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The Meg (2018)

With a what seems like a wildly over exaggerated and almost 'Sharknado' in territory sequel on the horizon, I figured it was time to go back and revisit the film that made it happen. And whilst not necessarily being a big fan of 'The Meg' on my initial watch, nearly four years has passed since then and I have now come to embrace the absurdity that seems to come with the majority of modern day shark films. With that in mind, I can only assume that my new-found love for over the top shark madness will have changed my once clouded perception of this film.

One thing I want to start with is the casting. It's clear that no one in particular is taking themselves too seriously in this film. I'm guessing that they all read the scripts at some point before signing on to this and considered it an easy payday. That's not to say anyone is necessarily bad in their roles, it's more a case of the camp nature of the film provides everyone a platform to over exaggerate their performance. Lead actor and designated action hero Jason Statham is by far the biggest culprit of this. To say he has more one-liners than Arnie in 'The Meg' wouldn't do this level of corniness justice. If I'm honest with myself though, it was wildly entertaining and very reminiscent of the great action 80's movies I grew up watching as a child.

Whist on the subject of action movies from the 80's, 'The Meg' is structured in a very similar way. This is action set piece after action set piece, providing the audience with a relentless non-stop rollercoaster explosions and giant shark action. And although you may be lead to believe that a film about a prehistoric Megalodon starting Jason Statham as the hero having a two hour run time might seem excessive, you would be wrong. This story grows and progresses in a way that, not only does this film seem to fly by, but the constant changing of location, progressive character development and entertainment action set pieces manages to keep a simple premise refreshing.

Now as you can imagine, the visual effects are going to be hit a miss when it comes to conveying a 75 foot shark interacting with real world situations. This was something I had prepared myself for going in, and let's be honest, with the exception of 'Jaws', this subgenre doesn't have the best track record for CGI sharks on the big screen. But, surprisingly, things looked rather impressive here and it was only the odd couple of moments where I found myself pulling out of the film due to laughable visual effects work. The more notable instances feature a giant squid and a scene in the closing act in which Jonas (played by Statham) goes toe to toe with the shark. Yet even then, it wasn't the shark that was the issue, it was the CGI rendered Jason Statham that stood out and looked awfully similar to the scene in 'The Matrix: Reloaded' where Neo fights hundreds of agents.

Now, whilst 'The Meg' is by no means a perfect movie, it's a great call back to action adventure movies of the late 80's/early 90's. It features some great and rather unsuspecting moments of suspense and impressive shark attacks sequences. I honestly think that had this come out in that era and featured a cast of actors and actresses we have come to know and love from that period, we would all be speaking much higher of this film. I really enjoyed my experience with this on a repeat viewing and I'm genuinely excited to see how they develop this story further in 'Meg 2: The Trench', which comes out later this year.



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