I Respect This For The Obvious Homages It Pays
. . . and also because it’s fun. I’ve watched shark movies since Blue Water, White Death, circa 1971, I think. I liked The Meg, which I just now saw on HBO, because I’ve a better home theater than any movie theater, so I wait and I don’t buy freaking pay-per-view, much more than I thought I would, based on the posts here. The Meg is a compilation of nods to other shark (and other) stories; to wit:
Jaws (sinking boat, need a bigger boat [not an actual line of dialogue in this, but so obvious anyway], shark cage scene, shark tracking device [admittedly, empty oil barrels in Jaws, GPS plant in this], dog named Pippin [the doggie in this one survives], the little kid who begs his Mom to let him go back into the ocean with his inflatable flotation device [but at least he wasn’t named Alex Kintner in this], and also doesn’t wind up in a shark’s digestive tract)
Deep Blue Sea (shark attacks the facility’s plexiglass Ocean Walk, stuffy character we’ve grown to like sacrifices herself [Deep Blue Sea] or himself [this] to save others, the likable, funny black guy [L.L. Cool Jay in Deep, Page Kennedy in this])
The Abyss (ultra-deep sea rescue missions, cranes breaking free from ships at crucial plot junctures)
And, at the last, a Moby Dick, arguably the Great American Novel, nod, as Statham rides the Behemoth and stabs at it, from the pit of hell, he stabs at it, and prevails.
Then there is China. Like both the Pacific Rims and The Great Wall, this is a prancing China whore of a movie, which may be a practical thing, but is an uncomfortable narrative fit, like trying to squeeze one of Cinderalla’s sisters’ clodhoppers into her glass slipper. It’s like what theater was in the Middle Ages, when the Church only permitted what were known as Passion Plays, and playwrights would pen plays of lechery and debauchery, but “save” it at the last minute by tying the carnal story to the birth of Jesus, somehow. I suspect the playwrights spent time in purgatory thereafter. I don’t know that anyone is going to purgatory because of The Meg, but these constant China/Hollywood marriages are manifest shotgun weddings, and are crude and clumsy as all get-out. I shudder.