Pick it or Flick it: “The Meg”

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(image curtesy of Gravity Pictures)

Any blockbuster involving sharks will always get comparisons to Stephen Spielberg’s 1975 classic “Jaws.” “The Meg” does not necessarily stand on its own when put up against “Jaws,” however, its excellently shot action scenes and character-driven story makes for a fun time at the movies.

“The Meg” tells the story of Jonas Taylor, a disgraced marine biologist who was ridiculed by the scientific community when he claimed years ago to have seen a Megalodon swimming in the ocean. Years after that incident, he is contacted by a team of marine biologists who believe that they have been attacked by the same Megalodon that he saw years ago.

Taylor is played by Jason Statham, an actor who is well equipped to play the damaged yet brave marine biologist. His performance is at the center of the film. Statham does an excellent job at making you sympathize with Taylor. He also does a good job at making you want to be Taylor whenever you’re watching him perform great physical feats to escape the Megalodon.

Bingbing Li plays Suyin, the head marine biologist of the team that contacts Taylor. Suyin could have easily been played as a character with the sole purpose of acting as Taylor’s love interest. However, the combination of excellent writing and Suyin’s performance not only Taylor’s love interest, but also a single mother who is deeply concerned for her young daughter’s safety. This makes Suyin a complex character for everyone in the audience to root for.

The most noticeable comparison “The Meg“ could get to “Jaws” is its use of filming shots from the Megalodon’s point of view. “Jaws” used the camera to look from the shark’s point of view to build tension.

Audiences knew when the shark was going to bite, but the characters swimming did not. “The Meg” tells scenes from the Megalodon’s point of view to create a fast-paced action scene where audiences watch the shark swim through massive bodies of water quickly. Both are effective uses of the technique. However, I do believe “Jaws” uses it more effectively.

Overall, “The Meg” is a fun action flick meant to be a film for you and your friends to watch and eat popcorn. While comparisons to one of Hollywood’s most famous blockbusters are inevitable, the movie stands out its own and gives audiences a fun story to watch unfold. This film deserves for you to pick it.