The Meg Review: 130 Million Dollars Well Spent!

“Tell me, do sharks bleed? You will.”

A semi-accurate quote from one of the most deceiving movies I’ve seen this year, The Meg. A big-budget fantasy thriller disguised as a corny B-movie of the past, The Meg boasts 130 million dollars’ worth of CGI sharks and overly-elaborate science lab equipment.

Yes, to my pleasant surprise The Meg goes beyond the “it’s so bad it’s good” gag and delivers some entertaining performances and general dumb fun. In the end, giving audiences something meatier and more worthwhile than films like Sharknado.

The story unfolds like many terrible shark movies of its kind. Scientists unleashed some prehistoric, gigantic shark and must figure out how to stop it before everyone dies. A simple enough plot only made more difficult with the sheer number of characters involved, including the likes of Jason Statham and Rainn Wilson. Two actors who took this hokey script and ran with it, giving delightfully absurd performances for no apparent reason. After all, it is just a shark movie.

And yet, somehow it all works!

I think what makes a film like The Meg work so well is its refusal to acknowledge how bad the concept is, while also putting in effort to make the film passable as a blockbuster movie. If the film was produced as poorly as something like Sharknado, then audiences would’ve decided to skip it and wait for it’s inevitable Netflix release. But because there was some level of leg work put into something so objectively bad, people were naturally drawn to the stupidity. Resulting in a bizarre blend of high-quality and low-quality effects, bad screenwriting but decent acting, and an uneven plot that was still somehow entertaining.

It isn’t high art, but I’d be lying if I said films like The Happytime Murders, Skyscraper, or The First Purge were any better. Quite the opposite actually. The Meg gives that rush of lame excitement one might find while watching the SyFy Channel on a Tuesday night. Only with enough money put into the movie to pull off all the hilariously bad special effects.

I highly enjoyed watching The Meg and all its 3D glory. And judging from its overwhelming success in the box office (despite negative criticism from hoity-toity critics), I’d say audiences have noticed its humorous charm too.

The Verdict: B-

-Zachary Flint

The Expendables: Reel Quick Review

I have decided to start a new segment where I briefly review films within about two hundred words. I will reserve these quick reviews for films that have been out for a while that don’t necessarily need an in-depth analysis or plot summary. So without further ado, the review:

 

The Expendables is truly a film for action movie fans, as it stars some of the biggest action heroes of all time (including Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Lundgren, and many others).

I think the story itself is pretty bland and typical, it’s basically one big rescue mission that all of our protagonists become involved in. The pacing is most certainly off too, as their are many slow boring parts with big chase scenes scattered about. Some of the characters are flat and the actors feel like they’re mostly just playing themselves.

Despite these aspects, I enjoyed watching The Expendables. Not for its plot or its characters, but for the fun popcorn action movie it is. The Expendables feels like a nostalgic throwback to the 80’s action films that many of these guys starred in. There are some very fun fight sequences to watch, cheesy one liners that get a few laughs, and intense car chases.

I really got the feeling that the actors were having fun making this film, which rubbed off on me. Those who enjoy The Expendables won’t be looking for some thought provoking film on war, but as a callback to a generation of fun, macho, and good vs. evil movies.

The Verdict: B-

-Zachary Flint