Meg 2: The Trench review: Toss this bucket of chum

A giant shark swims up to a tiny diver.

Meg 2: The Trench evaluation: Toss this bucket of chum

“It makes the unique appear like, nicely, Jaws by comparability.”


  • Sharks are, typically talking, cool
  • Jason Statham is, typically talking, enjoyable
  • The final half hour delivers some goofy mayhem


  • The results are atrocious
  • The writing is worse
  • It is ungodly boring

By now, there’s little novelty left in a film adopting the ascending POV of a shark on the prowl, letting the viewers see the nubile prey from the eyes — black and lifeless, like a doll’s eyes — of the predator. However how about letting us see that hunt from the mouth of the beast because it pulls a complete gaggle of beating, panicking swimmers inside, rows of enamel closing from the highest and the underside of the body? That gag shot, doing Jaws from the attitude of the jaws, counts because the one and solely impressed second in Meg 2: The Trench, an in any other case somewhat impressively abysmal addition to the shallow faculty of fin flicks swimming into theaters each summer season, usually in August.

The primary Meg wasn’t precisely on the prime of the inventive meals chain. A shock hit from the canine days of 2018, it took a seemingly foolproof recipe for enjoyable — Jason Statham fights a 90-foot prehistoric shark — and drowned it in an ocean of soggy melodrama, mediocre creature results, and thrills of a strictly PG-13 selection. Nonetheless, nevertheless low that blockbuster set the bar and expectations for such B motion pictures on an A price range, Meg 2 sinks decrease. It makes the unique appear like, nicely, Jaws by comparability. It boasts the worst results $130 million should buy, the sort often reserved for TV motion pictures whose portmanteau titles promise sharks and harmful cyclones of wind. And it’s wildly boring for one thing so rattling foolish.

A skier races away from a giant shark in The Meg 2.

Warner Bros.

Statham returns as heroic diver Jonas Taylor, this time main an ill-fated expedition to the deepest depths of the ocean, previous a layer of protecting subzero water and into the territory of the Megalodon, star of grade-Z SyFy originals and grade-school doodles alike. Jonas was a paleontologist within the supply materials, a sequence of dumbed-down Michael Crichton imitations that leaped off the cabinets of airport bookstores. In the case of sheer improbability, historic sharks the scale of submarines are one factor. However Jason Statham as a scientist? Disbelief can solely be suspended to this point.

Meg 2 vastly overestimates our curiosity within the human-shaped bait not performed by Jason Statham. The supporting solid is large enough to employees a completely functioning SeaWorld; it contains, amongst many others, a cute child, a cocky Chinese language scientist, and a comic-relief sidekick (rapper Web page Kennedy) round to ship pre-digested catchphrases like “Rattling!” and “I hear that!” A few of these people beforehand appeared within the first Meg, although solely Wikipedia might say for sure which. When one character unexpectedly switches sides, revealing allegiance to the movie’s nefarious miner villains, it barely lands as a twist, as a result of they’ve exhibited not a single drop of character.

A man grips a little girl in The Meg 2.

Warner Bros.

For unforgivably lengthy stretches, nobody will get eaten. After they do, their associates nonetheless crack smiles and beers on the seaside on the finish; possibly they’re simply pleased it’s over, too. A lot of the film takes place underwater, and the digital imagery is so cruddy and murky that it’s usually inconceivable to make out what the hell is occurring. Is Meg 2 a PSYOP for James Cameron? Taking part in the movie subsequent to a TV operating the brand new Avatar would operate like a type of previous commercials evaluating the crystal clear picture of Blu-ray to the muddy decision of DVD.

Amazingly, this gimcrack cutscene crap has been directed by Ben Wheatley, a British style dabbler whose output has been removed from constant (his CV contains the glossy J. G. Ballard adaptation Excessive-Rise, the stoner freakout A Subject in England, and the Tarantino-ish bullet farce Free Fireplace) however by no means this anonymously dire and sloppy. The motion scenes have all of the visible logic of a feeding frenzy; usually, there’s little credible relationship between a picture of mayhem and the one which follows. Wheatley, both phoning it means in or swimming outdoors his depths, doesn’t even correctly time his shameless ripoff of the large soar scare from Deep Blue Sea, a way more entertaining blast of eating-machine escapism. It’s by no means a great signal when a filmmaker leaves you pining for the readability and durable craftsmanship of Jon Turteltaub.


It’s solely in its final half hour that Meg 2: The Trench decides to lastly act like a monster film. No coincidence, it’s the closest it involves any semblance of pulp pleasure, largely simply by ripping off the ultimate act of the primary Meg, solely this time with a couple of extra lethal, historic points of interest from the drink. Right here eventually, Statham cruises round on a jet-ski, tossing harpoons on the large boys; name it too little, too late, however a minimum of the promise of the logline is faintly fulfilled. That is additionally after we get that nice shot from contained in the shark’s large maw, although it might’t assist however look, by this level, just like the POV of the viewers, kicking and screaming to be launched from this bloated monstrosity.

Meg 2: The Trench opens in theaters in all places Friday, August 4. For extra of A.A. Dowd’s writing, please go to his Authory page.

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