"Meg 2: The Trench" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
It's unfortunately true - sequels to shark movies aren't the best. There have been many examples of this, and while these specific sequels may not be as highly regarded as their predecessors, there's always a sense of fun and cheesiness that is found in each and every one of them. "Meg 2: The Trench" decides it wants to be unique in that sense as it is not only extremely boring, but simply a film that takes itself too seriously when the plot and characters simply do not work. There is nothing fun or enjoyable to be found in this newest shark film, which is very unfortunate due to the success the first film saw in 2018.
The film picks up a number of years after the events of the first film, where Jonas (Jason Statham) and his crew took on the Megalodon shark, which was thought to be extinct for millions of years. Now lucky to have survived the ordeal, him and members of his previous crew, including Mac (Cliff Curtis), DJ (Page Kennedy), and Meiying (Sophia Cai), who Jonas has sort of become a father-like figure too, are now apart of a new expedition, started by Meiying's uncle, Jiuming (Jing Wu). They have a Megalodon in their possession, hoping to learn from it and what's beyond the Trench.
However, when the Meg escapes and the crew is now lost and fighting for survival in the Trench, the world doesn't seem safe from this massive, human-devouring beast. The crew must find their way back, while also risking human life by opening up the Trench for more terrifying monsters to escape from the depths below. They must race against time to get back and defeat the terrifying creatures, while also having to escape the clutches of an evil organization that wants to destroy Jonas and his crew.
If you think the synopsis of this movie doesn't sound that interesting or believable, trust me, it's not. The entire story is absolutely ridiculous and has nothing to do with the Meg at all. In fact, I think the Meg was only really present and violently on display for the last twenty minutes of the movie, and even then we spend too much time with the human characters trying to stop the antagonists at work. It seems like the filmmakers tried to make this film much smarter than it actually is, and it simply didn't work one bit. Nothing about this film was even enjoyable or somewhat decent. The characters were not fully fleshed out and were very annoying, and the human antagonists honestly had no reason to be there. It just seems like a lot of wasted time and potential.
In terms of the acting performances, I think Statham is the only real standout here, and even he just recycled what he did in the first film. I mean, more power to him since it's what easily made the first movie so fun and successful, but I wish we had gotten more from him. Statham is a very talented actor, and I don't think we get to see him show off his acting chops much. The only other character I somewhat enjoyed here was DJ, as he had some pretty good one-liners and little quips throughout the movie. Other than that, the acting was horrendous for the most part. Some were fine, but most were over-dramatic or simply annoying to watch. When you watch this film, you'll know exactly who I'm talking about here. It really took me out of the movie, and I found myself secretly hoping the shark will choose that person as its next victim.
Even the CGI and effects were horrendous; I think it could easily be held to the same standard as the hilarious shark from "Jaws 3-D". The first film in this series had great effects and the shark actually looked like a shark (which I think is the whole point of crafting a monster like this using computer effects). But here, they're laughable and lazy. They can't even bother to create the entirety of the giant squid that came from the trench as well, settling on shots of humongous tentacles flying through the air and hoping to land a victim. Sure, it's cool and maybe frightening to others the first time around, but when we keep seeing the same damn tentacles for the millionth time, it loses its effect quite quickly.
I honestly don't know where the filmmakers went wrong here; this is a very unsatisfying and boring follow-up to a genuinely fun shark film a few years ago. I can say with full confidence that whoever said they like this movie is either lying or simply doesn't understand what makes a film good or not. I can't even say this is any fun, and I would definitely steer clear from this one.