“The Meg” Trailer Promises Jason Statham vs. Giant Shark, So Why Aren’t We More Excited?

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Kevin: I have to admit I’ve been kind of looking forward to “The Meg” for a while, mainly because we haven’t had a good big-budget shark attack movie since “Deep Blue Sea” (don’t even bother trying to argue on behalf of “The Shallows,” one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a theater in years). I’ve been following the development of this project for at least the last 15 years, when at various times it was going to star George Clooney and be directed by Jan de Bont from “Speed” (and unfortunately “Speed 2: Cruise Control”). Well it’s finally here, but now instead we have Jason Statham and the guy who directed “National Treasure,” “Cool Runnings” and “3 Ninjas,” so obviously this is a huge upgrade:

I don’t know, I’d like to think this could be a delightful B-movie surprise like 2010’s “Piranha 3D,” but with a $150 million budget, a PG-13 rating, and a journeyman director, I’m not anticipating some kind of hilariously sleazy genre classic here. And honestly a movie like this is more enjoyable when it’s played completely straight-faced, which is why I am worried that the last half of the trailer tries to pretty much sell “Ha ha, we are totally in on the joke, it’s about a giant shark, please enjoy this movie ironically hipsters!”

Also between this and The Rock’s Shanghai-set “Skyscraper,” I guess 2018 is when Hollywood officially makes it obvious that their summer blockbusters are geared primarily for the Chinese market. It used to be that these kinds of flicks would feature some Chinese star in a non-essential role, or would have a setpiece take place somewhere like Hong Kong, but now their stars are getting top billing and these movies are taking place entirely in the Middle Kingdom. For instance, “The Meg” apparently takes place off the Chinese coast, which I’m sure is absolutely crucial for the story, just as I’m sure second-billed Li Bingbing brought way more to the film in terms of raw emotion and pathos than someone like, say, Mira Sorvino.

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One that note, apparently the associate producer listings include names like Chunzi Wang and Ming Beaver Kwei. Are we sure “The Meg” isn’t part of some elaborate money laundering operation set up by the Triad, or a hoax cooked up by the same morally deficient geniuses responsible for this legendary local news prank:

Totally unrelated, I think I detected some bare patches of skin on Ruby Rose’s body that’s not covered with a stupid tattoo, she better get on that right away.

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CJ: I watched this trailer yesterday and thought “Giant shark, neat!,” while also hoping that there will be lots of Statham stuff to make fun of since I’m guessing he’ll be playing the world’s best aquatic engineer, akin to Gerard Butler’s space satellite/planet-wide compound expertise in “Geostorm.”

What’s sad though is it’s the $150 million budget where they lost me. Because it’s not gonna be good-looking $150 million CGI like “Iron Man,” “Transformers,” or “Jurassic World.” No, it’s gonna be bad-looking “Independence Day: Resurgence”-type $150 million CGI. This means beachgoers in front of a green screen where you can see clear outlines around their body, weirdly lit indoor sets that have the light in their eyes even if the sun is behind them, and a giant Meg that will always seem JUST a little bit fuzzy.

Also, why have a Jason Statham movie where he clearly cannot punch the bad guy to death? Because he’s not gonna do that, right? No, they wouldn’t write that as part of the movie. What would be better is if they pulled an “Executive Decision” or “Reign of Fire” move where Statham is like “Oy! I’ll punch him good I will!,” and then the Meg eats him 10 minutes into the movie and proceeds to spend the next 90 minutes devouring everyone in sight, with the movie ending with the President being like “So I guess we don’t go in the water no more, I mean look at that thing.”

Also Kevin, I’ll also pay for your beers that night if they name the shark any variation of Megan.

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Kevin: I’m glad you brought up “Geostorm” (actually I’m glad anyone brings up “Geostorm” at any time for any reason), because I think we all agree that if Gerard was leading this movie it would have been at the top of at least two of the TGD Must See Lists for 2018. As much as I appreciate that Statham keeps pumping out B-movie action flicks I can rent on iTunes when I’m drunk, the fact that Statham’s characters have to be badass and in peak condition at all times gets a little boring, whereas Gerard would play the world’s foremost shark hunter as someone who also just happens to look hung over all the time on account that they filmed most of the movie in a water tank near Tijuana.

Now back to that budget. Yeah, so far this does not look like a $150 million movie to me. By comparison, the 2016 “Ghostbusters” cost $140 million, and that movie had a ton more special effects, although unfortunately they couldn’t just create the illusion that we were watching the original version and not two hours of Kate McKinnon’s horrible overacting.

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Mike: 1) “It’s a living fossil…” 2) “We need to find it and kill it!”

I think that says it all.

Also this shark manages to stay alive in the ocean for a few thousand years, and now Jason Statham wants to drive a jet ski loaded with TNT up its ass and blow it to kingdom come. I’m rooting for the shark!

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