The Joy Of Nonsense: Our Review of ‘The Meg 2: The Trench’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - August 04, 2023
The Joy Of Nonsense: Our Review of ‘The Meg 2: The Trench’

Don’t knock it till you try it…

Let’s all be honest with each other for a second.  In the realm of the creature features there’s something about a good shark movie that stands out from the rest.  While no one will actively be able to call The Meg 2: The Trench a “good” film in any traditional sense of the word, there’s something to be said for a story that knows what it is and leans into it with unabashed gusto.

Dive into uncharted waters with Jason Statham and global action icon Wu Jing as they lead a daring research team on an exploratory dive into the deepest depths of the ocean. Their voyage spirals into chaos when a malevolent mining operation threatens their mission and forces them into a high-stakes battle for survival. Pitted against colossal Megs and relentless environmental plunderers, our heroes must outrun, outsmart, and outswim their merciless predators in a pulse-pounding race against time.

If The Asylum had $100 Million+ budgets to work with then The Meg 2: The Trench actually wouldn’t be nearly as surprising as it actually is because while logic and well written dialogue are essentially out the window on this film, it also knows EXACTLY what it is thanks to some very good direction and an ensemble cast that isn’t afraid to have a sly little wink to the camera as they sell it all with an emotional abandon that is rare seen on screen.

For those who know director Ben Wheatley’s work, seeing him at the helm of this quite honestly makes pretty good sense as he’s clearly leaning into the genre as hard as he possibly can, something which he does every time out he makes a film (OK, maybe not his adaption of Rebecca on Netflix)

Wheatley plays with every trope in the shark movie book and leans into the 3-D as hard as they did with Jaws 3-D back in 1983 (at least it looks better here).  The action is solid and more or less non-stop as the film would literally risk breaking its own neck if it tried to slow down for any kind of character exposition.  Wheatley rightly turns this all into a roller coaster ride; and who cares about any logic gaps in the plot that you can literally drive a Megalodon Shark through.  These big beasties of the deep are hungry and don’t care who they chow down on as we roll through some old plot points about environmentalism and corporate greed to get to see Statham flying through the air with an explosive harpoon towards one of these predatory monsters that have been unleashed from deep in the ocean, and honestly isn’t that all any of us wants to see anyway?

While the original The Meg certainly had a little gusto to it, there was still a certain degree of tempering to it with some actual real world things going on in the background. Here Wheatley throws all that out the window and Statham is up for the ride playing the rugged smirking action hero who isn’t afraid to look the camera dead square and give it a wink.  Jing Wu brings some unquestionable movie star charm to it, especially considering the nature and the funding and the catering to the foreign markets with it all and that’s OK because it all works.  Cliff Curtis returns to the ensemble and Sienna Guillory brings some fun scenery chewing moments as our nefarious villain.

Ultimately, for all its faults there’s something about The Meg 2: The Trench that we just don’t see in the modern Hollywood blockbusters.  It unabashedly doesn’t care what we think about it; this is simply and only every trying to be good old fashion shark nonsense.  You either strap on board for the ride or you get the fuck out of its way, and there’s something about that spirit and energy that you just can’t help but appreciate.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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