Moments that Matter: The Meg

I’ve been reflecting on The Meg for about a week now, and I’ve been unable to find any redeeming quality, and can’t recommend the film in good faith to anybody over the age of 12. Unfortunately, this movie grossed over $140 million in it’s first weekend, only encouraging similar terrible movies moving forward.

Overall, this movie takes itself much more seriously than the trailers would let on. However, as it straddles the lines between self-aware action parody, standard-Jason-Statham action movie, and cliche international blockbuster, it loses any semblance of a strong plot in favor of a series of mini-stories that are loosely related and connected by typical action movie tropes. In particular, the moments that mattered in The Meg:

  • The movie assumes a great deal from the audience in regards to relationships between characters, and quite literally narrates much of the character development to terribly unsatisfying results. In fact, this movie does so little to make you care or remember the characters that I’ll be referring to each character by the name of the actor that plays them for ease of reference:
    • At the onset of The Meg, Jason Statham, sacrifices 2 generic military friends. They have all of 5 lines of back-and-forth dialogue, but Statham is chastised for the remainder of the film for leaving behind his 2 best friends.
    • Masi Oka’s character is scapegoated at the end of the first story arc of the movie. The writers spoon-feed Oka’s love for his wife by showing him writing a letter to his wife “just in case” and he shoves the letter into Ólafur Darri Ólafsson’s pocket as he sacrifices himself. Seems touching, but not really sure why the audience would really care other than the loss of this one life.
    • Due to the PG-13 rating of this movie the film couldn’t show any character getting hurt in any visceral way. As such, all injuries are boiled down into a generic *character* gets blown back 10 feet into the air. At one point, a boat explodes and all the characters get blown back in a similar fashion, except Winston Chao’s knock back was enough to kill him. While all the other characters remained safe
      • When paying final respects to her father, Bingbing Li dramatically regales her father with her personal desires and wishes of only wanting to live up to his name. This is the first time in the entire movie that her character expresses any of these emotions. This was the clearest example of an emotion-grab in the entire film.

By this point, I was totally dejected from the film, and rather than being engrossed in the  world of The Meg. This is totally separate from the half-baked plot in which certain characters go from very integral to the story, to a forgotten afterthought. I urge any one reading this to heed my warning, and avoid this film at all costs.

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