Dallas Movie Screening

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Friday, August 10, 2018

The Meg

For all intents and purposes, Jon Turteltaub’s “The Meg” is just a fun ride. Action hero extraordinaire Jason Statham (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” “The Transporter”) is Jonas Taylor, a deep sea rescue operative who encounters a megaladon, a once thought to be extinct creature living in the ocean blue. It is 75 feet long and has a plethora of teeth in its huge jaw line.

“The Meg” is very tongue-in-cheek, wherein the events that occur are not to be taken too seriously. Sure, some people you like die, but it is done with purpose to just advance the story.

Rainn Wilson is Morris, a wealthy industrialist whose operation is funding the giant laboratory in the middle of the ocean blue.

Aiding in this story is Bingbing Li’s Suyia, a single mother who also has her daughter Meiying (Shuya Sophia Cai) on board the floating vessel that serves as a way station for the entire crew. Also on board the station is Suyia’s father, Zhang (Winston Chao). He is there as a scientist who knows the ins and outs of all the specialized marine life. Also involved is Cliff Curtis’s Mao, an old friend of Jonas from back in the day when the pair used to work together. Also included is Ruby Rose’s Jaxx, a wizard with technology and apps, who can make things work with the push of a button.

Meiying has a couple of faces that amuse since she knows they are goofy and just hams it up.

“The Meg,” like 1975’s Steven Spielberg-directed “Jaws,” is a complete work of fiction. It is based on the novel courtesy of writer Steve Alten. He also did a couple of follow-ups to the original story of “The Meg”, including “The Trench,” “Primal Waters” and “Hell’s Aquarium.”
This movie, like the fun rides and adventures that encompassed Stephen Sommers’ ocean liner yarn “Deep Rising” just leave you smiling at how ridiculous and stupid the events that just occurred. The same can be said of director Renny Harlin’s “Deep Blue Sea” wherin a giant crew is reduced to just a few by movie’s end. In the end game of things, it is just an escape from the everyday world.

What I also like and admire about Turteltaub is that he shoots for the big screen. Earlier in his career, he made smaller films, ”Three Ninjas,’ (1992), “Cool Runnings” (1993) and “While You Were Sleeping” (1995) that were not made for big screen treatment. Later on, with “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (2010) and a pair of “National Treasure” (2004 and 2007) movies under his belt, he shifted to the widescreen treatment in which his movies are meant for a theatre experience. I actually met Turteltaub in Dallas for “Instinct,” a movie he directed with Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding Jr. That one was also shot in the “scope” format as well.

I saw “The Meg” on the giant IMAX screen at the Northpark in Dallas. Despite the ludicrous shenanigans that occurred, it is still worth the theatre experience.

The perfect escape movie, “The Meg” does what it’s supposed to do and just entertain you for a couple of hours while trying to escape the real world outside.

Grade: B-
(Review by Ricky Miller)

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