The Meg’s still lurking about two weeks off the coast before it’s finally ready to emerge and terrorize our cinematic shores. But reactions to advance screenings of Jason Statham’s oversized shark tale already are making a splash on social media — and the early consensus is that The Meg is a summer-blockbuster-worthy mix of action, special effects, high-stakes thrills, and just plain big, goofy fun.
Takeaways from entertainment insiders who saw the film over the weekend describe the seafaring sci-fi horror story as a smart, entertaining thrill ride with a likable ensemble cast; a movie that never takes itself too seriously and, refreshingly, doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Named for its titular, no-that’s-not-a-typo 75-foot Megalodon shark, The Meg is based on Steve Alten’s 1997 shark horror novel Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror. Statham plays Jonas Taylor, the central character in the novel, who’s recruited to save the shark-stranded crew of a submersible that’s trapped in a Pacific trench. Complicating matters for Taylor is the fact he’s encountered this prehistoric, toothy terror once before, giving the Meg a looming, nemesis-like quality that overshadows his every decision.
Famously, the movie had been stuck in development limbo for years, so the fact it's finally washing up at all is something of a small miracle. Official reviews won't come across until closer to release, but if these early reactions are anything to go by, the wait actually may have been worth it.
Directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) and starring Staham, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, Cliff Curtis, and Li Bingbing, The Meg takes a bite out of theaters beginning August 10.