• Jeff South

Review: The Meg

THE MEG (2018)

Jason Staitham: Jonas Taylor

Bingbing Li: Suyin

Rainn Wilson: Morris

Cliff Curtis: Mac

Winston Chao: Zhang

Ruby Rose: Jaxx

Page Kennedy: DJ

Robert Taylor: Heller

Olafur Darri Olaffson: The Wall

Shuya Sophie Cai: Meiying

Screenplay by Dean Georgaris and Jon Heber & Eric Heber (Based on the novel by Steve Alten)

Directed by Jon Turteltaub

Rate PG-13 for action/peril, bloody images, and some language.

ME: Welcome class to this semester's special seminar on Why Monster Movies Are Awesome. I'll be your class facilitator. Your first assignment was to watch last summer's shark epic, The Meg.

GUY WITH LAME FACIAL HAIR AND MAN BUN IN FRONT ROW: I was so disappointed with this movie. I thought this was going to be a serious film class.

ME: Oh, you're looking for the class titled LOOK AT ME, I'M PRETENTIOUS 101. This is a class on why monster movies are always better.

SAME FACIAL HAIR/MAN BUN GUY: I disagree. Films should be judged on their use of images to convey story and character.

ME: Oh, god. You're gonna hate this class.

GIRL IN SECOND ROW WEARING A VICTORIA'S SECRET PINK HOODIE: I thought this movie was lame. I thought it played it safe. No cool kills. Not ridiculous enough.

ME: I won't disagree with that. But, Jason Staitham was cool, right? I mean, his name was Jonas Taylor. Jonas. Freaking. Taylor. Of course that's the name of undersea rescue specialist who is now on a permanent bender after a tragic accident but gets called back into action when his ex-wife's sub is attacked by a prehistoric shark. What a cool name. And there's guy named Mac! Because there has to be a guy named Mac.

SOME DUDE AT THE END OF THE THIRD ROW. I THINK HIS NAME IS TODD: I hate campy crap like this. I want scary. I want dread. I want to feel their fear.

ME: Try shopping at Walmart after midnight, then.

THAT SAME DUDE: Seriously. This should've been played as a straight up horror movie. Not a campy, self-aware popcorn flick. Missed opportunity.

ME: Did you see the way Jason Staitham's awesomely named Jonas Taylor fought the giant shark, though. That was pretty awesome. In that brief moment, I forgot about all the problems in the world and just said, "you go, Jonas! You fight that shark!"

VICTORIA'S SECRET HOODIE GIRL: I'm also not sure about the science in this one.

ME: Jason Staitham was a guy named Jonas Taylor. Jason Staitham. Jonas Taylor. Fights a giant shark.

GUY MAYBE NAMED TODD: This is dumb. You're not really teaching us about this movie. You're just man-crashing on Jason Staitham.

ME: Correction. I don't know Jason Staitham. I'm man-crushing on Jonas Taylor.

FACIAL HAIR/MAN BUN GUY: So no matter what I say about this film, you're just going to talk about Jason Staitham. If I point out The Meg lacks the character development and less-is-more approach of Jaws, you'll just say Jason Staitham.

ME: First of all, Jaws is a masterpiece. Second...


ME: Jason Staitham. Jonas Taylor.

(Long silence.)

VICTORIA'S SECRET HOODIE GIRL: He is pretty awesome.

ME: RIght?

ADDENDUM: I highly recommend listening the episode of the podcast "How Did This Get Made?" on The Meg. It's hilarious. Watch The Meg first and don't take life so seriously.


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