The Meg – 2.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Meg – 2.5/5 –  In the world of film, there is a genre known as a Creature Feature.  The basic concept surrounds a beast and their journey throughout a specific setting.  No matter how many clichés and redundancies, if the creature provides amazing display of shock and awe, it is entertaining.  The Meg takes a common used animal (Shark) and tries to spin it in a different perspective.  Even with the promise of using a prehistoric creature, The Meg still dances a line of not doing anything different.  Even with a strong lead, The Meg turns into a journey of lost potential

Premise: After awakening a beast that should have been left alone, a group of scientist must confront this evil creature before it is let loose on the world.


For the list of actors/actresses, please refer to the film’s IMDb page.  Some of the notable names are:

Jason Statham as Jonas Taylor

Rainn Wilson as Morris

Ruby Rose as Jaxx

Page Kennedy as DJ

These four (along with the rest of the main/secondary cast) are typical to any kind of disaster or creature film.  Even with a strong lead in Statham, he can’t go beyond the caricature of the common ‘action hero’ role.  Even if it is cliched, he still provides some brass to all the other wooden characters.  The rest (including the other notables) have predictable mannerisms, cliché one-liners and lack of depth.  There is a basic assumption there won’t be any real characterization, but they don’t even provide the ability to create relatable individuals.  They become typecast, only serviceable to speak lines, provide exposition or become victims of the shark.  One positive character is The Meg. The shark is monstrous in size and ferocity.  Even if the creature is nothing but a plot device, there is a driving force of fear that surrounds any interaction.

The direction tackles a very basic script with the added element of the Creature Feature stylings.  No matter if its fantastical or realistic, the creature becomes the ‘driving force’ for all conflict, drama and suspense in the film.  The prehistoric angle adds layers to the common ‘shark attack’ trope, providing some intuitive development.  In the first act, you are introduced to all the characters and setting, driving the ‘catalyst’ of investigation of the ocean depth.  Through oblivious plot devices and some mysterious elements, the initial encounter becomes a battle of survival.  This leads to the group of scientists on an expedition to take out the awaken beast.  There is some logic and consistent storytelling, providing some height of struggle.  Eventually, all the promising themes/tonal buildup leads to a safety net of direction.  By rehashing elements of any previous creature/disaster films, it takes the unique situation and morphs it into a montage of predictable tropes, encounters and deaths.  No matter if it is the obvious death sequences, unexpected attacks or pseudo shocking twist, it all breaks the window of lost potential.  There is a great adventure to tell with using a prehistoric shark, but it becomes a basic plot device to ‘kill off’ characters.  The direction plays it safe within the first two acts, not bending too far within the dramatics or going off the deep end to create a ‘too bad its good’ scenario.  By dancing the middle ground, its drowns the experience.  Once you get to the final act, it turns towards the potential.  By pushing forward that battle aspect, it mixes in some intuitive team dynamics to provide high octane action.  The deaths become surreal, the campy detail is slightly refreshing, and the adventure starts to set in.  Once at the climax, it brings a confrontation that is so outlandish, it almost makes up for the terrible first/second act.  In the epilogue, you feel somewhat redeemed but still know there could have been so much more.

The visuals are what you expect in this type of film.  With a CGI creation complimented by a realistic setting in the ocean, it adds levels of fear.  Even as the deaths are predictable, the scenarios of ‘how’ within the cinematography provides some entertaining value. The score is basic for this kind of film.

The Meg dances along a safe line that leads to a disappointing experience.  Even when the last act provides some fun detail, the overall ‘lacking’ feeling has you yearning for more.  If you like shark stuff, Statham or these kinds of films, you can check it out.  I’ll just recommend that everyone wait for it to be a rental.

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