The Meg 2: Trench, the long-awaited sequel to the 2018 giant shark blockbuster, dives deep into the ocean of action-packed sequences and aquatic mayhem. While it delivers pure action entertainment value in its third act, with some fun sequences filled with craziness, the overall plot can be deemed somewhat convoluted with certain moments feeling bland. Nevertheless, the movie has its moments of brilliance, especially the energy of unexpected dynamic duo Page Kennedy’s ‘DJ’ and Cliff Curtis’ James, who truly steal the show during the film.
The movie starts off-slow, addressing characters from the previous movie, an off-screen death for a character, sets the tone then takes its time to build up till the end. The meticulously setting the stage for Jason Statham’s return as Jonas Taylor, the expert deep-sea diver and shark hunter, who’s seen as a legend with his bout with the Megaladon, as brilliant as Statham gets.
The audience is reintroduced to the dark and mysterious world beneath the ocean surface, filled with uncharted territories and lurking prehistoric predators, which is where the film had its solid moments. As Jonas is called back into action to confront a new, more terrifying breed of Megalodons, within the deep trench. The tension and anticipation build up, promising an epic battle of survival.
However, amidst the excitement, the plot meanders through various twists and turns, occasionally confusing viewers with the abundance of characters and their motivations. The subplot of betrayal with the villains didn’t work well. Driscoll being this greedy yet unconvincing villain, then Jess and Montes being lovers in a cliche relationship didn’t help engross viewers. They added a layer of complexity with the theme of betrayal, but occasionally it bogged down the film’s narrative as allegiances seem to shift without substantial development, leaving the audience feeling confused as to why.
Despite these flaws, The Meg 2: Trench excels in delivering pure entertainment value, especially during its third act. The action sequences are fun with Jason Statham’s intense and thrilling underwater battles against the massive Megalodons, let alone the giant octopus fight with Wu Jings’ ‘Jiuming’. The visual effects do work at creating an immersive experience that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. The adrenaline-pumping scenes of heart-pounding action make up for some of the film’s plot-related shortcomings.
Among the ensemble cast, certain dynamics were strong and standout performances come from Page Kennedy’s ‘DJ’ and Cliff Curtis’ James. Their chemistry as a buddy cop duo brings much-needed humor and camaraderie to the film. ‘DJ’s’ witty one-liners and James’ grounded and resilient persona create a perfect balance that resonates with the audience. You can’t forget Statham’s ‘See ya chum’ one liner which was brilliant! The Kennedy-Curtis interactions and camaraderie add a much-needed human element to the otherwise grandiose spectacle of shark-filled action. That included the chemistry between Jonas and Meiying seemed sweet.
As the credits roll, The Meg 2: Trench leaves the audience with mixed feelings. The convoluted plot may dampen the overall experience for some viewers, but the exceptional action sequences and certain character dynamics keeps the film afloat. It takes the audience on a thrilling underwater adventure, albeit with shark-defying logic and a few bumps along the way. If you’re looking for am action-packed ride, The Meg 2: Trench is sure to provide that entertaining escape into the depths of the water.
Based off the book series, the ‘Meg 2’ follows ‘Jonas’ (Jason Statham), a diver and environmental activist, plunge further into the depths of the ocean, followed by the formidable Megalodon.
Production designer Chris Lowe offers, “In production design, there is a saying—’We’re not making documentaries, we’re making movies.’ We’re taking people away from everyday life and putting them in environments that excite them. We go around a laboratory, and while they’re fascinating places, cinematically, they’re not that exciting. it’s the job of the art department to basically take the tropes of what is real and believable and push the boundaries, making sure that the audience feels that everything is real. We have a 65-foot shark that doesn’t exist anymore, so we’re taking giant leaps with people’s idea of believability. But it’s my job to complement that Meg.”
For those of you who haven’t seen the original Meg film, the plotline entertains the idea that underneath a certain level of atmospheric pressure (otherwise known as ‘The Trench’), Megs continue to swim below us. With the power of futuristic technology, this allows Meg-enthusiasts (specifically, Jason Statham) to step back in time and perform outrageous underwater fight scenes.
If you’re not a fan of open water, or have a lasting fear from watching Jaws, you may be sceptical about watching a film miles below sea level. However, The Meg 2 is the perfect mash of unbelievable science-fiction, kick-ass action sequences, and the occasional low brow quip. The storyline is somewhat convoluted (but not uneasy to follow) and has some minor holes. However, if you’re willing to leave your brain at the door and fully submit to the absurdity of it all, you’ll have a fin-tastic time.
Credit: By Grace Sanders