The Meg Review: JAWS on Juice
If you like silly movies that feature humans being terrorized by monstrous beasts with ridiculous plots and a suspect script, then The Meg will be right up your alley. It’s definitely a fun summer movie flick with more than a few issues, but it’s worth seeing in theaters for the spectacle alone. You can check out the full review below via the embedded video or its script.
Hey now fans of movies you know won’t be that good but you have to see anyway because of the whacky plot, Matt Heywood here from EntertainmentBuddha.com to review The Meg, or what I like to call, JAWS on growth hormone.
When I first saw a trailer for The Meg, which is a movie about a group of scientists and underwater divers that discover the existence of Megaladons after an uber-rich Elon Musk type funds an expedition to the deepest part of the ocean, I knew I had to see it in theaters even though it probably wouldn’t be an award worthy film.
I’m a sucker for monster movies like The Meg, mostly because of the silly predictable plots, and for the creatures themselves, because to me they’re just fun theater going experiences that offer up plenty of candy for your eyes and ears, without taxing your brain with a deep plot. Plus, I’ve always been drawn to sharks, Great Whites in particular, and I also loved to scare myself as a kid watching JAWS, so a movie like The Meg, which features sharks that reach 90 feet in length, spoke to me through its previews.
After checking it out on an IMAX screen, I confirmed most of my expectations for it. It definitely featured a fantastic monster-like creature in the Megaladon, which looked perfectly frightening thanks to the high-quality CGI used to bring it to life. It also featured a few tense chase sequences and other jumpy action moments to keep you on the edge of your seat with your eyes and ears wide open to take in all of the nonsense playing out on screen. Best of all, it also had a very generic plot and plenty of pointless emotional interactions between its diverse cast of characters, so it had all of the cheese I expected in a movie of its nature.
I’m not picking on The Meg for its corniness either, because like I stated earlier, I love movies like this that are so fantastical and at times ridiculous that it ultimately makes them charming to watch. The Meg excels on these fronts, as well as with its action beats, which all look great, and feature over-the-top moments that should only exist in movies about superheroes and space aliens, but they work anyway, because again, we’re talking about killer sharks that have been dead for millions of years. If anything else, prehistoric shark fans should watch it just to see the Megaladon species brought back to life, because it is a very impressive species to see in action, and being a shark guy myself, I wholeheartedly appreciated seeing this king of the ocean brought back to life, even if just for a silly summer blockbuster flick.
The Meg is definitely the star of the film, but I have to say that it was great to see Jason Statham back in a lead action heavy role again. The dude is a very believable action star, and even though he does some pretty surreal things in The Meg, he still manages to make the lunacy feel authentic, so he definitely helped to sell this film’s silly plot. I have to also mention Shuya Sophia Cai, who plays one of the other leads’ daughter, because quite frankly, she out acts most of the adult cast, and has more than a few solid lines and interactions with her elders.
The rest of the cast is pretty forgettable though, and some come off as very generic stereotypes. There’s a token black guy who spews witty lines that don’t really illicit laughs. There is a fat white guy who also provides what I assume were supposed to be funny but touching moments. There’s a rich white guy who acts like a jerk, but then you think he may be nice, then you realize he’s still a rich jerk. I hate to even say this, but the asian actors all play very stereotypical asian roles, which all feel like they were forced into doing so to appeal to this film’s Chinese release. It’s very clear that this movie was made with the intention of appealing to the Asian market, which is totally fine and I understand why from a business sense, but in the end it just made certain characters feel like cardboard cutouts of other hollow characters we’ve seen in movies like this. With that being said, the diverse cast did work well together in the end, but their characters weren’t given the best dialogue and direction to make them feel unique and authentic.
The Meg definitely shined brightest when the focus was on the shark and the perilous situations the humans found themselves in with it, but due to a lack of concise editing, the film feels a bit bogged down thanks to its forced emotional scenes. This movie would have benefited from a tighter cut, in fact, I’d say it was about 20-25 minutes too long. In the end though, I never found myself yearning for the end so I could leave, so while it was far from perfect, I still found The Meg to be a fun movie-going experience.
It earns a 6.5 out of 10 review score from Team EB, and a recommendation from your’s truly to go see in theaters. It definitely benefits from the big screens and booming sounds systems of a state of the art theater chain, so while the plot is silly, and some of the acting is suspect, for the type of movie that The Meg is, it’s still worth your time and money to see before it hits the home release market. It really does showcase some awesome looking scenes, so if anything else it’s a spectacle to look at. Besides, who doesn’t want to see a human punch a millions years old shark the size of an airplane in the eye on an IMAX screen! After all, that’s what summer popcorn style movies are all about.
Thanks for watching, this is Matt Heywood signing off for EntertainmentBuddha.com, where we make you a better geek, one post at a time.
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