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Self aware about its ridiculousness
Maintains tension from beginning to end
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From a secret, ancient ecosystem beneath the Mariana Trench emerges the Megalodon, a giant prehistoric shark thought to be extinct for millennia. The marine researchers responsible for its re-entry into the world–including Jaxx Herd (Ruby Rose), Celeste (Jessica McNamee), Suyin (Bingbing Li), Mac (Cliff Curtis), Toshi (Masi Oka), DJ (Page Kennedy), and others–enlist the help of expert badass Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) to take control of the situation. Hes the greatest deep sea rescuer on the planet, although a botched job in his recent past left him soggy with booze and beefing with the research stations resident MD, Dr. Heller (Robert Taylor).
These characters and the setting on the high tech research station provide lush waters for the storyThe Megsets out to tell: A giant shark wreaks havoc on a bunch of well-meaning idiots who, for various reasons that run the gamut of plausibility, believe they need to solve this problem themselves (not least because they created it). As is often the case with this type of movie, you cant help but feel like the situation would have played out much more smoothly had they just contacted the actual authorities (not that Jason Statham doesnt demand a certain respect on-screen).
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As a movie,The Megis clearly ridiculous, and its self aware about it. One of the funniest moments comes when this group of scientists immediately and casually start referring to the beast as the Meg, shortly after identifying it. They dont miss a beat. It never goes so far as Statham roundhouse kicking the Meg in the face–this isnt technically a parody–but it legitimately comes close. And it gets away with that tone because in many ways that matter,The Megis actually a solidly constructed movie.
Mike Rougeau is GameSpots Senior Entertainment Editor. He loves Game of Thrones and dogs.
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In the end,The Megprovides everything you should want from it. It strikes a precarious balance between humor, tension, drama, and action, gives every character time in the spotlight, and looks great. The laughs are as big as the shark itself, but the movie never takes its goofy self-awareness too far. Most importantly of all, the Meg looks amazing, and its both thrilling and fun to watch its enormous fin slice through the water as it closes in on its prey–whether that prey is an innocent tourist paddling unaware on the surface, an illegal whaling boat full of poachers about to get a taste of their own medicine, or a sleek mini submarine equipped with some man-made teeth of its own.
What does a giant shark movie really need? The visual effects, whether practical or digital, need to be believable. The actors need to be competent, the characters have to be a good mix of likeable and enjoyably hateable, and the plot needs to facilitate them coming within chomping range of the shark as frequently as possible.The Megaccomplishes all this, and it does it well.
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The Meg itself looks great. The movie does a good job establishing the sharks scale, revealing it in bits and pieces, maintaining tension from beginning to end. With its international cast and sleek space station aesthetic,The Megtakes bites from the Pacific Rim buffet. Theres some really smart camera work both below and above the waters surface, alternately creating claustrophobia and grandiosity where required. The movies final, climactic set piece is the one that provided most of the chum for its advertising campaign–a rainbow-hued, impossibly crowded bay provides a tantalizing feast for the prehistoric hunter, and the stakes feel appropriately high as our heroes race to stop it in time to save thousands of lives. The PG-13 rating holds it back slightly, as some added gore would have fit the tone well, but thats a small quibble.
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Jason Statham cant help being Jason Statham. He brings nothing extraordinary to this leading role, leaning instead on his usual blend of 5 oclock shadow charm and gruff cockney bravado, which works perfectly well for this movie. His character hits it off with Lis Suyin, to the delight of her daughter, the adorable Meiying (Shuya Sophia Cai). The other characters often mull around in the background, but each gets one or two moments in the spotlight, including the occasional death by giant shark. The whole operation is overseen by Rainn Wilsons Jack Morris, the marine research stations young billionaire benefactor, who toes the line between giving a hoot about the lives of his employees and ruthlessly fretting over his bottom line.
Theres something in the water, and its awesome.
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Yes, Im talking about missiles. They fire missiles at the shark. Its awesome. Oh, and dont ask me if the dog gets eaten. Ill never tell.
The Meg Review: Its A Giant Shark Movie