Nowadays, we want things bigger, badder, and sillier in our big budget action movies. And The Meg delivers on all front. Jason Statham is at his most charming self and crack the most smiles here more than any of his previous movies combined! Much like The Rock’s recent dud, SKYSCRAPER, this is a movie financed by the Chinese company and made specifically for the Asian audiences. It’s where the money coming in for the studios nowadays. Asian audiences are easier to please than their western counterparts who are pretty jaded with their movie going experience. The eastern audiences are game with the movie going experience as a pure escapist entertainment so movies with fantastical premises and highly implausible concept do really well in that region. The Meg is one of such movie. What surprise me is that this movie cost an upward of 150 millions to make. More than the cost of some of the Marvel Cinematic universe output. The final result does look impressive and it is superior to the recent blockbuster flop Skyscraper because it doesn’t take itself too seriously, the cinematography is gorgeous, and there are genuine suspenseful and foreboding underwater moments. It did not pander to the audience by planting many shameless cheer-baiting moments like Skyscraper. And the final confrontation between man and monster sea-beast is truly Ahab-MobyDick epic. You will come out of this movie entertained and not feel like you had just wasted two hours of your life that you can’t get back.
The journey of how The Meg gone through the Hollywood system is also very interesting to note:
“Eli Roth was attached as director before he was replaced with Jon Turteltaub. Roth left due to creative differences with the studio, namely that he wanted the film to maintain both its R-rating and a $150 million budget. It’s also rumored that Roth, on top of writing and directing, also wanted to play the lead role of Jonas, but the studio believed he didn’t have the star power.
Initially set up at Disney in 1997 when the book was published, a bid which cost the studio nearly one million. The project eventually went into turnaround after Disney caught cold feet about competing with Warner’s 1999 killer shark pic Deep Blue Sea (1999). Alten, frustrated at the lack of movement on the project, wrote his own draft which he showed to Nick Nunziata, who then in turn delivered to Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro took the project to Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin, who brought on Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) director Jan De Bont to helm.
In its early stages of development, this was being touted as a George Clooney vehicle.
The dog seen late in the film, which appears in the trailer, is named Pippin. This is likely an homage to Jaws (1975), in which it’s the name of a dog which disappears while swimming and was presumably eaten by the shark.”
(Quoted from IMDB)