when you read those words above, the gloriously goofy and grandiose blockbuster that delivers both a ridiculous amount of summer-movie fun and just plain old Stathamesque ridiculousness? That's not what you get here. With the exception of one scene involving a harpoon and a complete disregard for the laws of physics, The Meg ends up being just a high-budget, low-value attempt to sell you a typical tale of a tortured man tracking a monster, composed of spare parts lifted from other films you love. It's too chintzy to be a proper high-octane action flick and not nearly over-the-top campy enough to be the conduit for a great B-movie endorphin rush. This is not the Fast & Furious movie with teeth you're looking for. It needs a bigger boat. It needs a bigger everything."
Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica: "The film's dialogue is so ridiculous that I was afraid my notepad's pen would run out of ink, as I furiously scribbled terrible line after terrible line. "If we can short out the firewall, I can probably reboot the computer." "We should find all sorts of species completely new to science." "Whoa, I just lost telemetry." "You might be a son of a bitch, but you sure are no coward." After one successful escape, while some crew members celebrate, another one offers a "mournful" aside: "It didn't go our way. Not for [dead person]." A dramatic pause. "Not for science.""
Eric Kohn, IndieWire: "And yet nothing in "The Meg" can keep pace with the underlying appeal of those recurring fights. The movie has been populated with an international cast clearly designed to enhance the global box office potential, but it often leads to actors delivering weak line readings in second languages. The English itself often sounds as though it's been boiled down to the lowest common denominator, to the point where you could watch "The Meg" as a silent film and get the gist."
Tim Hall, Seattle PI: "The film's characters don't have much chemistry. The film alternates from a brooding Statham to characters giving their best pseudo Science explanations or mourning their fish food friends. The script does give Suyin (Bingbing Li) time to awkwardly flirt with Jonas - those scenes are more painful than being bite by a shark."
Vince Mancini, Uproxx: "The Meg is kind of like Jaws meets Birdemic. It's kind of like Jaws meets Jaws. It's kind of like Jaws on steroids. It's kind of like Jaws on steroids and Monster energy drink, with a script run through Google Translate. The Meg is magnificent. The Meg is the friends we made along the way. Jason Statham plays Jonas Taylor, a guy who yells at people trapped in submersibles, shouting "Reynolds? Talk to me," into a walkie-talkie, which seems like a very particular skill. Or, as he's described in the press notes, "a deep-sea rescue diver." This would seem to be perfect role for Jason Statham, on account of he's actually a former diver and is also Jason Statham."
Owen Gleiberman, Variety: "Yet if there's a disappointment to "The Meg," it's not just that the movie isn't good enough. It's that it's not bad enough. For months, a ubiquitous trailer, cut to Bobby Darin's 1959 version of "Beyond the Sea," suggested that "The Meg" might be a big-fish-eating-its-own-tail thriller driven by a clever/stupido awareness of its own ticky-tacky August qualities. No such luck. "The Meg" isn't an ironic horror comedy that winks at you, like "Piranha 3D" or "Little Shop of Horrors" or "Shaun of the Dead." It's just pulp staged on an industrial scale. That said, it's still intent on tweaking your nostalgic tastebuds for '70s cheese."