15 August 2018

THE MEG. (2018) IN CINEMAS NOW. REVIEW BY- AND A POSITIVE VERDICT FROM- SANDRA HARRIS.




THE MEG. (2018) DIRECTED BY JOHN TURTELTAUB. 
BASED ON THE BOOK 'MEG: A NOVEL OF DEEP TERROR' BY STEVE ALTEN.
STARRING JASON STATHAM, LI BINGBING, WINSTON CHAO, RAINN WILSON, CLIFF CURTIS, RUBY ROSE, JESSICA MCNAMEE, PAGE KENNEDY, ROBERT TAYLOR, MASI OKA, OLAFUR DARRI OLAFSSON, SHUYA SOPHIA CAI AND ONE HELL OF A BIG-ASS SHARK.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

'There's something down here.'
(No shit, Sherlock! Have you checked out the name of the movie yet???)

'Man versus meg isn't a fight. It's a slaughter.'

Ooooooh-er. Jason Statham is a big ride. I never realised it before but seeing him on the big screen as the lead role here was a bit of an eye-opener, lol. With his shaved head, stubbly visage and magnificent physique, he stole the show for me, edging over the finish line even ahead of the shark, the titular 'Meg' or 'Megalodon.'

Jason plays a chap called Jonas Taylor, another 'J' name, obviously, who quit the undersea rescue business five years ago when a submarine he was on got hit by something huge, an unidentified mass (I wonder what it could have been, snigger), and he- Jonas- saved nearly his entire crew. Sadly though, a couple-a guys bought it down there in the deep blue sea, through no fault of Jonas's.

Jonas couldn't stand the guilt, though, the guilt of having failed to save that last couple of crew members, and he subsequently retired to nearby Thailand to drink beer and cultivate his stubble. It seems like no-one notices when you don't wear the tutu, but everyone does when it's wrapped snugly and incriminatingly around your person.

That's a Milhouse joke from THE SIMPSONS there, to help us to better understand poor Jonas's desperate position. The guys he saved are as nothing, apparently, next to the guys he didn't save. 

As if poor Jonas wasn't flagellating himself enough over this, and believe me he is, there are still some crew members- Dr. Heller, for one- who hold his 'failures' against him. So unfair, sigh. I totally feel for him. I'd like to totally feel him an' all, lol.

Anyway, Jonas is the first guy they call on when a similar incident happens to a bunch of people who've been sent down in a piddly flimsy submersible in to the Mariannas Trench. This is apparently the deepest part of the world's ocean and it's still not been entirely explored. How spooky is that?

Seriously, isn't that an utterly terrifying thought? It's been said that we Earthlings know more about Outer Space than we do about our oceans. I'd almost believe it. There could be literally anything down there and, in this film, there is...

The undersea craft has been sent down into the world's deepest oceanic trench by the undersea research station two hundred miles off the coast of China known as 'Mana One.' It's owned by a mildly obnoxious billionaire called Jack Morris who looks like a guy I know. Has the same asshole personality and beard as well, lol. Jerk.

As luck- or the script!- would have it, Jonas's beautiful ex-wife Lori is on board this ill-fated seacraft that's been bumped and banged by something enormous that they haven't yet been able to identify. So naturally, he can't refuse to come to the rescue of the stranded craft. 

Well, he could refuse if he really wanted to (most guys would jump at the chance to have the ex-missus nom-nom-nommed by a prehistoric monster), but Jonas still likes Lori- likes, not loves!- and he wouldn't want anything bad to happen to her. Most guys, as I said, probably would leave their ex-wives to be eaten by the Meg, but not Jonas. You see, he's got a little thing called principles...

The staff at Mana One are like a happy little family. There's Dr. Minway Zhang, the gentle Chinese professor who runs the show, and his daughter Su-yin, Jonas's new love interest. If Jonas chooses to be with Su-yin, he will have to be Step-Daddy to Su-yin's precocious eight-year-old daughter Mei-ying ('Eight-year-olds hear everything!), who could run this flippin' research station single-handedly if she had to. Probably because of all the hours she's allowed to roam through its lonely corridors unsupervised with nothing to do, tsk tsk.

