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Film Review: ‘The Meg’ is a Proud $150 Million Dollar ‘B’ Movie

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CHICAGO – From their golden age from the 1950s to the 1970s, the infamous “B” movies – usually the third feature at the drive-in, or playing in the crumbling old theaters – were targeted to teens. In the modern era, these films are now given $150 million dollar budgets and wide releases. Case in point, the shark movie called “The Meg.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

Had this been made in the previous “B” years, this Jaws-on-Steroids epic would have featured fake sharks and lots of quick editing to compensate for the lack of a credible monster. Now money is thrown at computer generation, and The Meg (short for the prehistoric giant shark, the Megalodon) comes to life in vivid 3D or at the IMAX. The absurd characters and the stiff acting remains, however, and this co-production between the U.S. and China features both cultures of performers reciting lines as if they just memorized them. But the movie has that level of action and kitsch that makes it work, even though the size of the shark seems to fluctuate between scenes, and at some point might be too big to fit in the ocean.

The film begins with Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham), an oceanographer, attempting to rescue a deep water explorer sub. He doesn’t get everybody out, and is convinced that a giant creature was the cause. His obsessions are ignored, and he drops out of the program. Five years later, an underwater research facility – financed by billionaire Jack Morris (Rainn Wilson) – encounters a monster-like force once again, and the crew decides that only Jonas can rescue them.

The rescue is successful, but again leaves one of their own to die. Another facility oceanographer, Suyin Zhang (Li Bingbing), witnesses the huge shark after helping with the rescue. And when “The Meg” attacks the facility, the rest of the story involves trying to capture the elusive giant, as the creature seemingly knows every move the desperate crew is making. When the big fish swims to the Shanghai coast, the pursuit is about to involve innocent beach-goers.

“The Meg” opens everywhere on August 10th in 3D, IMAX and regular screenings. See local listings for 3D/MAX theaters and show times. Featuring Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Robert Taylor, Rainn Wilson and Cliff Curtis. Screenplay adapted by Dean Geogaris, Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber. Directed by Jon Turtelbaub. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Meg”

Meg1
Sub Don’t Fail Him Now: Jason Statham is Chased by ‘The Meg’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Meg”

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