I’m probably one of the few people who actually enjoyed 2018’s The Meg, as I found it to be a silly yet fun film that demands to be watched with family and friends with snacks in tow. The movie also did well enough to merit a sequel, which brings us to Meg 2: The Trench, that’s nowhere as fun as the original film, but still has enough bite to enjoy.
Directed by Ben Wheatley, this adventure takes place five years later after the first film (which was released five years ago as well) and see our hero Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) fighting against bad people messing up the eco system by dumping all kinds of waste into the ocean. Not long after his latest clean up mission, we learn that oceanographer Suyin Zhang (Li Bingbing) from the first film has sadly been killed off screen between the movies, but is survived by her daughter Meiying (Shuya Sophia Cai who reprises her role).
Naturally Jonas is a father figure to her and is constantly trying to keep her out of trouble, but of course she wants to be a scientist while also going on adventures with Jonas and his scientist friends Mac (Cliff Curtis) and DJ (Page Kennedy) that are still studying the trench where the Megalodon from the previous film came from who also help Jonas on his eco-warrior missions.
With Suyin being killed off, we learn she just so happens to have a brother named Jiuming (Wu Jing of Wolf Warrior fame) who is working on making exo-suits to use underwater and also help divers train young megalodons to follow directions. Sounds a lot like what Chris Pratt’s character was doing with the raptors in those Jurassic World films.
Needless to say this doesn’t go well as a young female megalodon Jiuming was training manages to escape their facility, and it falls on him, Jonas and his friends to find her and bring her back. But as with every adventure movie, things quickly go wrong when Meiying sneaks on board Jonas’ mini sub while some of the scientists turn out to be mercenaries trying to put an end to Jonas and his eco-warrior team.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, there’s also other megalodons coming from the trench that are a lot bigger, as well as other various sea creatures including the famed giant octopus that cause havoc not only for our heroes, but the rest of the world as they make their way to the surface. It’s going to take a lot for Jonas and his buds to put a stop to it, if they don’t get eaten first.
I had a decent enough time with Meg 2, but I’ll admit you can spot all kinds of issues from the very start. Such as when the pacing is off as there’s some action here and there followed by long instances of Jonas and the crew either talking about things or walking or swimming around just for the sake of killing time. There are other gripes I could go into, but to make a long story short, the film overall feels like a product that’s been shoved out for a burial at sea. Besides the issues, when the action decides to finally kick in, it kicks and bites nicely which is most welcomed when it does.
While I’d rather see Jason Statham and Wu Jing pair up in a martial arts action piece, we’ll have to settle for them teaming up for a so-so misadventure in Meg 2: The Trench. It’s sadly missing what made the first one fun and silly, and will having you watching your watch more so than the movie. Though there’s still just enough bites of action to keep you swimming in amusement until the credits roll.