I’m not able to watch The Meg without thinking of Jaws and I’m glad an individual sitting next to me reminds of the film Deep Blue Sea at the end of the film (The Meg). To me, The Meg is like the diverse-futuristic-inclusive Jaws though lacks the extreme effort set in the story telling of Jaws. I recently got to watch Jaws and I literally would not take my eyes off the screen from the very beginning of the film to the end. Both films, The Meg and Jaws, introduce their primary menace early on—but—Jaws creates more than one menace beyond the threats in the water. Jaws brings the audience to render the situations of the town as is and sets an importance on the beach for the town. There’s an entirely different set of circumstances which the audience has to not only recognize but deal with. It’s one thing to think about dead family members and friends. It’s an even more serious matter thinking of the livelihoods of an entire town—the economy—and long-term functions that rely heavily on a season’s production in conjunction with deaths, publicity, and responsibilities—responsible persons. My goodness. The Meg throws a huge number at everyone about a station that only really seems to affect only so many people in a particular area and industry. I’m not knocking The Meg as a thriller film—but there’s no way to ignore its potentially greatest influence Jaws.

So, I’m going to discuss a few similar aspects that take very different routes of exploration. Let’s talk social. The Meg sets its social tone in a limiting way which Jaws explores way further. Jaws doesn’t simply throw out a large number then mention life being about sex, money, respect, and power (which I find to be a very lazy-overloaded-underspecified-vague term). The audience has to walk through the ins and outs of the town’s circumstances in Jaws and really has to set themselves in the shoes of many of the people in the film. What do you do as the mayor or sheriff of a town in need? That’s an initial question then the rest of the questions come concerning economy and safety which become of the greatest concerns of all parties able to affect change.

There’s no way to avoid talking about intelligence. I like the mini shark lessons throughout Jaws which develop as the plans adjust. The Meg doesn’t really coerce me into believing any of the acting partners are actually knowledgeable about their circumstances. Realistically, the audience is thrown into scenarios with acting partners either claiming to be all knowing of their circumstances or having been set in a position as all knowing of their circumstances. Jaws leads scenarios so well. There are so many moments of solidification which back up the character types set in Jaws. The Meg has really nice facilities and looks good. I always feel like technology can never really look smarter than its developers or users—no matter how flashy it may look. Why cost so much looking good—if it doesn’t work so well? I’m into future developments but don’t force technological-self-autonomy on me until auto-correct is flawless. This might seem like a random rant—but, I assure you, it’s not. In Jaws, technology comes as an extension of the specialists’ knowledge and necessities. In The Meg, technology is present as a necessity which allows for specialists to delve into and encounter that which is fully unknown. In Jaws, the specialists are always analyzing bits to ensure to know as much as possible before their delve into any scenarios involving the sharks. Why wouldn’t the specialists in The Meg properly analyze every bit of the cloud with a machine from that billion dollar station so as to ensure proper safety parameters were set instead of relying completely on technological specs that were crushed? Why wouldn’t the specialists secure their vehicles properly to ensure their swift mobility out of any potentially dangerous situations? Precautions aren’t meant to be taken post dive. Live to explore another day with more intelligence and better research. My goodness.

I’m going to take some time to appreciate the camera angles of Jaws. Cinematography really makes a film more effective. Jaws makes me feel like more matters than a complete movie; Jaws forces me to acknowledge all that is within the film as though constantly waving away the idea that I’m even watching a film. When I’m watching Jaws, I constantly feel like I’m receiving reminders that there is something more important going on here—look! When I’m watching The Meg, I’m more like— What’s going to happen next?! / What time is it?

Overall Grade: C-

—K.D.

If you’re into Poetry and other bits of creativity, check out my Instagram: @Dufreshest.

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