Movie Review: The Meg

This is the sort of shark movie you’d expect to come out lately: action-packed and not really scary in any way. And this movie accomplishes what it set out to do. It’s visually awesome, with a lot of good work done under the water and some reasonable science behind the submersibles. (Not so much the “wall.”)

They do a good job of setting up the characters without needing a lot of time: the ex-diver who won’t dive (except he will for his ex-wife?), the eccentric rich idiot, and the scientists who actually are interested in what is going on. I’m not sure what Dwight’s angle is here money-wise. But whatever, on to the shark.

This shark isn’t a Great White, and that’s the first major departure as we leave Jaws behind. No, this is a damn Megalodon.

Game the hell on!

The effects are, as mentioned, really where this stands up. It’s a very modern movie that takes advantage of it’s very modern movie budget and effects capabilities. They blow the effects out of the water, pun intended. Everything else in the movie is secondary to the whole shark hunt, which is often inexplicable but at least fun to watch. There is no deep story-telling here or a surprise twist at the end. Big shark bad, big shark must be stopped.

The acting and the dialogue are not bad. This was very obviously a movie made for a dual audience: us, and the Chinese audience. And I can’t comment on how well that worked on their end, but for me this was way better than I expected going in and the dual audience goals didn’t hurt the movie at all.

If they have any sense at all the inevitable sequel will be called “The Megs”.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, but make no mistake: it’s a movie about a big-ass shark and they’re trying to stop it. That’s the entire point of the movie. Snobby movie critics won’t find a lot of red meat here. Meat pun intended to chum the waters. Hey-ooo.

Report Card:
Running Time: An hour fifty-two.
Shark Death Total: Six confirmed including a Dwight, plus several beach-goers.
Acting: Pretty good considering the number of non-native speakers.
Shark Effects: Some of the best.
Gun Use: Well, define gun.
Gore: A little.
Creepy? No.
Funny? Some good humor.
Nudity: No.
Pacing: It’s more an action movie than anything else, and the pacing reflects that.