Meg 2: The Trench

Director: Ben Wheatley
Starring: Jason Statham, Jing Wu, Shuya Sophia Cai, Cliff Curtis, Page Kennedy, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Skyler Samuels, Sienna Guillory.
Distributor: Warner Bros
Runtime: 116 mins. Reviewed in Aug 2023
Reviewer: Fr Peter Malone msc
| JustWatch |
Rating notes: Sustained threat and action violence

Dive into uncharted waters with Jason Statham and global action icon Wu Jing as they lead a daring research team on an exploratory dive into the deepest depths of the ocean.

Meg 2 has to be big. And it is! The focus on the film is a mega shark, the prehistoric shark which has survived in the depths of the ocean until today (and not only just one). During the past 40 years or more any audience seeing a shark on a film poster will immediately think of Jaws. And rightly. It is the archetypal shark film. This film pays homage to Jaws, especially in the final sequences at a crowded beach resort. There are lots of people in the water, the celebration of a wedding and a poodle falling into the water (will it be chomped? Spoiler alert, it is saved).

However, with the shark being prehistoric and surviving into the present, there are memories of Jurassic Park, so this is a kind of ‘Jurassic Deep Ocean Floor’. Chinese producers have invested heavily in this film as have the Americans – with a climax at the above-mentioned beach resort.

Statham, who has survived 20 years of action shows and shows no sign of easing off, is a popular hero of this kind of film. He is something of a kind of antihero, when there is an emergency but, of course, persuaded to do so. The centre of most of the action is a huge facility (perhaps something of an understatement given the size, affluence, high-technology) in the ocean.

Until here, with a few omissions, this is the initial review of The Meg. So, the same basic plot and the same emphasis on characters.

Meg 2 opens with a prologue set in prehistoric times, small creatures, bigger creatures, each devouring the other – until the Megadon devours all. The difference with this sequel is that it is set in the Mariana Trench, could have been called 25,000 feet under the sea. There are crises with Statham’s Jonas coming to the rescue again, working with friends, going down to explore the deep in a special submersible vehicle, having to walk along the sea trench with all the deep sea dangers, finding the below surface enormous facility, this time involved in mining rare earths (rare sea beds) and smuggling them, masterminded by a ruthless boss (Guillory) with a traitor on board the surface vessel. Jason with his Chinese friends is also guardian to the young girl of the previous film, lots of dangers, rescue, confrontations, and the finale like the first film (remembering the scene in Jaws).
Which means, there is plenty of tension, action, heroics and dangers, with the arrogant boss getting her comeuppance. There are touches of family care and a super-abundance of mayhem. This is what Meg 2 promises – and what it delivers. Some of the caustic comments come from viewers who haven’t read the film correctly and discuss it as if it were meant to be completely serious. Otherwise, it is often a tongue-in-cheek somewhat bloated entertainment. Think of the scene where Statham pierces the Megadon with piping and, single-handedly, holds and supports it, vast mouth agape, with beyond human strength.

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