The Meg is one of those few films that sounds awful in theory.  Yay, it’s another shark movie, like we don’t have hundreds of those  lying around? Wow, it’s Jaws but with a bigger shark? But despite  every cliché the movie uses, it still stands out. It’s a fun, rather  self-contained movie about giant killer sharks, what’s not to love?

The good

Image from IMDb

The movie has a clear sense of character. Each one has a job to do  that makes them unique, without coming across as robotic. Sure, most of  the characters are cliché. Like the brooding protagonist no one listens  to, the eccentric billionaire/minor antagonist that bails on his  employees, or the scientist that wants man to stay out of nature’s way.  Yeah, they’re all cliché, but they still manage to stand out from each  other. Some of the dialogue can be clunky, but overall it feels natural.

The use of the Megalodons in this movie was just right. Not too much,  and not too little. It would have been nice to see some more full body  shots, especially of the bigger one, but all in all the way the film  presented the sharks worked. The movie also had a comedic tone that  balanced out the seriousness and stress of the rest. Characters often  bounce jokes off each other, only to scream and cry a minute later. Just  like the sharks, the film found a balance Thanos would be proud of.

The Meg takes advantage of its clichés. The writers know that  everything in this movie has been done before, and they use that  knowledge very well. Everything from the reason why the Megs still exist  to the way the characters interact with each other relies heavily on  the idea that the audience knows these overused tropes, and doesn’t mind  them.

The bad

Although it does several things right, the film does fall into some  tropes and traps that can make it dull and predictable at times. At many  points in the movie there are fake-outs, where a character gets scared  or is silent or disappears for a short time. It’s intense for a few  seconds, and then it’s revealed that everything is a-okay. Usually it’s  accompanied by the rest of the cast laughing. But then immediately  afterward something (usually the Meg) pops out and actually does  whatever the fake-out previously tried to do.

Image from IMDb

For example, after the crew catches and kills the first Megalodon and  hoists it onto the ship, the neckbeard scientist character jokingly  puts his head in its mouth to take a picture. Someone else moves the  shark and causes Beardy to fall off the boat into the ocean. Everyone  has some much-needed comic relief and then immediately the second Meg  flies out of the water to chomp on the dead shark, eating him in the  process. While that isn’t bad on its own, it seemed like half of the  movie, and the more memorable parts, were fake-outs.

Other than that, the only real other negative piece of criticism is  that they sort of stopped the movie after killing the second Meg. I know  that they don’t have to worry about the sharks anymore, but it did  attack a heavily populated beach, and no one seems to talk about it. Not  to mention that if there’s two Megalodons under the ocean, there’s  more. Maybe they’re counting on Meg 2: Electric Boogaloo.

The meg

As someone with severe Thalassophobia (fear of the ocean/sea) this  movie gave me anxiety. I remember audibly wincing and gasping when I saw  this the first time. Because of that The Meg deserves a lot of  credit for what it was able to achieve. It’s a fun, albeit  stress-inducing movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. After all,  it’s just an cool action movie, it isn’t supposed to be groundbreaking.

Featured image from Comicbook

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