Blu-ray Review: The Meg

By , Contributor
The summer of 2018 made it unsafe once again to go back in the water with the arrival of The Meg, a cheesy-as-all-get-out shark movie that, for all its derivativeness, was a blast of old-fashioned, B-movie fun. No, it ain't Jaws. It may not even be Deep Blue Sea. But this Jason Statham-headliner is only slightly-sunk by an over-indulgent running time (113 minutes; probably could've been about 90 without losing anything pertinent) and perhaps one climax too many.

Currently available on Blu-ray from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (also available in the full roster of formats: Blu-ray 3D, 4K UltraHD, standard DVD, and Digital HD), The Meg doesn't reinvent the 'shark movie' subgenre. Basically the plot is more or less an excuse for director Jon Turteltaub to stage ever more spectacular (and ever more ludicrous, of course) shark attack scenes. A heretofore unknown area of the ocean, deep below a huge, hazy, gaseous cloud, is being explored by Dr. Minway Zhang (Winston Chao) and his daughter Suyin (Lu Bingbing). Multi-billionaire Jack Morris (Rainn Wilson of TV's The Office) finances their operation.

Cue attack by mysterious creature of the deep. Bring in the only man who can save the trapped deep-sea explorers, Jonas Taylor (Statham). Via flashback (that opens the film), we learn that Jonas has had uncomfortably intimate experience with this sort of thing in the past. Statham seems to be having a blast, combining the steely cool of his many starring action roles with the more comedic presence he displayed in Sylvester Stallone's Expendables ensemble blowouts.

Of course, there are many near-miss disasters, even more deaths-by-shark, and some rather predictable double-crossings. This isn't the first movie to utilize the now-extinct behemoth of a shark, the Megalodon, as its "villain." There was Megalodon (2004) and the immortal cult classic Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (memorably starring John Barrowman). But this is the first one to boast such incredible special effects (I saw this in 3D in theaters and it was a blast!). The Meg delivers precisely what it promises—nothing more, nothing less. But that's enough, it turns out.

Considering it was a decent-sized summer hit, Warner Bros. Blu-ray disc (which boasts Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, and DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless audio options), the special features presented within are a little slim. "Chomp On This" is your basic, promotional-minded "making of" featurette (12 minutes). "Creating the Beast" is pretty much more of the same (and only 10 minutes), but at least a bit more informative look at the creation of the film's central monster. "New Zealand Film Commission" is a two-minute bit of nothing, promoting... well, New Zealand's film commission. Did I say the features were a "little" slim? Make that a LOT slim. Still, The Meg is a good time and has a high re-watchability factor.

Meg BD.jpg

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Chaz Lipp is a Las Vegas-based musician and freelance writer. His new jazz album 'Good Merlin' is now available.

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