Kyle Says THE MEG Is Some of the Most Fun He’s Had At A Theater This Summer.

Share Button

FILM REVIEW: THE MEG

BY KYLE ARANGO

 

Sharks have gotten a very rep ever since Jaws was released back in 1975. They are just meat eating creatures of habit that were doing their thing, minding their own business until Steven Spielberg and John Williams came along and messed everything up for them. Now they have embraced their role as underwater monsters and have a new movie coming out called The Meg. Could The Meg be the movie that reaffirms shark’s dominance as the scariest creatures under the surface? That is a 100% yes! The Meg is some of the most fun I’ve had in a theater this year and I am completely satisfied by what I saw.

When The Meg was announced with Jason Statham starring there was only one thing I wanted out of it, to see Statham punch the shark. All I’ll say is that I was satisfied. Now let me preface by saying do not go into this movie expecting Jaws. This is not Jaws nor does it want to be. This is not a deeply dramatic and thought-provoking film. It is a dumb summer blockbuster that goes for pure entertainment and it certainly succeeds. Everyone involved in this film knows exactly what they are doing and don’t try to be anything different. Director Jon Turteltaub goes for the ridiculousness this film calls for and makes it not too over the top. This is what the Fast and Furious movies want to be. I am not a fan of that franchise because I find them wanting to embrace the absurdity but then also wanting to be something serious and the tones never mesh. The Meg goes for the absurdity and never tries to be anything else. Also, it has a giant shark.

Now, obviously the big draw The Meg has going for it is the fact that it features a massive shark. Whenever we see massive carnivores on screen, we expect them to cause havoc and eat people. The Meg does exactly that without being too much. There is plenty of shark to go around and this shark is a presence. The Meg is a menacing shark that looks terrifying and does truly awful things. The shark just wants to eat. Think back to the Indominous Rex from Jurassic World, that is exactly what this shark is like. It has never seen anything outside of its environment and once it gets out, you can guess what happens from there. The dinosaur was finding its place in the food chain. The Meg already knows its place and decides to broaden its horizons with a buffet of people at the beach. The action sequences that take place with the shark are exhilarating and keeps you engaged. On the other side, everything involving action with the human characters is not as great. Turteltaub uses shaky cam to give you the feel of being in the ocean but it just becomes jarring and you cannot see what is actually going on. As a result, you completely check out of the scene and just wait for the shark to show back up.

The characters in The Meg are a very interesting bunch. Most of them are supposed to be scientists and I did not believe for a second that any of them were. Every actor played a version of themselves and some worked while others didn’t. Ruby Rose goes for an American accent,but you hear her Australian tongue slip through multiple times to the point where you just laugh. Page Kennedy becomes the comedic relief by acting like a scared child. Rainn Wilson who was supposed to be the comedic relief turns out to be much milder than I thought and his billionaire character actually works. Bingbing Li is supposed to be a top scientist but her character turns into a bumbling idiot that is played for pure laughs. She offers the dumbest suggestions at every turn and you can never take her seriously. Finally, Jason Statham completely owns this role. He is essentially a superhero who can solve almost every problem and clears most obstacles. They try to give him a flaw that could hinder his performances in situations, but they quickly throw that out the window because it is just not that interesting. It is way cooler to see him try and outswim a shark. Most of these characters are awful, but when the carnage ensues it makes it easier to let go of them.

To put a bow on it all, The Meg is a film with bad characters, a bad script, mediocre directing, many plot conveniences, and awful dialogue, but it has a giant shark in it and that they make it work. This is a movie that will never be more than three stars and it is not trying to be. The Meg knows exactly what it is and executes it perfectly. The is a five-star three-star movie filled with pure entertainment and I could not be happier.

 

 

FINAL WORD: