Meg 2 movie review (2023)
The sequel to its campy predecessor, “Meg” (2018), Meg 2: The Trench, attempts to expand its scope under the direction of Ben Wheatley. Despite a larger canvas and a more menacing threat, the film falls short of its potential, delivering a formulaic creature feature that fails to capitalize on its strengths.The movie kicks off with a clash between monstrous hybrids, reminiscent of a mishmash between a lizard, crocodile, T-Rex, and the iconic megalodon. Jason Statham reprises his role as eco-warrior Jonas Taylor, initially taking on ocean polluters with a gritty determination. This tone-setting sequence foreshadows the predictable trajectory ahead. However, the plot gains some traction when Jiuming (Wu Jing), a billionaire oceanography institute owner, unveils a surprising connection with a captive megalodon.
As the crew embarks on an exploratory mission, the film briefly dazzles with bioluminescent flora and mysterious fauna. The tension mounts when their mission is compromised, and a thrilling survival sequence unfolds as they traverse three kilometers to reach a rescue station while donning high-tech suits. Unfortunately, this climactic sequence is where the film peaks, as the narrative takes a nosedive comparable to their sinking vessel.
The story becomes increasingly convoluted as the group grapples with an odd mix of antagonists, including terrorist-like villains, lizard crocodiles, multiple megalodons, and even a colossal octopus. Sandwiched in between these chaotic encounters are moments of forced humor from the crew members, particularly DJ (Page Kennedy), Jiuming, and James Mac’ Mackreides (Cliff Curtis). The introduction of a seemingly random “Fun Island” scenario adds unnecessary length to the movie without significant plot advancement.
Regrettably, the performances fail to elevate the lackluster script. Jason Statham’s portrayal lacks the charisma seen in his other roles, and even his interactions with Jiuming’s niece, Shuya Sophia Cai, seldom evoke genuine warmth.
While the megalodons’ oceanic maneuvers often come across as gimmicky, the central showdown is a rare bright spot in the film’s execution. Nonetheless, Meg 2: The Trench misses the mark as a monster movie masterpiece. It settles for mediocrity, offering fleeting moments of cheesy amusement. Ultimately, it sinks beneath the weight of its own ambitions, failing to replicate the cult appeal of its predecessors like Jaws and Jurassic Park.