Steven Spielberg never saw this coming. Steven Spielberg wiping his glasses incredulously as he watches the trailers and sweats through his turtleneck. Steven Spielberg thinking about his filmic output over the past five years and regretting every single production. “A movie about a newspaper? Who gives a fuck. Ready player who? It’s just Avatar for Redditors. This is all shit. It’s SHIT,” he spits as he pours his Oscars into a furnace. Steven Spielberg knows he’s finished. Utterly finished. But by what, I hear you ask. By the film, nay, the Experience, The Meg. No one will remember his name after his ‘masterpiece,’ Jaws, is exposed as the straight-to-DVD snoozefest that it is when compared to The Meg. “Why oh why didn’t I make the shark not only bigger, but also a dinosaur,” laments Steven. “Why was I cursed with Jason Statham being only 7 years old at the time of filming my shitty, SHITTY shark movie.” On and on he wails in a similar fashion whilst the Academy methodically erases his name from all cinematic records, writing a new name in bold: JOHN TURTELTAUB, DIRECTOR OF THE MEG.
The Meg is one of those moments in human history that you feel lucky to be witnessing, akin to the moon landing, the destruction of the Berlin Wall, and Elon Musk calling a heroic rescuer a pedo. If you’re unfamiliar with The Meg then, firstly, I’m sorry you had to read that 250-word bit, and secondly, please stop what you’re doing immediately and watch the trailers. The Meg revolves around the extinct-for-two-million-years 70-foot megalodon returning to the seas, and only Jason Statham (who else?!) can stop it. What I’m going to do for you today is predict exactly what will happen in this movie, using only knowledge gained from the trailers and from the intimate mental bridge that exists between Jason Statham and I. So please, come on in, the water’s fine (in this metaphor “water” means the article and “fine” means not fine).
‘What I’m going to do for you today is predict exactly what will happen in this movie, using only knowledge gained from the trailers and the intimate mental bridge that exists between Jason Statham and I’
The movie opens on some marine biologists in submersibles scraping up bits of shell from the ocean floor when a giant squid suctions onto one of them. Just as the giant squid is about to crush the submersible, it’s torn away by a huge toothy beast emerging from the deep. It looks like a shark, but no shark could ever be that big, surely?!?! Meanwhile, back at the Atlantic Nautical Underwater Station (the ANUS), the bigwigs of marine biology have been watching the incident through the submersible’s onboard cameras. They exchange a knowing glance. There’s only one creature this could be. And there’s only one man to lay their hopes on.
Cut to Jason Statham sat on a tropical beach in a hammock, sporting a loose-fitting t shirt and harem trousers, a product placement beer in one hand and a whole cooked lobster in the other. He squeezes the lobster and all of the meat comes squirting out in one hot jet straight into his gob. “That’s good lobster,” he grumbles, wiping his mouth. Just as he takes a swig of beer, a woman dressed in a suit approaches him. “What do you want?” he asks warily. “I’m from the ANUS,” she says. “We need you to come back.” Statham eyes them with disdain and starts to walk off. “Please, Doctor Harpoon. You’re the only one who can help,” she pleads. “I don’t dive anymore,” replies Statham. “Now if you don’t mind I’m trying to enjoy a refreshing bottle of Grolsch.” Statham continues to walk away. “It’s a megalodon,” says the woman. Statham stops in his tracks.
We flashback to five years earlier. Statham is on his boat with his wife and young son. “I’m going for a dive, love, I won’t be long,” Statham says to his wife as he slips into his wetsuit. “I want to come with you, daddy,” says his eight-year-old son. “Sorry, boy, you’re too young. Now you go and play with that pail of fish blood. I’ll be back in time for dinner.” Statham dives into the water, but upon returning to the boat an hour later, he finds a harrowing sight. His family isn’t on the boat, the pail lies on its side dripping into the water, and a huge, extinct-looking fin can be seen slipping under the surface in the distance, a trail of blood behind it. Statham is in shock.
“Doctor,” comes a voice from somewhere. “DOCTOR.” Statham snaps out of his daze. He’s in a speedboat heading to the ANUS. “Doctor, there’s been reports that the creature has eaten a woman’s child, known locally as Little Timmy. We’re approaching the base where you’ll be working with our team to investigate – and kill – the megalodon,” says the suited man. “I work alone,” growls Statham, but in minutes he’s whisked into the base and introduced to the team: Rainn Wilson, the guy who makes the jokes, and Ruby Rose, the gal (based on her short hair in the trailers and the media’s gendered stylisation) who is a badass. “Team, this is Doctor Finn Harpoon, he’s the best there is,” says the man. There’s then half an hour or so of team bonding/megalodon fact-finding. Rainn Wilson probably says “I think we’ve bitten off more than we can chew,” and other such whimsical witticisms.
