Cinemaster Score: 6.4/10
When you take a look at The Meg you will find a lot of lost potential with a handful of key success points. These do, overall, deflate this film into mediocrity. While The Meg has fun, relatable characters, it also has a script that is less than desirable. It does have an amazing cast but along with that comes a fairly lackluster story. The Meg does happen to be very enjoyable but that only tends to be when looking at what it does right – which is laughable fun. But this isn’t doesn’t happen to be what many moviegoers wanted to see. It’s PG-13 rating keeps it from being extremely thrilling, too. So yes it is enjoyable for fun and laughs but in hindsight, that is about all it has. The rest of the movie falls short and is kind of bland. What The Meg does good is great but unfortunately, what it does bad is close to terrible, making The Meg a true modern B-movie.
Acting; The Meg has a fairly star-studded cast. The acting capabilities are displayed well throughout this film. With one of the coolest action stars (Jason Statham) being front and center, The Meg reels you in immediately. Each actor brings in their personal best components to portray their characters extremely well. From Rainn Wilson’s businessman to Ruby Rose’s feminine heroism in this film, the acting is pretty great. While not all of The Meg’s stars are top-of-the-line, they put on performances as if they are to keep the movie fun and rewatchable.
Script; While The Meg is entertaining in its purposefully corny dialogue, its B-movie charm does wear off after a while. Each character never gets emotionally resonant lines, but rather cheap one-liners that are meant to be cheesy. This does result in an emotional detachment from the audience as all we can expect is either some throwaway joke or pointless reasons to follow the plot. The script does detract from this movie experience, as it never strays too far into comedic over the topness – but instead serious stupidity. The Meg is a shining example of why films need a good script that the plot revolves around rather than a good plot that the script revolves around.
Characters; The characters in The Meg are all fairly likable. They each have an interesting and real personality. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses along with some interesting (but not so memorable) lines. Even when one of these characters is being negative, you can’t help but feel for them because of how relatable they happen to be. This also happens to be one of the smaller issues with The Meg. While it is amazing how likable the characters are, there’s also the removal of a real antagonistic character. Even Rainn Wilson’s character – who seems like he was meant to be portrayed as an unlikable jerk – is hard to hate on. It leaves somewhat of a gap in the film’s balance. Despite this though, the characters The Meg does include are great for any audience to watch.
Direction; Jon Turteltaub (Director) is a relatively amateur filmmaker with not many hit movies on his hands to justify his hiring. His movies lack a distinct artistic tone and are usually rather bland. The Meg is another film that follows this trend as scenes that are meant to be exciting are rather dull in their execution. Turteltaub takes no risks with the characters and clearly gives little attention to many scenes. He also never gives the actors the ability to play roles unique to their career – especially in regards to Statham, who is still stuck to the cliché badass character he’s been playing for years. If this series is to continue, a new director with a fresh and original perspective should take on the franchise.
Story; A very simple and thinly conceived plot accompanies The Meg as it’s premise alone isn’t enough to hook the audience’s attention. Of course no one was expecting the story to be amazing, but it could have at least been somewhat original considering the overabundance of shark movies we have nowadays. The Meg never settles on one genre; switching from horror to comedy, to action and science fiction. This amount of confusion leaves behind a muddled plot with no fleshed out plot lines. Without taking any risks with its story, The Meg has no intriguing plot developments or at least an enjoyable story. Don’t watch this one for the plot, as it’s just a mishmash of cheesiness, clichés and predictability.
Enjoyment; The Meg was one of the most purely and enjoyably fun films of 2018. It’s best quality is how there is an appeal to almost any audience. The Meg brings in a good time even though it has a fair amount of death. The reason behind this is most definitely in the characters. They are highly relatable throughout the story which is fun to watch as well. The scenes aren’t really gory and scenes with more tension have the perfect amount of comedic ease. Sure, horror and thriller fans may be disappointed. Some people may even dislike the amount of cheese in this movie. But those people chose the wrong movie as The Meg appealed to its own aspirations of a good time and paid tribute to a classic franchise with solidity.
David: “Having loved the lore of Megalodons as a child, I couldn’t wait to see this film bring one to life. Although I did expect a thriller flick, what I did get wasn’t really disappointing. Watching it with friends in the theatres made it all the more of an enjoyable time. While I haven’t watched it since, I surely would if given the chance.”
JP: “The Meg was an unexpected surprise, as all I was hoping for was a fun dumb action movie. What I got was an interesting but not always positive movie-going experience. I recommend watching it with friends as I did, since it does add a certain enjoyment only B-movies can give. For that, I am grateful for this movie.”