Hitting theaters this weekend is The Meg, a film based on the novel of the same name that depicts a massive megalodon rising from the ocean depths to terrorize those who venture into the ocean.
Based on the first trailers for the film, it was clear that the filmmakers were aware of the inherent absurdity of the premise, fully leaning into a variety of humorous events that would occur if a prehistoric shark suddenly began attacking anyone in its vicinity. Despite the film focusing on a monstrous fish, the studio cut some of the more gruesome footage in order to obtain a PG-13 rating so the adventure could be enjoyed by as many viewers as possible.
With reviews for the film finally hitting the internet, the reactions from critics have been quite mixed. While some viewers were able to sit back and enjoy the ludicrous ride, other critics noted that the film never fully leaned into the wacky plot and could have proven a better experience had the film embraced the campy concept, delivering audiences bigger laughs or more bloodshed.
After compiling close to 100 reviews on aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, the site calculates that 50 percent of those reviews are positive.
Scroll down to see what the critics are saying about The Meg, hitting theaters this weekend!
The film stars Jason Statham, an actor who has been celebrated for his adrenaline-fueled action films, with Rolling Stone's David Fear left underwhelmed that the film doesn't live up to B-movie expectations.
"With the exception of one scene involving a harpoon and a complete disregard for the laws of physics, The Meg ends up being just a high-budget, low-value attempt to sell you a typical tale of a tortured man tracking a monster, composed of spare parts lifted from other films you love. It's too chintzy to be a proper high-octane action flick and not nearly over-the-top campy enough to be the conduit for a great B-movie endorphin rush."
You can read Rolling Stone's full review here.prevnext
Over at Uproxx, Vince Mancini points out how one of the biggest disappointments of the film is, despite reportedly costing $150 million, the special effects are something to be desired.
"If you were making a movie about a giant CGI shark, you'd think that one of the first things you'd get worked out is how to use CGI to create a giant shark. And yet, most of the actual giant shark CGI in The Meg is pretty bad. Its biggest weakness, oddly, is the inability to give the shark a sense of scale. It's like a landscape painter who's bad at trees."
He does note that the concept alone brings audiences joy, claiming that "probably the greatest thing about The Meg is that it's a movie about Jason Statham fighting a giant shark. I watched the whole thing in a state of expectant wonder, thinking 'my God, they're really going to figure out a way to have Jason Statham kill a giant prehistoric shark with his bare hands, aren't they.'"
You can read Uproxx's full review here.prevnext
Between Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, and Solo: A Star Wars Story, the summer kicked off with many entertaining blockbusters. Now that we're in August, Variety's Owen Gleiberman reminds us the kinds of movies that are abandoned at the end of the summer season.
"It's a big, crass, brainlessly expensive B-movie leftover all dressed up to look like the real deal in blockbuster goods. In other words, it's a film that has all the August qualities. It takes a cast of flatly 'likable' second-tier actors and hitches them to the lure of a special-effects creature that, in theory, will prove to be a crowd-pleasing attraction. More than that, the whole thing feels like a copy of a copy. The Meg is Jaws on dumbed-down steroids, and proud of it. It's the sort of movie that people used to go to when they went to movies for the air conditioning."
You can read Variety's full review here.prevnext
Some critics are suggesting that some viewers lower their expectations for the film in hopes of gleaning any enjoyment from the experience, like ScreenCrush's Matt Singer.
"Too much time is wasted on the characters, their connections, and the nitty-gritty of ocean-floor rescue operations. Then The Meg returns to the surface, and its title character attacks Statham and his chums (please clap) at their high-tech ocean laboratory. Suddenly the film blossoms into an endearingly silly slasher movie, complete with ludicrous jump scares. (As it turns out, the biggest shark that ever lived is surprisingly good at silently sneaking up on its prey.)"
You can read ScreenCrush's full review here.prevnext
Los Angeles Times
According to Justin Chang at the Los Angeles Times, the film is fully aware of what it is bringing to the table, despite having to reference more entertaining experiences.
"At one point in this silly, stilted, moderately jolt-inducing giganto-shark thriller, one character turns to the others and asks, 'Don't you guys ever watch Shark Week?' Maybe you do, maybe you don't. As a rule, though, you should be wary of any movie — particularly one being dropped in mid-August — that's insecure enough to name-drop a superior programming alternative. Then again, there's something refreshing about an unabashedly derivative B-picture that knows its place in an over-picked food chain."
You can read the Los Angeles Times' full review here.prevnext
The Hollywood Reporter
The film has been in development for years, with multiple attempts failing to bring the project to life. Now that the film has arrived, Todd McCarthy at The Hollywood Reporter claims everything is formulaic and by the numbers.
"Blandly internationalized, generically derivative, drained of any personality, edited as if by computer and bleached of the slightest hint of emotion other than a holiday card-like sympathy for children and allegedly cute animals, The Meg is a one hundred percent inorganic meal, something made from pre-tasted and then regurgitated ingredients. It's true that some people like institutional food, but those allergic to cardboard must steer clear."
You can read The Hollywood Reporter's full review here.prevnext
In a world driven by franchises, The Meg is one of the few blockbusters landing in theaters this summer that is neither a prequel nor a sequel. While the movie doesn't come close to achieving what other films have this summer, Mike McCahill at The Guardian was at least happy to see a fresh face.
"[Jon Turteltaub] directs the set pieces with enough B-movie nous to elicit regular jumps, deftly pulls off a mid-film twist, and keeps everything moving, often in equally surprising directions: if the shark-versus-Statham bout doesn't tickle you, the shark-versus-Pekinese sidebar might. Not quite killer, but it's rare to see a 21st-century blockbuster having this much fun – right through to its sign-off – with its premise."
You can read The Guardian's full review here.prev