Jason Statham takes on a giant prehistoric shark (aka megalodon) in The Meg, a fun, sometimes over the top action adventure film.
The Production: 4/5
When an underwater research station awakens a massive megalodon (prehistoric shark), retired rescue expert Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is called in to save a team of scientists trapped in a submersible. Not only have they awakened The Meg, but the giant man-eater begins to attack the station and eventually a nearby resort.
To call The Meg a knock-off of Steven Spielberg’s classic Jaws would be correct, but it definitely is not a cheap rip-off like The Last Shark (aka Great White) or Up From the Depths. This is a much more loving tribute, along the lines of Deep Blue Sea or Piranha, with some appreciable nods to the original. Statham was a good choice as the reluctant hero of the piece (apparently he may have encountered this beast previously, as seen in the prologue), and the cast includes Rainn Wilson as the wealthy investor of the research facility, Winston Chao as the head of the facility, Bingbing Li as his daughter Suyin who is a researcher, and Cliff Curtis, Ruby Rose, Page Kennedy, Robert Taylor, and Masi Oka as fellow researchers and/or technicians at the facility. Director Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure, While You Were Sleeping) and screenwriters Dean Georgaris and Jon & Erich Hoeber never take the material (based on Steve Alten’s novel) too seriously, which helps with the movie’s campy tone that, thankfully, never quite reaches the insanity of the Sharknado movies.
3D Rating: NA
Watching The Meg on 4K UHD Blu-ray, it is hard to believe the film was completed as a 2K digital intermediate. Warner’s HEVC-encoded 2160p transfer presents the film in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 with both HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range. Viewing on an HDR10-capable display, this could easily be a poster-child for UHD and HDR. Colors are vivid, with more dramatic and noticeable shading than its 1080p Blu-ray counterpart, prominently on display in the varying blue-green waters of Sanya Bay during the film’s finale. Contrast is also vastly improved, with a much brighter picture overall than the Blu-ray, but also deeper blacks as there is a lot more visible detail in the murky depths of the ocean. Fine detail is exquisite, allowing the viewer to see practically each piece of beard stubble poking out of Jason Statham’s face and even the most miniscule of water particles and particles in the water
This is yet another Warner disc that defaults to a redundant DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 rather than the superior Dolby Atmos track (which is Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible). The Atmos track (which you have to select from the main menu) is both expansive and immersive, with overheads implored for shark swim-overs, water flowing, explosions, etc. Bass response is excellent and never gets to the point of overwhelming dialogue, music, and effects.
Special Features: 2.5/5
All of the extras can be found on the included Blu-ray copy of the movie.
Chomp on This: The Making of “The Meg” (1080p; 12:09): All-too-brief look at the making of the film, featuring interviews with the cast and crew.
Creating the Beast (1080p; 10:25): A look at the visual effects used in the film, focusing on the creation of the megalodon.
New Zealand Film Commission (1080p; 1:53): Promotional video enticing you to shoot your next movie in New Zealand.
Digital Copy: An insert contains a code to redeem a digital copy on Movies Anywhere.
The Meg is a fun summer popcorn movie that looks and sounds great on 4K UHD Blu-ray, although the special features are a bit thin.