‘The motion sensor is showing a huge creature in the vicinity, and it’s heading straight for the ANUS’
Meanwhile, on a boat nearby is a real happening party. It’s so lit. Some of the guests jump into the sea and a dog that’s on board joins them. It starts paddling away from the boat, when it sees a gargantuan fin break the surface. It turns around and begins swimming back to the boat in a panic, but it’s too late, the dog is swallowed. Cut back to Statham and co who are watching a breaking news report about the party boat being overturned with no survivors found. Suddenly, Rainn Wilson pipes up. “Guys, you might wanna take a look at this,” he says. “The motion sensor is showing a huge creature in the vicinity, and it’s heading straight for the ANUS.”
Somewhere deeper in the facility, a child is running around for some reason. She comes to a window and looks out to find the huge face of the megalodon. The megalodon bites, leaving enormous teeth marks in the glass. Statham runs down to see the marks. The rumours are true. It is a megalodon. “How will we stop it?” asks Ruby Rose. “We can’t stop it,” barks Statham. “If a shark stops, it dies. It’ll never stop. I’m just going to have to keep up with it,” he says. “What do you mean?” asks Ruby Rose. Statham turns to her with a look of determination. “I’m going in,” he says. Rainn Wilson has shat himself upon hearing such news. “Going in?! You can’t just go in! This isn’t an Arby’s!!!!” But Statham’s mind is set. Suddenly there’s a loud bang and the station lets out a haunting creak. The meg has attacked again. “The ANUS is leaking!” someone yells from upstairs. “It’s now or never,” says Statham, somehow already in a wetsuit. He bounds upstairs and leaps out of the puncture wound in the station’s hull, forcing himself against the strong inflow of water and straight into the mouth………of the meg.
Statham now finds himself in the belly of the beast, literally. Suddenly there’s a yapping from behind him. It’s that dog from the boat party! Statham listens to the dog “What’s that, boy?” he asks. “Little Timmy is stuck in the gall bladder?” Statham heads to the gall bladder and grabs Little Timmy (the boy who was presumed dead earlier, I’m sure you remember) before heading back to the stomach to join the dog. “How are we going to get out of here?” asks the boy. “I’ve got a trick up my sleeve,” replies Statham. “Something they don’t teach you in shark school.” Statham removes his wet-glove revealing his muscular clenched fist. He punches the wall of the stomach with the force of a traction engine. The stomach convulses violently, and before long the three occupants are sicked up into the ocean.
‘there’s no time for the resolution of character arcs, as it’s now just Statham and the meg. Mano a mano. God’s most powerful beasts face to face’
But almost immediately the meg recovers and swims straight at the three of them, mouth agape. Just as Statham thinks it’s all over, Ruby Rose slams into the side of the creature in a mini-sub, dazing it for long enough that she can pick up the dog and Little Timmy and take them back to the ANUS. “Maybe this bird isn’t too bad. Maybe I shouldn’t be so isolated all the time,” Statham thinks. But there’s no time for the resolution of character arcs, as it’s now just Statham and the meg. Mano a mano. God’s most powerful beasts face to face. The meg swims towards him, hunger in its eyes. Statham stands his ground and clenches his fist once more. “Have this you bint,” says Statham even though he’s underwater, and he slams his fist into the meg’s nose just as it reaches him. Statham’s vengeful punch is seismic, and the meg is stopped in its tracks like a car hitting a brick wall. The force of his fist rocks the ANUS, and the meg lies dead in the water, much to the relief of Statham’s team, the general public, and the CGI artists on the film. Statham swims back into the ANUS just as he runs out of oxygen, and passes out as his team surround him. The screen fades to black.
A title card of “two weeks later” fades in and Statham is seen in front of a grave. “In memory of Harriet Harpoon and Poseidon Harpoon, loving wife and son (respectively),” reads the engraving. He places a recently harvested megalodon tooth on the grave. “Six years today,” he says as Ruby Rose and Rainn Wilson come up behind him and each put a hand on his back. “They would be proud of you,” says Ruby Rose. There is a sombre moment of reflection. “I’ve got an ice-cold Grolsch waiting back at my place with your name on it, Finn, let’s the three of us have a couple of brewskis and watch Jaws,” says Rainn Wilson. “You son of a bitch,” laughs Statham, clamping a friendly hand on Rainn’s shoulder as the three of them saunter off into the sunset. “What’s Jaws?” asks Ruby Rose.
Well there you have it ladies and gents: the official run-down of what happens in The Meg. But don’t take my word for it, go and experience it yourselves. This, the culmination of all cinematic efforts since the invention of the moving picture, deserves to be seen on the biggest screen you can find. While you do that I will be here, bidding on eBay for a signed photo of Jason Statham and eagerly anticipating The Meg 2.