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

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Miss March (2009)

Release Date: March 13, 2009Directors: Zach Cregger, Trevor MooreStars: Zach Cregger, Trevor Moore, Craig RobinsonRuntime: 89 min.

I watched this a few months ago, and I still get nightmares from this comedy failure. What is Miss March’s problem? It isn’t very funny at all.

Eugene (Zach Cregger) is a young college guy who raises abstinence awareness, or something like that, with his pure girlfriend, Cindi. He decides that he’s ready and he wants to ‘do the deed’ with her on prom night. On the night of prom, Eugene’s best friend Tucker (Trevor Moore), a sex crazy idiot, thought having a few pre-sex alcohol shots would be a great idea. Eugene thinks it’s a great idea to walk into the basement and fall down the stairs and go into a four-year coma. When he wakes up, he gains the knowledge that Cindi Whitehall is now a Playboy cover girl. So Eugene and Tucker set on the road to the Playboy Mansion. Along the way, they’re on the run from the crazed fire-fighter brother of Tucker’s ex-girlfriend.

Jack Torrance called, he wants his axe back.

The appearances of Hugh Hefner (and when he comes in he doesn’t even look like he’s into the project; he’s not even in any of the same shots as the guys) Sara Jean Underwood, poop gags, and an extended appearance from TV’s The Office star Craig Robinson (playing a character called Horsedick.MPEG, but he couldn’t even be funny because of the poor dialogue) couldn’t even save this poorly written flick.

It isn’t funny, it isn’t memorable, the characters are annoying, and I miss the five dollars I spent to buy this garbage. There’s not one solitary good thing about this flick, and is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. If only I could erase this one from my memory; where’s that company from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind when you need them?

It only gets two points for all of the sexy girls.

2/100