Watching the Meg: So Bad it was Good

Last night after coming home from class, I noticed my landlady and one of my housemates watching the latest shark movie the Meg. It was fairly early in the movie, so I decided to sit down and join them. I didn’t think the movie would be good, but I was entirely right in that assumption. But I have to admit, there was something about how bad it was that made it so entertaining to watch.

So, what is the Meg about? The whole plot is about a marine research group run by a private billionaire that accidentally allows a megalodon, the prehistoric ancestor of the shark, out of of the thermoclyne layer of the ocean (which is somehow locked in place by a freezing layer of water?). The megalodon, once free, begins swimming around, destroying boats and reeking havoc on the the researchers. The group works to stop the megalodon before it reaches the coast of China and kills hundreds in a lust for food.

Yeah, the plot already sounds ridiculous. It gets worse. The movie is filled with cheap and cliche dialogue, particularly between the main action dude (who is super buff and gritty, by the way), and the love interest. The dialogue made me crack up quite often, especially when they tried to use it to be emotional/dramatic. It was superficial and corny.

Expanding on that, just the interaction between all the characters feels so fake. Like, it was impossible to get into the characters or treat them like real characters fake. Their interactions were short and superficial, with no character development or deep interaction. When some of these characters reacted to their friends dying, I couldn’t feel anything because none of their interactions felt real in the first place. Even with the main guy’s ex-wife, I was rather confused about where they stood. They were still friends? But their marriage was kind of messy? I didn’t even know. They were all just barely fleshed out versions of stereotypes, or not even anything really at all.

And the romance they build between the main guy and the girl? God, was it weird. Whoever wrote the film clearly tried to make the romance super obvious. They even involved the woman’s eight year-old daughter, who basically gave the okay to having the dude bang her mom. That made my housemate cover her face with the blanket, and made my landlady laugh.

On top of all this, the film had lots of social commentary surrounding Chinese pollution and their process of de-finning sharks. Which, is good commentary, but kind of strange when paired with a movie all about killing a giant shark. I guess you could say the commentary means that the meg is just a metaphor for mother nature exacting its revenge, but that would probably be asking too much from this movie. But the commentary was obvious.

Yet at the same time, there was plenty of product placement. Nike, some watches (I don’t remember what brand), some cell phones, light up shoes, etc. The product placement was all over the place. And I’m going to bed all the brands featured pollute the environment in some way, which kind of negates the point of the commentary.

All-in-all, it was a bad movie. But I stayed and watched the whole thing, just for how entertaining it was. It was a pretty comical movie, even though I highly doubt it was supposed to be taken that way. I just couldn’t help myself. It was fun to see how bad it really was.

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