The Outlook

The Meg: Another Jaws Wannabe

Harrison Le, Editor

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No one is giving The Meg enough credit. The Jon Turteltaub film stars big actor Jason Statham fighting a massive shark in what was already labeled as a summer cash grabber from the beginning, not worthy of a second look.

But that’s the point.

The plot reads out like a 5-year old’s wild imagination during Shark Week. The Meg involves a research facility funded by Jack Morris, who audiences might recognize as the The Office’s Dwight Schrute, who releases a killer 75-foot Megalodon from the bottom of the ocean. The story is everywhere with crazy plot lines seemingly thrown together in a tantrum by the executives at Warner Brothers to maximize how many times audiences can see a shark open its’ mouth.

There is absolutely no suspense with the shark front and center at all times and any sudden appearance or jumpscare is completely predictable. There is no sense of real terror; audiences jump from their seats because of loud dramatic music more so than the creature, or maybe taken back by the massive glob of CGI insulting a simpler of time of practical effects. Older movies like Jaws took meticulous time to build dread and maintain a strict look based off real props, yet The Meg and Jaws are related only through the monster. Jaws is a masterpiece of cinematography-Meg is out for your money.

The director even found ways to add massive explosions in a movie set 99% over a body of water. Two helicopters collide against each other sinking a boat in the final “fight” scene and the film ends with a dying Megalodon’s blood attracting a horde of miniature sharks that attack and consume the corpse.

But honestly who cares. The movie was designed to be a summer blockbuster aimed squarely at moviegoers’ fascination of giant man eating sharks, not critics’ hearts. And that it did, with nearly triple its’ estimated $150 million dollar budget in the first week alone. Think of it like Sharknado with a multi-million dollar budget. It’s designed to be bad. It was never supposed to blow you away or keep beach attendees off the water. It was designed for that that $12 admission ticket on a Saturday night with friends because you have nothing else to do.

It holds itself just enough to be considered entertainment and it does so beautifully. Who doesn’t love a giant shark swimming through a crowded beach chomping on hundreds of people or a chase scene against three boats? I left the theatre with a smile on my face and trust me it’s not because The Meg is going to get a fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.

No one is going to remember The Meg, which is destined to fade into obscurity existing only in the producers fat pockets. Is the explicit violence of a B-movie like this the decline of entertainment value in modern society? Or maybe people just love really big sharks.

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The Meg: Another Jaws Wannabe