The Meg

meg_ver7STARS1.5In the four decades since Jaws there has been a seemingly never-ending tide (pun intended) of shark-themed dramas. I suppose quality determines whether each offering is considered a rip-off, an homage or perhaps “inspired by”.  I do enjoy these types of stories.  The Shallows is a recent example that was quite good.  Others like Deep Blue Sea or Jaws 3-D — a proper sequel in the original franchise — are so ridiculous that they’re kind of enjoyable anyway. The Meg is neither of those. It’s just awful. This production doesn’t even qualify as adequate entertainment. It’s cut up pieces of fish – a bucket of chum in the sea of movies about killer sharks.

The Meg is actually short for Megalodon which is a now extinct 75 foot long species of fish that lived in prehistoric times.  It was one of the largest and most powerful predators to have ever lived.  First off, The Meg is a stupid title.  It sounds like a romantic comedy about a woman named Megan with a very big ego.  Yes I know it was based on the book Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten.  I don’t care.  Lose that title.  That’s why movies are written by screenwriters.  It astonishingly took three writers (Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber) to adapt this story.  Personally, I don’t know why they didn’t embrace the silliness with some fun title like Megalomania! and put an exclamation point at the end to emphasize the fact.  The saga is helmed by Jon Turteltaub (Phenomenon, National Treasure).  He’s one of those dependable directors that has been working since the early 90s.  For years he turned out a lot of profitable live-action features for the Disney studio.  Disney in fact picked up the movie rights way back in 1997 but dropped the project a few years later. It languished in development hell for 2 decades. Warner Brothers has finally brought it to the screen.  Given the production budget was between $130–178 million plus $140 million on advertising, it would appear they’re likely to lose money.  At least in the domestic market.  There are overworked clichés, dreary special effects, and a plot so rote it can be summed up in three words: Shark attacks crew.

The Meg could have been so bad it’s good. No such luck. The picture takes itself too seriously to be in on the joke but then not legitimately enough to bother with a decent script.  It occupies that middle ground where it’s conspicuously bad.  The marketing for The Meg has featured Jason Statham. I am a fan of the action star.  He brings a much needed stoic resolve that is required in adventures like these.  He plays a rescue diver and he’s the main figure.  However, there’s a large international cast of actors playing scientists, oceanographers, and Ph.D. holders that take residence up in this underwater research facility too.  They add absolutely nothing to the narrative.  There’s some great talent here.  I won’t impugn their acting craft.  Unfortunately, none of it is on display here.  It’s surprising that in a flick named after a prehistoric beast, the titular animal doesn’t really occupy that much screen time.  This is mainly about the capricious relationships between the various crew members.  In fact, there’s very little to recommend about The Meg. It’s a pretty weak excuse for a film.  This shark movie lacks bite.


9 Responses to “The Meg”

  1. I liked it a little more in the 2nd act and 3rd act to consider it average thanks to the efforts of Statham and Rainn; felt like it tool itself a little less seriously in those acts. But, there’s still too many attempts at legitimate emotion that fail every time.

    The dialogue is a problem, but collectively, it probably has the worst performances by an ensemble cast in a “big” movie this entire year to this point. I’m sure Ruby Rose and Li Bingbing (among others) are good people, but man, many here cannot deliver a line to save their lives. I’d probably go again if a date wanted to go, but I’ve forgotten most of it.


  2. GaryGreg828 Says:

    So, this one isn’t going to make your top 10 2018 list? lol. The only shark movie I’ve seen that is any good after “Jaws” is an australian one called “The Reef”. If you haven’t seen it, check it out; it’s nearly as good as “Jaws”. Of course I don’t expect you to like it as much as “The Meg” but I think you’d appreciate it, nonetheless. 🙂


  3. Martin1250 Says:

    Agreed, it does take itself seriously. The characters of Statham, Winston Chao, and Li Bingbing were given the more dramatic parts.
    however i appreciated the movie on a very basic level which was how they hunted for the shark. On that basis i thought it was kind of entertaining But i do see the missed opportunity for it to have been more fun. in case you’re interested, i wrote a review.


  4. Martin1250 Says:

    I see what you mean. They would be on a boat and the shark would just show up. But everytime someone jumped in the water to execute their plan, I thought there was some suspense. Not a very good ‘monster’ movie but am curious as to how it will do on video.


  5. Laughable, but not, in a good way. Bad, bad acting. Dumb story. 2 stars cause I like Jason Statham.


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