The Meg (2018)

Released: August 10, 2018. Directed by: Jon Turteltaub. Starring: Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, Rainn Wilson. Runtime: 1h 53 min.

The Meg is one of those movies that is just fun to review, almost like a stamina test for how long you can go without using a shark pun.

Jason Statham plays Jonas, a deep-sea rescue team member who goes back in the water to save a submersible stranded at the very bottom of the Marianas Trench.

The Mana One has made a discovery of an unknown ecosystem underneath the assumed bottom of the trench, which is a cold cloud that separates an ecosystem from the rest of the ocean. The characters stranded in the submersible are attacked by a 75-foot shark… *Jason Statham voice* The Megalodon!

There’s a lot of action right from that rescue in the visually cool underwater area, and it gets wilder after the Meg escapes. The degrees of the cloud shouldn’t let it escape, but the Meg, uh, finds a way.

I like that the filmmakers go back to the prehistoric age to find a foe that can challenge Jason Statham. It’s like they know no bad guy or modern shark can match him. “Meg versus man isn’t a fight, it’s a slaughter,” Statham says about the Megalodon.

Secretly, the Megalodon thinks the same thing about facing Statham. He’s just watched all The Transporter films and he’s ready. He even started to watch The Transporter Refueled but turned it off after 20 minutes when he realized it was a reboot. The Meg knows his tricks and won’t be charmed by his British accent.

Statham’s good in a movie that’s purely summer fun. I liked his character arc of everyone assuming he’s the one who leaves people behind, and he has a good chemistry with oceanographer Suyin (Bingbing Li). Her daughter Meiying (Shuya Sophia Cai) is adorable and gets a few chuckles.

The Meg review pic

Jason Statham in The Meg. (IMDb)

The giant shark looks good and its colour is based off a great white, just one that’s been bulking up at the gym. Visually, the film’s decent, and we can see most of the action underwater. It feels long at nearly two hours and most of the action is stuff you’ve seen before but with a giant shark.

It’s not paced amazingly, but it has a charm about it and the characters learn quickly that a bigger boat isn’t going to help them because they’ll need a cruise ship. Their better weapon is their knowledge of Shark Week.

The deep-sea rescue missions are tense, and the action scenes pack a memorable bite. (I got 437 words in before a shark pun!) This just knows it’s a shark movie on steroids and embraces it, and it works. Some of the writing’s clever, too, as characters monologue with their backs turned to the ocean and you just totally expect them to get mauled like that certain someone in Deep Blue Sea.

Besides the action, it has some good character moments and a good cast of characters. Rainn Wilson (The Office) joins the party as billionaire Jack Morris who funds the Mana One. It’s nice that Dwight Schrute’s beet farm and bed and breakfast really took off. I’m sure he made all his money and then realized “marine biology beats beets” and switched fields. Jokes aside, he’s good as the dick-ish Morris.

Everyone in the cast has something to do for the most part. Though, when they’re gone, there’s so many characters that it doesn’t really matter. They’re all pretty good, from Ruby Rose playing Jaxx (her characters are so edgy I’m surprised they haven’t all been named Jaxx), to Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as The Wall.

You know you can’t take a movie completely seriously when there’s a character called The Wall. Come to think of it, it’s a missed opportunity that this isn’t The Wall vs. The Meg, because that sounds like the main event.

Score: 70/100

Advertisements

Peep World review

Peep World

Release Date: March 25, 2011

Director: Barry W. Blaustein

Stars: Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson

Runtime: 79 min

Tagline: All your family’s dirty little secrets. Now a #1 Best Seller.

The real attraction of this film for me was that it had a pretty sweet cast, including Michael C. Hall, Rainn Wilson and Sarah Silverman. I caught this on TV and didn’t know a thing about it before I watched it, so I really had no expectations. Let’s just say, it’s bad even if you don’t have any expectations at all; there’s really not any impressive material here.

If you look it as as a family drama, maybe you’ll like it. As I look back at this I can only remember one laugh, so to me that’s hardly a successful comedy by any means. It’s not even worth the 80 minutes of my time. The acting talents don’t bring anything great to the table and the plot is quite silly (a family becomes outraged after a sibling writes a bestselling book about their very embarrassing and scandalous personal family life).

I wouldn’t watch it again and I couldn’t recommend it to anyone I like. It’s about as predictable as the odds of you predicting you’re going to wake up the next day. It isn’t ground breaking at all, the characters aren’t really likeable and the only funny gag is a guy not being able to get his boner down (that I can remember). It doesn’t work as a vulgar comedy nor as a family drama (which it felt like rather than a comedy), and doesn’t bring anything special to either genre. Peep World is a failed comedy with nice talents like Sarah Silverman, Michael C. Hall, Rainn Wilson, Kate Mara and Judy Greer.
Unfortunately, C. Hall couldn’t show a comedic side with this poorly written screenplay. If you want to see it for him, just watch Gamer – that isn’t too bad.

Peep World is a film that doesn’t have to be seen, it’ll be disappointing if you have expectations. Even Lewis Black’s narration of the feature couldn’t help this film. If memory serves me correctly, it was a real waste of time, even for a film that was eighty minutes.

20/100

– Daniel Prinn