Review: The Meg

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Director: Jon Turteltaub.
Starring: Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Cliff Curtis.

 

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With the lowest track record of any type of monster film, audiences never have high expectations for shark flicks, yet, they still reel in the big bucks – a perfect combination for producers. Against reason, audiences still seem to have hope that someday, we’ll get a shark film that might offer us a viewing experience reminiscent of Jaws. Well, keep looking, because this film is absolute rubbish.

Action poster-boy Jason Statham stars as Jonas Taylor, disgraced deep-sea rescue extraordinaire who is called in by researchers at ‘Mana One’, an underwater research facility, who have stumbled across a ‘thought to be extinct’ Megalodon, as it wreaks havoc on the Chinese coast with its massive mouth and insatiable appetite.

Megalodon, an extinct species of shark that existed millions of years ago, is the titular titan in ‘The Meg’.

There are a multitude of reasons why this film is nothing more than a waste of time. First of all, for a film of this subgenre: there is barely any gore. In keeping with classic American action films, the sub-plots are overly sappy and, finally, the dialogue makes Tommy Wiseau’s The Room sound like a Shakespearean sonnet.

“It was a nice try to have the only character that can match Taylor’s heroism and bravery a woman, let alone a single mother.”

Ultimately, it’s the characters that really spell out “MAYDAY” for this complete shipwreck of a film. The “leading lady” (I use that term loosely) comes in the form of Li Bingbing’s character Suyin Zhang, an underwater expert and single mother. It was a nice try to have the only character that can match Taylor’s heroism and bravery be a woman, especially a single mother. However, Bingbing offers a stiff and unemotional performance coupled with Statham, leaving absolutely no chemistry between the pair. The characters have no layers and with their painfully cheesy one-liners, you’re just waiting for them to be devoured.

No death is moving and only three out of the six thousand jokes shoved into the script are funny. In terms of character presence, Rainn Wilson (better known as Dwight from the US version of The Office), brings some life to scenes, but he’s overshadowed by the pathetic excuse of a love story between Jonas and Zhang being shoved down our throat – as has virtually become a prerequisite in shark-themed monster films.

The film would have greatly benefited if they took away some of the jokes, added more gore and had fewer but more developed characters.

The film would have greatly benefited if they removed some of the jokes, added more gore and had fewer but more developed characters. ‘The Meg’ could have been a stellar performance. However, once again it seems Hollywood producers are more interested in a 12A rating than making a quality film.

In a nutshell: With an abundance of cheesy dialogue, superficial characters and little suspense, the sooner ‘The Meg’ goes extinct the better.

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