Keepin’ It Reel: The Meg

with Cassidy McKnight

“The Meg” is such a suspenseful movie; you will never want to leave your seat. Since I had never seen a movie like this one before, it introduced a new type of thrill I never knew I was missing. The graphics were just right, the suspense was timed perfectly and the actors were daring. They were not at all what you would expect from people who are coming face to face with a pre-historic shark. If you want to go to the movies and grip onto the arms of your seat the entire time, this is the movie for you.

As the movie begins, we are introduced to Taylor, a rescue diver played by Jason Statham, and his team attempting to rescue scientists from a nuclear submarine. As Taylor is rescuing the last man, he witnesses the side of the submarine being bitten into by an unknown sea creature.  After rescuing the group and returning to the rescue submarine, Taylor is forced to choose between risking everyone’s lives to save his team, or to leave his team behind to save the scientists. In the end, Taylor chooses to abandon his team, leaving them to die in the submarine’s explosion. Taylor was the only witness to the strange cause of the submarine’s combustion and, because of his crazy story, he is brushed off and diagnosed with pressure-induced psychosis. Taylor loses his wife, job and leaves the country after being branded as a victim of trauma.

Five years later, an underwater research facility attempts to explore a possibly deeper section of the Marianas Trench. Lori, Taylor’s ex-wife, is on board the submarine, Mana One, when an incredibly large creature hits the submarine, causing it to lose contact with the facility. In a panic, Dr. Minway Zhang asks Taylor to rescue his crew and confront the monster he escaped from years ago.

Though Jason Statham is no Chuck Norris, he has set a high standard for portraying a fearless hero. His character is always there to save the day with a few snide remarks to help introduce some comic relief. In the crazy battle of man versus monster, Taylor makes you doubt the shark’s might when tested against his courage and skill in every scene.

All of the scenes from “The Meg” are unforgettable, but there is one particular scene that stood out to me. Toward the middle of the movie, the research group and Taylor are forced to try the impossible and get close enough to the megalodon to place a tracker on its fin. During the debate as to who should jump into the water with the megalodon, Taylor steps forward. I felt this was the most suspenseful scene in the entire movie. The theater was silent as everyone waited to see if Taylor could get the tracker on the giant shark without being noticed, or if he would be swallowed alive by the giant jaws of the megalodon.

For those of you looking for human-shark carnage, “The Meg” is not for you. Honestly, I was a little disappointed with the lack of gore. I went into the movie expecting to see bloodshed similar to “Jaws,” but ten times more gruesome. “The Meg” did not have nearly the number of graphic deaths as “Jaws.” Then again, “Jaws” was a normal great white shark that needed to bite into his victims a few times before their death, whereas the megalodon swallows everything whole. For anyone with a weaker stomach, or just wanting to enjoy a good thrill, “The Meg” will not disappoint.

Overall, I really enjoyed “The Meg” and it’s interesting take on a creature whose existence is still questioned by scientists. I would rate this movie a 7 out of 10, since it lacks the gore and horror that was expected from the audience. “The Meg” was thrilling, exciting and funny in every scene. Its plot did not disappoint. This is one of those movies were you’ll leave the theater wondering if there is such a monster out there, and what would happen if it was discovered.