Jason Statham may be most well-known for his modern classic action movies like the Fast and Furious sequels and British heist thrillers like The Bank Job, but in 2018 this action hero star released a monster movie that was once critically panned but is now #1 on streaming. The Meg is currently the top streaming choice on Netflix, according to FlixPatrol, and even though this is a movie that was nominated for one of the worst accolades a film can get (a Golden Raspberry for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off, or Sequel), we consider The Meg to be a solid B-movie that’s maybe not quite worth putting at the top of your watch list but is good enough to sit through if you’ve got nothing else going on.

Based on Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten, The Meg follows Jason Statham as Jonas Taylor a rescue diver who encounters a massive, unidentifiable creature while on a rescue mission to save the crew of a damaged nuclear submarine. After no one believes his tale of the creature, Taylor becomes a drunken loner until he is recruited five years later on another rescue mission and must face his fears and dive back into the sea.

When Taylor and his crew dive deep into Mariana Trench in a deep-sea submersible, they encounter the creature once more and discover that it is actually the largest marine predator to ever exist—the megalodon.

In addition to Jason Statham, The Meg also stars Bingbing Li, Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis, Winston Chao, and Ruby Rose. The film was directed by Jon Turtletaub, who is most well-known for directing the Nicolas Cage Disney classic, National Treasure. It was written by Dean Georgaris, who previously wrote the action-mystery Paycheck starring Ben Affleck, and brothers Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, who had previously worked on Red and Battleship together.

Despite being critically panned, The Meg blew financial predictions out of the water when it was released in 2018. Slated to earn an estimated $20 million in its first weekend at the box office, this underwater monster film beat its goal on the first day, raising estimates to $40 million for the opening weekend, a goal it also managed to beat by bringing in a total of $45.4 million. These high numbers made the film Jason Statham’s highest solo opening ever, and the same for director Turtletaub as well.

The movie ended up generating a total box office income of $530.2 million on a budget of about $178 million.

However, despite the financial success that clearly showcased how much audiences were enjoying the film, critics had hardly anything nice to say about the Jason Statham feature. Aside from appreciating Statham’s acting, most critics agreed that The Meg was a B-rated monster movie that was attempting to generate the same sensation that Steven Spielberg’s Jaws did 43 years earlier, but lacked the original thrills to accomplish the task. Unfortunately, critics also didn’t think that The Meg was bad enough to be good in an over-the-top cheesy way the way that the Sharknado franchise could be considered to be, feeling as though it fell flat in the middle as neither that great nor that terrible.

Regardless of the critical consensus, Jason Statham and Jon Turtletaub have announced a The Meg sequel in the works, much to the appeal of fans who loved the first film’s impressive CGI that brought the massive prehistoric shark to life. A script for Meg 2: The Trench was completed in 2020, and, after some delays due to the pandemic, production began in January 2022. Now, the sequel will hit theaters on August 4, 2023, with most of the film’s original actors expected to return.

Starting with Jaws in 1975, shark movies have become a pop culture phenomenon. Striking fear in the hearts of ocean-goers everywhere, shark movies dive into the thalassophobia of the movie watcher, proving that terrible things hide deep within the sea. While no movie has been as impactful as the film that started the genre, films like Jason Statham’s The Meg, Sharknado, and Deep Blue Sea have left their marks on film history as they entertain, frighten, and leave lasting impressions on their audiences.