The rest of the crew are mostly pretty cool. Toshi is the super-clever Japanese guy we all feel a fondness for because he touchingly dashes off a scribbled letter to his wife when he thinks he's going to die. DJ is the one black guy and the comic relief who keeps reminding us that being eaten by a giant prehistoric shark is nowhere in his job description. Mac is really cute and looks like an Asian Jimmy Nail. I swear to God, check him out. Separated at birth, much?

Jaxx is the cool tattooed girl (she looks like a short-haired Angelina Jolie, a major compliment) who designed the sea-craft that's now trapped under the sea and irritatingly being poked by a gigantic living mass of something as yet unidentified, but Jonas is pretty sure he knows what it is.

What else could it be but the monster that deliberately bumped into his own craft five years ago? Dr. Heller doesn't believe there was a monster, and Jonas is not exactly thrilled skinny to see his old enemy once more here on Mana One. Dr. Heller, I mean. Dr. Heller is his old enemy.

The Wall is a huge beardy bespectacled computer geek guy who is the living image of the huge beardy bespectacled computer geek guy who helped the deceased Bill Paxton to explore the remains of the sunken ship the TITANIC in James Cameron's TITANIC back in 1997. If he's the same guy, he hasn't aged a day. If he's not, well, he's the spitting image of him.

And what about Meg? She's the one we've all really come to see. Well, she's big all right, bigger than the shark in JAWS but nowhere near as well-defined. That's a real fake shark, if you get me, whereas the Meg, short for Megalodon, the biggest shark- the biggest anything- to ever live on Earth, is naturally computer-generated and a little blurry around the edges. 

For most of the movie, we only see little bits of it at a time, which is kind of unsatisfying. Especially to someone like myself who believes that there's no such thing as too big when it comes to sharks and penises. Or should that be penii? I never know for sure. Save us, Online Grammar Doctor...!

It's not the best shark I've ever seen but it's not the worst either. The worst was the one in SHARK EXORCIST, which I reviewed here recently for the Fourth of July. The best sharks, of course, are Bruce the Shark from JAWS and also the shark in JAWS 2. Was he called Bruce as well? Answers on a postcard, please!

I would have liked to have seen the Meg appear a bit earlier in the film- we have to wait about fifty minutes for a proper sighting- and for a bit longer at a time but overall, it wasn't too bad. I enjoyed the film and I'll definitely go to any sequels.

So, does Jonas get to redeem himself by saving a shitload of people in the world's deepest oceanic trench? Does he find love again with the smart-as-paint but deadly dull Su-yin? (Her acting is as wooden as a book-case made in shop class as a Father's Day gift.) 

Will he get saddled with Su-yin's genius daughter Mei-ying into the bargain? Almost certainly, yes, if he decides to go for Su-yin. Unless they can ship the know-it-all kid off to some kind of boarding-school for the criminally intelligent, heh-heh-heh.

There were a few rather lame one-liners in the film that the audience, lazy lot that they were, failed utterly to react to. I liked the bit with the kids in the banana-boats. It seemed to me to be a loving tribute to JAWS 4, my favourite JAWS after the original JAWS and JAWS 2. People who don't know any better are always saying that JAWS 4 isn't worthy of being included in the JAWS canon but I love it. It's JAWS 3 that stinks to high heaven...!

There are a couple of funny lines about the film's plot on Wikipedia that I thought you might like to hear about. Firstly, it says that Jack Morris the billionaire drops the bombs on the Meg 'to avoid any lawsuits the shark might bring against him...!' Can you imagine it? 'The Meg versus Jack Morris and the state of wherever will now come to order...!'

Secondly, it also says somewhere in its synopsis of the plot that Jonas Taylor 'severely damages his submersible.' Is that what they're calling it now? I'll pop round there straightaway and put it in a wee splint. That and some special rub-in ointment, say, ten times a day ought to do the trick...!

And as for the Meg herself, the toothsome star of the show, will she survive to see a sequel? Well, I hope so. As long as Jason Statham, bald, stubbly, well-built and oh-so-virile-looking, can return as the guy who saves everyone and gets the girl.

And even if the Meg gets blown to pieces ('Smile, you son of a bitch!'), well, the Mariannas Trench is good and deep. Powerfully deep. If they dig a little deeper, these film-makers, you never know what they might find.

PS, my son has just informed me that Jason Statham is the star of a film called THE TRANSPORTER, obviously the story of the trials and tribulations of a bus conductor. I'm off now to see if I can find it anywhere. It sounds utterly riveting.


AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger, poet and book-and-movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com








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