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Review: “Meg 2: The Trench” is Absolutely Bonkers

When The Meg came out in 2018, no one was expecting high art. People were looking for a fun, jaunty, brainless adventure they could wash away their worries with. The box office told the same story, too.

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Making a large enough dent to warrant a sequel. Five years and one pandemic later, Meg 2: The Trench is upon us. Not only is it finally a reality, it comes delivered by the one and only Ben Wheatley who breaks away from his tense Indie masterpieces to dive head first in his first big Hollywood popcorn feature.

It’s 5 years down the road and Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is still doing things in his own special way. Big backers keep him and his team’s research alive, and he even finds time to be an eco-journalist warrior at the same time. His buddy (Uncle of his adopted daughter from the first film Meiying Zhang (Sophia Cai)), Jiuming (Wu Jing) even has his very own Meg at their facility, that he has looked after since it was born.

When the whole crew uses their new tech to dive deeper than any manned submersible before (the passengers on the Titan really needed these) into deepest, darkest, undiscovered parts of “the trench,” they get more than they asked for.

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From deep in the Ocean to the shores of Fun Island, they have to fight fish, amphibians, giant squids, and hired guns to save themselves and other innocent lives.

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I have no real way to express the utter insanity that is Meg 2: The Trench. The situations are unfeasible. The dialogue is laughable ridiculous. The story is plain Frakensteined to the nth degree. None of it was ever clearly meant to be taken seriously, but all of it is so far out of the box you have to wonder if anyone said, “We can, but does that mean we should?” When people strangely harken back to the coke fueled action films of the 80s, they really were just having premonitions about Meg 2: The Trench.

There are a lot of characters/actors who have returned from the last outing. Statham and Cai as your main characters, but Page Kennedy is back as DJ and the ever underappreciated Cliff Curtis is back in effect as James “Mac” Mackreides. Joining them though is a brand new posse of characters who get no real introductions. After one of them gets offed by some unseen sea dwelling monster, another character who seemingly had no pertinent screen time with said character is all of a sudden mourning in a manner that suggests they were dating or married.

While I was not crazy about The Meg, I was fine with it. The real pull of the second movie that had my interests from the get go was the fact that Ben Wheatley was directing it. I’m a massive fan of Wheatley’s films and was interested to see if it was even possible to have him put his special Wheatly stamp on a big blockbuster film. While there are no special footprints like when Sam Raimi went full Raimi in the Spider-Man 2 hospital scene, Ben certainly didn’t just come in and point a camera and leave.

That all being said, nothing that was presented felt like it was the product of a talented auteur. At this point I feel like Wheatly signed the deal to direct to help fund a different upcoming film of his own that comes with a personally written script penned by Amy Jump and himself. And when Freak Shift comes out (the title of one of his in production films), I’ll be sure to laugh to myself and think, “Thank you, Meg 2: The Trench.”

But till then, I am going to fight with myself as I continually try to decide whether I like Meg 2: The Trench, or if I was traumatized with how utterly insane it was. Did the intentional bad dialogue make me laugh because I knew they all knew why they did it? Or was I laughing to cover up how uncomfortable it made me feel?

Final Grade: Ungradable!

Check out more of Matthew’s articles.

Here’s the trailer of the film.

Matthew Schuchman
Matthew Schuchman
In the early 90s, while at the video store with his friends who wanted to rent Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead, Matthew asked the clerk if they had any copies of Naked Lunch available. A film buff from an early age, he would turn his fascination into his own review site in 2010; Movie Review from Gene Shalit’s Moustache. From there, he provided his voice to such publications as Den of Geek, Coming Soon, and Verbicide magazine as a film reviewer and talent interviewer.


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