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Review: The Meg

Getting a positive reaction from audiences for a movie like The Meg should be simple. I think we all pretty much already know what that entails, so in our minds, it shouldn’t be all that difficult to achieve. All the creators have to do is not get in their own way while giving the people enough of the obvious. If those simple rules are followed, everything else should take care of itself. Then again, this has proven to not always be as easy of a task as it looks to be on the surface.

After a deep-sea submersible is attacked and disabled at the bottom of the deepest parts of the Pacific by a massive creature thought to be extinct, the crew finds themselves in a heap of trouble with their lives hanging in the balance. To save the crew, the international observation team it belongs to recruits Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham), a former expert deep-sea rescue diver with a devastating past. With his help, the team may be able to rescue those stuck at the bottom of the ocean as well as save the rest of the world from the devastating impact that the 75 foot-long pre-historic shark would bring with it.

After the opening scene, The Meg decides to move slowly when setting things up. As someone wanting a short action filled journey, this movie would have been better served just getting to the point. After watching it, I have a feeling that a significant amount of people will probably agree with me on that. A part of that will be because they’re going for the same reason I went, but some will also take issue with some of what’s included. That’s especially true for the opening act.

Although I did have a problem with the first act being unnecessarily slow, The Meg does manage to pick up once they decide to put the focus more on what’s important and eventually give us what we all wanted in the first place. This shift in focus gives the movie a much needed boost as what’s experienced here manages to be fun, steady, and mostly satisfying whenever it comes on-screen.

While there is an obvious improvement thanks to the danger presented to the characters, between the action, they keep taking us back to these subplots that no one cares about. I guess they serve the purpose of trying to actually build the characters in the early going, but the vast majority of this isn’t just gets in the way of all the shark shenanigans that we came to witness.

What makes this section worse is that there are certain things they introduce that serve no purpose whatsoever. They don’t even attempt to do anything with good number of these story-lines that they brought forth. It’s not something that hurts the movie too much since we’re not looking for this to be an epic cinematic experience, but the movie as a whole could have been even more entertaining just by removing most of this extra stuff.

It takes its time getting there, but whenever we get to the shark violence, just about all of it was good. It also ended up being more graphic than I had originally anticipated since it’s PG-13. In fact, it’s a little more gory and bloody than the usual movie that carries this rating. Of course, that’s fine with me, but I wish they would have just went all out and released this with an R rating. Maybe there will be a directors cut that delivers in that fashion? If so, I’ll check that one out too.

The Meg has issues, but it is definitely something you should see if you’re interested in shark movies that don’t take themselves too seriously. Something like this could have been worse, but there’s an honest attempt to at least provide some amusement for those of us who are open to diving into some shark infested waters for this type of adventure. If that sounds like you, then you should definitely give this a chance when you can.

Rating: PG-13

Director: Jon Turteltaub

Cast:
Jason Statham
Li Bingbing
Rainn Wilson
Ruby Rose
Winston Chao
Page Kennedy
Jessica McNamee
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
Robert Taylor
Sophia Shuya Cai
Masi Oka
Cliff Curtis

Film Length: 103 minutes

Release Date: August 10, 2018

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

  • Score - 7/10
    7/10
7/10
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