As usual, beware of spoilers!
It’s the summer holidays, I have my Odeon Limitless card so why not try and see every film possible this summer? Even one I was convinced was going to be a total rip-off of one of my favourite films, Jaws. It didn’t help that I’ve never really been a fan of Jason Statham either but I thought why the hell not. Off I trotted to the Odeon Tottenham Court Road to see this new shark movie.
I was wrong. I was also pleasantly surprised.
The story begins with a submarine in distress and the crew in need of rescue. Cue Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) and his mini-DSRV. He manages to save everyone but loses two of his crew before ‘something’ crushes the submarine.
Two years later Dr Zhang (Winston Chao), an eminent Marine Biologist and his daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing) are welcoming billionaire Jack Morris (Rainn Wilson) to the research platform where they work and he (Morris) funds.
Morris has been invited to witness an historic occasion. A mini-sub is about to prove that the Marianas Trench isn’t the deepest part of the ocean, and that what they believe to be the sea floor is actually a thermocline (a thin layer in a large body of water where the temperature changes rapidly with depth with different temperatures above and below. The thermocline acts as a barrier meaning these temperatures never mix). Once proven, they expect to find a whole new environment with never before seen species.
As you can guess, something doesn’t go quite right and Jonas Taylor is brought in to help save the crew. On return to the research station they quickly find out that something has followed them through the break in the thermocline. a creature that was thought to be extinct; A Megalodon (a very old, f***ing great shark!).
Things quickly descend into utter chaos and the usual amounts of screaming, crying and dying take place.
There are also at least 6 homages to Jaws in the film. Director John Turteltaub said in an interview that whenever a shark film is released, critics will inevitably compare it to the 1975 Speilberg epic, so why not pay homage to one of his favourite films.
The links to Jaws that I noticed include:-
- The way the shark was filmed. From overhead shots to the silhouettes- it was remarkably similar in style.
- Morris makes a comment about attaching a tracker to the shark, very reminiscent of the scene where Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and Quint (Robert Shaw) try to attach a tracker using harpoons and barrels.
- There is a scene with Jason Statham trying to take aim at The Meg- very similar to the scene at the end of Jaws where Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) is aiming at the gas canister that eventually destroys Bruce.
- The attack on the beach is similar to that of the attack on Amity Beach.
- A dog ends up in the water. The dogs name is Pippin- very similar to Pippet, the black Labrador that perished in Jaws.
- The attack on the boat is visually similar to the attack on The Orca where Quint dies.
This film isn’t going to win any Oscars, but it’s a good, fun, romp worth of a repeat viewing. Very entertaining with lots of (sometimes inappropriate) chuckles throughout!
Rainn Wilson as Morris was a pleasant surprise! Wilson recently recreated the role of Harry Mudd, who was first seen in the original Star Trek, for the new show Star Trek: Discovery. There was a Trek reference in The Meg, said by him. I wonder if it was his idea?
Check it out!