The Meg – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

A deep-sea submersible–part of an international undersea observation program–has been attacked by a massive creature, previously thought to be extinct, and now lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest trench in the Pacific… with its crew trapped inside. With time running out, expert deep sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is recruited by a visionary Chinese oceanographer (Winston Chao), against the wishes of his daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing), to save the crew–and the ocean itself–from this unstoppable threat: a pre-historic 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon. What no one could have imagined is that, years before, Taylor had encountered this same terrifying creature. Now, teamed with Suyin, he must confront his fears and risk his own life to save everyone trapped below. – (Source)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 50% (Critics) / 60% (Audience)
MetaScore: 45 – Mixed or average reviews
Directed By: Jon Turteltaub
Written By: Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber
Starring: Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, Cliff Curtis, Ruby Rose and Rainn Wilson
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Good:
Jason Statham is a perfect choice for a movie like this. The guy has cornered the action movie market on playing the charmingly taciturn hero who leaps into the jaws (literally) of danger to save others.And when the star of your film is an enormous pissed off prehistoric shark the last thing you want is for the hero of the film to be a chatterbox who gunks up the works with a whole bunch of dialogue.

When I saw the first trailer for THE MEG I was not very enthused about the looks of the movie’s CGI. From what I saw in the trailer I was expecting a steady stream of janky CGI similar to what we were given in another shark movie, DEEP BLUE SEA, where the size of the shark changes from frame to frame and the shark’s body maneuvered in ways that were not anatomically possible for the species. So I was quite surprised to realize that my fears were unfounded and the CGI for the megaladon was OK. Sure there were instances that were a bit dodgy but overall nothing to really complain too much about.

The Bad:
This movie was dumb. I mean completely idiotic. It is pretty much an established trope in monster/horror type movies that supposedly intelligent scientists will repeatedly make the most boneheaded decisions and THE MEG leaned into that trope with gusto.

Another thing that illustrates the nearly brain dead goofball nature of THE MEG is the numerous instances of hilariously unlikely happenstance that occurred to put people in jeopardy. There were Rube Goldbergian levels of complexity to the series of events that would take people from the safety of their boats to being left helplessly splashing in the water.

The Ugly:
The romantic subplot between Jason Statham and Li Bingbing’s characters was clunky, sophomoric and worst of all downright boring. The entire thing could have been left on the cutting room floor and shaved a smooth 20-30 minutes off of the overlong running time of THE MEG.

Final Verdict: A big goofy action movie that borders on the downright stupid more often than it should, THE MEG is a serviceable summer blockbuster with a charming performance from it’s lead Jason Statham and enough people being eaten by a big honking shark to make it not be a total waste of time.

Grade: C+

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