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Review: ‘The Meg’ is totally absurd, yet oddly satisfying

By John Clyde, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Aug 9th, 2018 @ 4:12pm



THE GREAT DEEP — Let's get something straight right now: “The Meg” is not a good movie.

From a cinematic standpoint, it seems to commit every sin and the story is riddled with holes big enough for the Meg itself to swim through. But in the end, it doesn’t matter because it’s entertaining and it’s about a giant shark wreaking havoc.

Other than aquatic mayhem and suspenseful underwater shots, what else do you really need?

“The Meg” stars Jason Statham and a giant CGI shark and the two are trying to kill each other. That’s really about as much of the plot you really need to know. The movie is based off the 1997 novel, “Meg” by Steve Alten. I’ve never read the book, but if it’s half as ridiculous and fun as the movie then I’d be happy to give it a read.

Let’s start off with some of the reasons “The Meg” is a cinematic train wreck.

Why it’s so bad

Let’s start with the dialogue. I expect sloppy and lazy writing along with cheesy lines from “Sharknado,” but you’d hope the writers of a $150 million movie would do a little better. They didn’t.

Some of the gems in the movie will have you thinking you’re watching a parody of a movie inside a movie, but you’re not, you’re watching an insanely expensive Hollywood film.

But you know what? The dialogue kind of fits the movie. The film knows it’s quite ridiculous, so why wouldn’t the dialogue be as well.

One of the things that was kind of tough was a lot of the acting. I like Statham, but he’s lacking the charm of Dwayne Johnson, which makes carrying a silly action movie a little tougher.

His costars don’t help him too much. Most of the characters are shallow renderings of stereotypical characters in countless other films.

I’m a big fan of Rainn Wilson and his performance as Dwight in "The Office," but as the eccentric billionaire Jack Morris he’s not ideal. His look and attitude fit the persona, but the actual delivery never lands and some of his scenes are more awkward than funny.

Why I don’t care that it's bad

“The Meg” is chock-full of issues and all kinds of eye-rolling moments. But I really don’t care because when a movie is about a killer shark over 60-feet long, all you want to see is that giant shark causing mayhem. We get that over and over again.

Director Jon Turtletaub completely embraces the absurdity of the film, but he also had me clenching my fists and grinding my teeth numerous times as I watched people jump into the murky water knowing a huge killing machine was somewhere in the depths.

This wasn’t done to the expert levels Steven Spielberg did 43 years ago with “Jaws,” but it was enough to keep the audience holding their breath and then laughing when the jump scare finally came. If you want to go to the theater to see some shark shenanigans, then you’re going to like “The Meg.”

The movie is actually pretty funny as well. It doesn’t always mean to be — sometimes you’ll be laughing at how ridiculous some of the serious moments actually are — but that’s part of the fun.

My guess is Turtletaub set out to make a silly B-movie and I think he succeeded.

Conclusion

Again, “The Meg” isn’t a good movie, but I believe it was made to be an entertaining movie with a made-for-TV mentality and a blockbuster budget.

If you want to see a really fantastic, smart and action-packed film this weekend go see “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.” If you’d like to see something totally absurd yet oddly satisfying then go see “The Meg.”

Either way, you’re probably going to have a good time at the theater.

“The Meg” is rated PG-13 for action/peril, bloody images and some language. Make sure to check out Dave Clyde’s parents content review tomorrow on KSL.com.


John Clyde

About the Author: John Clyde

John has grown up around movies and annoys friends and family with his movie facts and knowledge. He also has a passion for sports and pretty much anything awesome, and it just so happens, that these are the three things he writes about. Contact him on Twitter at @johnnypclyde.

John Clyde

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Updated: Tuesday August 21, 2018 7:13 am