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Monster fish wrecks havoc

August 3, 2018 2:18 AM
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THIS unique monster shark film, based on author Steve Alten's 1997 science-fiction book Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror, was initially in production hell for some time.

However, things started moving once director John Turtletaub (National Treasure) came on board, and this US-China production which stars Jason Statham, Li BingBing, Rainn Wilson, Winston Chao and Masi Oka, should appeal to fans of this genre.

During a tele-conference interview, Masi Oka (of Heroes and Hawaii Five-O fame) who was in Los Angeles, spoke about his role as Toshi, a co-pilot of a submersible.

"The crew are also the first to have a run-in with that enormous creature which is revealed to be an ancient shark (Carcharocles megalodon) that was thought to be long extinct."

Speaking about his character, Oka said: "[Toshi] is a sharp funny guy who sets the mood. He loves to joke around."

Oka explained that he was brought on to the project when they finally started shooting.

When asked what made him want to be a part of a 'monster' movie, Oka said, "It was two things actually. I was a big fan of John Turtletaub, and I thought National Treasure was fantastic, I wanted a chance to work with him.

In this day and age it is great to be a part of a global film and work with stars from all over the world whom I would never have got a chance to work with, including my friend Rainn Wilson which was great."

"I grew up watching Jaws and this new generation doesn't have anything like that.

So to be able to create a new franchise, a new Jaws for a new generation, that was very appealing for me. That sealed the deal for me."

When asked if he believed there are creatures on earth that have yet to be discovered, Oka said: "Absolutely ... I think there are many things under my building that no one knows about yet. Who knows?

"We might be watched by aliens. There might be other people who are A.I. (artificial intelligence) or something.

"There are so many possibilities. That is part of the joys of being human.

We get to be curious and pursue knowledge. Right now I think anything is possible."

His take on why people love 'monster' flicks is "I think it is escapist entertainment, it is something they won't be able to experience in their own.

"So it is great to take them on an adventure. I think people just like to feel that thrill. It is like going on a rollercoaster.

Dramas are great, but they can be really heavy and make you think about your life and what is going on."

He did not read the book the film is based on, and decided to leave himself in the hands on the director.

Describing what makes a great monster movie, Oka said: "For me ultimate monster for me is Godzilla. Being Japanese, it was what I grew on."

For him a good monster movie should display a wildness in imagination, and trying to do something different.

"I think it is also important to ground it. Our movie is very grounded and it does not become campy.

He said bad creature films are due to stilted acting and too much concentration on the creatures and not performances.

Oka said Turtletaub made The Meg a cohesive masterpiece buy bringing so many elements together.

"It is not just about bringing the book to life but also artist's interpretation of it.

In this case it John's vision. It is something like you have never seen. It will be fun for the whole family."


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