I wasn’t a fan of the 2018 film The Meg, starring Jason Statham, and the new sequel to that film, Meg 2: The Trench, feels like a creation with a similar genericness associated with its predecessor. Even though the scale has gone higher, the storytelling isn’t innovative, and with two narrative styles with stark differences trying to merge in the film’s final act, Meg 2: The Trench teases you with improvement but ultimately settles for the same mediocrity.
Post the events in the first movie, Jonas Taylor is now working like, some sort of a journalist who is collecting proof against people who are contaminating the sea with radioactive waste. After that stint, he reunites with his old team at Mana One, who are conducting new experiments with the meg they have captured and developing new technologies for underwater expeditions. One such expedition resulted in a very catastrophic end when an explosion kind of broke the layer that kept the megs at those deeper points of the sea. We see how that affects the expedition team and catapults into something huge in Meg 2: The Trench.
The first half of the movie is pretty much a mixed bag. The introduction set piece of Jason Statham is so cliched, and then when we are introduced to Jiuming and Meiying, the story gives you hope that this time they are planning to create something that doesn’t feel like a template. But the usualness starts to seep in even though the fear about this gigantic creature keeps us engaged. But once the story reaches the surface, the tone shifts drastically, and it is almost like watching a Jackie Chan comedy movie. The whole helicopter sequence in Fun Island destroys whatever levels of excitement the film managed to create till that point.
The tone shift I mentioned above is the main reason the movie feels like a huge letdown. It is almost like once the makers completed the underwater segment and edited it, they felt the fun element was missing, and they decided to make the beta Jaws episode look like a deleted segment from Home Alone movies. The characters you cared about in the underwater chapter are getting attacked by the creatures directly, and you are sure that nothing will happen to them. Everything becomes excessively comical in the last half of the movie. Just look at the character DJ. He is so cool and composed in the initial portions, and suddenly out of nowhere, he is forced to be this Tyrese Gibson kind of comedy relief. The writing has very familiar punches, and the double-crossing is visible from miles away.
Jonas Taylor is just another sleepwalk character for Jason Statham as it only demands his image as an action hero rather than anything challenging in acting. Wu Jing plays that typical nerd who won’t take no for an answer and will put the whole team in trouble with his decision-making. Sophia Cai reprises her role as Meiying, and it was actually her chemistry with Statham that kind of made me feel that this installment might not be a usual creature flick. Cliff Curtis plays the role of Mac, and like I already mentioned, Page Kennedy, as DJ, was a bit too loud in being funny.
Meg 2: The Trench is so lazy and hastily made that it won’t even qualify as a guilty pleasure B movie. The franchise is not known for delivering anything substantially great, but still expecting an improvement is not too much to ask for. If you are okay with the sadistic pleasure of seeing people getting eaten by humongous sharks, this might well feel like a therapeutic experience.
With two narrative styles with stark differences trying to merge in the film's final act, Meg 2: The Trench teases you with improvement but ultimately settles for the same mediocrity.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended