By: Nicole Zamlout
A living nightmare cliché, many anticipated the shark film, “The Meg,” to be no different from any other. A shark, whose full name is the Megalodon, tears his way through human victims as a couple of baffled scientists stumble to save the day. However, “The Meg” left viewers stunned by the end.
The movie’s plot is predictable –– a prehistoric shark escapes its icy prison beneath the ocean floor and terrorizes people as scientists at a nearby lab try to keep everything under control. The film did use some of the clichés we knew, but it also dared to be a bit original.
The monster was revealed with built anticipation, a dark shadow that slowly became the menacing creature known as the Megalodon. Its mass and hunger were never over-exaggerated because it was so terrifying on its own. It was a monster that didn’t need much motive –– it wanted to kill you because it was hungry. The Megalodon would feast, with no remorse or finesse –– simple, done and utterly terrifying.
None of the scientists on the team seemed unbelievably smart, or too brave or too serious. They were human, plain and simple. Jason Statham, who played protagonist Jonas Taylor, was a standout among the crowd.
Jonas cracked jokes in the face of danger, all while being a focused fighter. His feats weren’t overreaching, but still left you amazed. He was a hero who was allowed to fail or ask for help, which made him a protagonist worth rooting for. His supporting cast, Li Bingbing and Cliff Curtis especially, backed him up beautifully and picked up the slack, proving that it takes a village to slay a monster.
The pacing and cinematography of the film were extremely well done. The wide shots showed the magnitude of The Megalodon and helped build the audience’s anticipation of what the shark actually looks like. The cuts and transitions were done smoothly and really helped set each scene. The soundtrack also helped create tension and a sense of wonder.
“The Meg” dared to break the mold, as it told a story that we thought we already knew. It made audiences genuinely scared of what is hidden in sea for the first time since “Jaws.” It also created great scenes of humor and heart along the way, which other shark films seemed to have forgotten how to do.
The film told a full story, and didn’t just depict a gore fest filled with plastic characters and sharp teeth. “The Meg” swam into the realm of horror and took a big bite out of our expectations — and it’ll be going back for seconds.