BEIRUT: It really isn’t fair to any of the films that are planning to make their debut on the silver screen in the final few months of the summer season – especially after the release of the summer’s best film MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT.
With Paramount Pictures completely raising the bar in action film production, nothing will really be able to compare, and especially not a film about a man duking it out with a giant prehistoric shark.
Warner Bros Pictures’ latest flick THE MEG, starring Jason “The Transporter” Statham – if Dwayne Johnson can be named Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Statham should have a similar label – follows Statham’s Jonas Taylor as he confronts his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible and battle a 70-foot prehistoric shark called: The Megaladon.
At first glance the plot seems simple enough to produce a decent enough action picture for the summer blockbuster season – and yet what is presented on the screen is the accidental mega-comedy of the summer.
Directed by Jon Turteltaub, who hasn’t had the best of luck with successful films, THE MEG doesn’t offer anything new to the shark versus man themed films aside from showing us a titanic sized CGI shark.
The dialogue downright laughable due to its heavy-handed poetics, doesn’t help the film’s case, nor does it help the actors who are truly trying their best.
The film’s biggest flaw is that it takes itself too seriously.
No one expects a film about a brawl between Statham and a giant shark to be philosophical nor Oscar-worthy, so why would the studio or the director deliver it in a way that it should?
Characters deliver mantras to each other as if attempting to awaken something within the audience.
Another major flaw is that THE MEG is not even gory or exploitive horror in any way.
It’s rated PG-13 and as such does not deliver any gruesome deaths, unless you count pieces of marine life gory, so there is not real fear or cringe while watching the film.
Horrible films like the PIRANHA film franchise or even SHARKNADO succeeded and have become almost cult classics because of the fact that they knew what they were, never took themselves too seriously, and most importantly delivered some of the grisliest on-screen deaths ever.
THE MEG, on the other hand, was limited in that sense due to its rating.
In a recent interview, Jon Turteltaub said, “We shot or even did a lot of visual effects for gory scenes ... We just realized there's no way we're keeping this PG-13 if we show this.”
On all counts, THE MEG should have been an enjoyable bloody film that delivered some machismo with Statham at the helm killing a gigantic prehistoric shark, instead, it was a melodramatic soap opera about a man seeking to redeem himself, finding love, and along the way killing a shark or two.
With all that in mind, the film will make some decent cash in the box office, especially in the regions where people tend to have fun at these big monster movies.
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