Saturday, February 24, 2024

Review: "MEG 2: THE TRENCH" is Truly Megilicious

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 13 of 2024 (No. 1957) by Leroy Douresseaux

Meg 2: The Trench (2023)
Running time:  116 minutes (1 hour, 56 minutes)
MPA – PG-13 for action/violence, some bloody images, language and brief suggestive material
DIRECTOR:  Ben Wheatley
WRITERS:  Dean Georgaris and Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber; from a screen story by Dean Georgaris and Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber (based on the novel by Steve Alten)
PRODUCERS:  Belle Avery and Lorenzo di Bonaventura
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Haris Zambarloukos (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Jonathan Amos
COMPOSER:  Harry Gregson-Williams


Starring:  Jason Statham, Jing Wu, Cliff Curtis, Sophia Cai, Page Kennedy, Sergio Peris Mencheta, Skyler Samuels, Melissanthi Mahut, Whoopie Van Raam, Kiran Sonia Sawar, Felix Mayr, Ivy Tsui, and Sienna Guillory



Meg 2: The Trench offers the same fun as the original film, The Meg (2018), but with all new monsters, villains, and action.

Jason Statham's Jonas Taylor does not dominate the new film as he did in the first, but Statham is still at his action-movie best.

I like Meg 2: The Trench enough that I want a third film... as soon as possible.


Meg 2: The Trench is a 2023 science fiction, horror, and action film directed by Ben Wheatley and starring Jason Statham.  The movie is a direct sequel to the 2018 film, The MegMeg 2: The Trench finds a research team fending off giant sharks and also the murderous criminals behind a malevolent mining operation in some of the greatest depths of “the Trench.”

Meg 2: The Trench opens several years after the events of the first film.  Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham), the diver who specializes in deep sea search and rescue, has been involved in fighting environmental crimes on the ocean.  He is also helping the underwater research facility, Mana One, in exploring a further deep part of the Mariana Trench where the Megalodon of the original film was discovered.

Following the death of Suyin Zhang (which is not show onscreen), Jonas has been raising her teenage daughter, now 14-year-old Meiying (Sophia Cai), alongside her uncle and Suyin's brother, Jiuming Zhang (Jing Wu).  Jiuming has acquired his father's company, X-Pletandum Technologies, alongside wealthy financier, Hillary Driscoll (Sienna Guillory).  Jiuming has also been studying an 80 ft (24 m) female Meg called Haiqi, who was discovered as a pup and trained by Jiuming, but who has been acting erratically of late.

Jonas returns to Mana One where he and the survivors of the first Meg disaster, Mac (Cliff Curtis), Mana One operations manager, and DJ (Page Kennedy), a Mana One engineer, join Jiuming's latest project.  He wants to explore more of the Mariana Trench, unaware that here are more Megs and also now human danger with which to contend.  Can Jonas save the day, again?

The first film, The Meg, is loosely based on Steve Alten's 1997 novel, Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror.  Meg 2: The Trench is based on Alten's 1999 novel, The Trench, one of six sequels to the original novel, with a seventh due in 2024 or 2025.  I have enjoyed the two films so much that I am considering reading, at least, some of the novels.

I gave The Meg a grade of “C+,” but in the years since I first saw it, I have come to love it.  It is one of my favorite films, and now I would give it a “B+.”  Meg 2: The Trench starts off slowly, but the film really kicks into gear when the story returns to Mana One, the central setting of the first film.  The Trench is not a retread, as most of the action set pieces are new.  There are a few references to the first film, but the writers of the original film return to offer new jump-scares, new monsters, and an added number of awful humans.

Meg 2: The Trench gives Jason Statham's Jonas Taylor the chance to show off his martial art fighting skills, which he did not do in the first film.  In fact, one of the other returning characters gets to kick some butt, and the sequel actually gives several characters their own set pieces so that they can shine.

Meg 2 isn't great cinema, but it is a great time at the movies.  It is upgraded, campy monster movie fun that will have you swept up, dear readers, if you are willing to be swept up.  I had a blast watching it, and I heartily recommend it to fans of the first film.  Meg 2: The Trench makes me hope we get to see more Megs and more Trench in a third film.

7 out of 10
★★★½ out of 4 stars

The text is copyright © 2024 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.



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