Reel Reviews: The MEG

Reel Reviews / Josh Simpkins

When I heard whispers a few years back that Hollywood was interested in developing a film based on Steve Alten’s terrifying novel Meg, I was extremely excited. If they could capture on film even half of Alten’s imagery, I would consider the film a success. Then I heard it was only a rumor. Well, Gravity Pictures and Warner Bros. have turned rumor into reality with their latest feature film The MEG—starring Jason Statham (The Fate of the Furious), Bingbing Li (Transformers: Age of Extinction), Robert Taylor (Don’t Tell), Jessica McNamee (CHiPS), Rainn Wilson (Thom Pain), and Winston Chao (Skiptrace).

The MEG follows disgraced Naval Captain Jonas Taylor (Statham) as he copes with the trauma of loss, his dishonorable discharge and the horrors he encountered in the unexplored recesses of the Mariana Trench that forced him to abort his mission and abandon half his crew. Deemed insane for claiming that the failed rescue mission in the Philippine waters was doomed because of a seemingly-extinct predator of epic proportions—the prehistoric Megalodon—Taylor lives a simple, retired life in Taiwan. Yet he is still haunted by his memories and the betrayal of his colleague Dr. Heller (Taylor).

Meanwhile, at an underwater research facility off the coast of China dubbed Mana One, a group of scientists—spearheaded by Jack Morris (Wilson) and Dr. Minway Zhang (Chao), and run by Zhang’s daughter Suyin (Li)—are conducting an experiment near the ocean floor. The experiment involves bypassing a mysterious hydrogen barrier, using a small submarine piloted by Taylor’s ex-wife Lori (McNamee), and exploring what’s beneath. All seems well at first, however when the submersible becomes crippled after an attack by a giant, unknown creature and lies sunk and disabled at the bottom of the ocean, Taylor is the one who gets the call. As the three scientists trapped inside the crippled sub fight to keep their lives and sanity, Taylor confronts his fears and risk his own life in an attempt to save lives and redeem himself.

Not since Deep Blue Sea and the original Jaws have I been on the edge of my seat the way I was with The MEG. As a fan of Alten’s novel I loved seeing his words translated to the big screen. Though somethings were lost in the translation, I appreciated what changes had to be made in order to see this film come to life. It was interesting to see Jason Statham fight an enemy he couldn’t layout with one solid punch or kick. That being said, you don’t want to miss The MEG on the big screen as it was intended to be viewed. Now go on out and have some fun at the movies.

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