Thursday, December 6, 2018

In short: The Meg (2018)

While it certainly inspires not even tiniest bit of entertainment or excitement in me, and its main claim to fame should be the dubious success of making a film about Jason Statham fighting a giant shark that’s bland and lifeless, at least Jon Turteltaub’s giant monster movie stinker that’s beat by a couple dozen SyFy movies made on a fracture of its budget in entertainment value did finally help me come up with a theory why so many American/Chinese attempts at blockbuster co-productions are so bland and lacking in any kind of personality.

My hypothesis is that it’s focus groups that are to blame (adding another sin to the kind of amount that’ll make Satan uncomfortable). First, the script and later the film are run through the Chinese marketing expert rat labyrinth, losing about half of any possible personality in the process, yet leaving at least the sort of thing a Chinese audience supposedly enjoys in. Then, this half-living thing goes over to the American side who cut exactly the fifty percent of life the Chinese side left in, because an American audience surely won’t enjoy those, resulting in a film that may feature little to nothing anybody in any country could actively hate, yet also one that has nothing anyone could get even the tiniest bit excited about. That’s my theory at least.

In The Meg’s particular case, things are not helped along by an incredibly antiseptic “romance” between Statham and Li Bingbing – both of whom deserve better than this crap – and a script that isn’t just a series of boring clichés, but a series of boring clichés presented without any conviction or sense of drama by a director who seems to be aiming for the the new Academy Award for most complete absence of personality by a director. This is not so much a film that’s bad as one that can’t even get up the energy to be anything that lively. I could go on and enumerate the film’s flaws in detail, but honestly, what’s the point?

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