Rated PG-13 / Color / 113 minutes
Directed by Jon Turtletaub
Also Known As: Meg
Purchase it: Blu-ray (Amazon.com) | 4K UHD (Amazon.com)


The long-awaited film adaptation of Steve Alten’s novel, THE MEG, finally emerges after two decades of development limbo and directorial shifts. Initially conceived with Guillermo del Toro and Eli Roth attached, the project eventually found its way to Jon Turtletaub, whose unexpected direction guides this underwater thriller.

THE MEG plunges viewers into a rescue mission gone awry at the Challenger Deep, where former rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) faces a traumatic decision that alters his career. Years later, a scientific expedition in the Mariana Trench reveals the existence of a prehistoric Megalodon, endangering a team including Jonas’ ex-wife Lori (Jessica McNamee) and her crew.

Reluctantly drawn back into action, Jonas joins the Mana One research facility, where tensions run high with Dr. Heller (Robert Taylor) and Dr. Zhang (Winston Chao). As the colossal shark, Meg, wreaks havoc, Jonas leads the charge to prevent catastrophe, facing off against the ancient predator in a thrilling showdown.

Despite its troubled production history, THE MEG delivers as an entertaining summer blockbuster. Jason Statham brings gravitas to the role of Jonas Taylor, supported by a capable cast including Bingbing Li and Shuya Sophia Cai. Rainn Wilson adds comic relief as the eccentric financier Morris, though his character’s motivations remain murky.

Visually, THE MEG impresses with well-executed CGI effects, though the absence of practical animatronics is noticeable. The film’s pacing and suspenseful underwater sequences maintain engagement, while its adherence to genre conventions and sanitized violence may leave some viewers craving more intensity.

As an adaptation, THE MEG diverges significantly from Steve Alten’s novel, simplifying characters and plot elements for mainstream appeal. While it succeeds in capturing the essence of a creature feature, it sacrifices depth and narrative complexity, opting instead for crowd-pleasing action sequences and a brisk pace.

In conclusion, while THE MEG may not fully satisfy fans of the novel expecting a faithful adaptation, it succeeds as an enjoyable popcorn flick. With its share of thrills and a charismatic lead performance from Jason Statham, it manages to entertain despite its shortcomings. For a summer blockbuster experience, THE MEG earns a modest 3 out of 5 stars.