‘The Meg 2: The Trench’: A Surplus of New Aquatic Threats, 2023


When Bigger Doesn’t Mean Better

In the long-anticipated sequel to the deep-sea monster mayhem of ‘The Meg’, Jason Statham reprises his role as Jonas Taylor, the undaunted hero who once again finds himself face-to-face with colossal prehistoric sharks. ‘The Meg 2: The Trench’ dives back into the world of giant prehistoric sharks, but this time, it drowns in a sea of uninspired storytelling, a surplus of new aquatic threats, and a frustrating lack of chemistry among its cast.

The Meg attempting to eat Jonas, played by Jason Statham, who is leaning on a tipped and broken boardwalk. Jonas is using his foot to kick the upper teeth of the Meg, which is also being restrained slightly by a chain across its face.
Jason Statham as Jonas, The Meg: The Trench 2023, Warner Bros, Fair Use

Statham vs. Sea Monsters

Jason Statham returns to face an array of dangers, including multiple megalodons and new lizard-like sea creatures. ‘The Meg 2: The Trench’ takes the audience on another ride through treacherous underwater realms, amplifying the action with relentless CGI-infused battles but it simply fails to recreate the magic of its predecessor.

Jason Statham as Jonas, looking wary. He is in the ocean, alone, aware that the Meg is somewhere nearby.
Warner Bros, The Meg, Jason Statham, Fair Use

Too Many Monsters, Too Little Fun

In an attempt to outdo the original, ‘The Meg 2’ borrows ideas from other monster movies and introduces an array of new threats. However, it doesn’t take long for this long-awaited sequel to dive into a familiar pitfall: recycling the same old tropes with minimal originality. The screenplay becomes cluttered, and the initial simplicity of ‘man vs. shark’ is muddled by numerous distractions. “The Meg 2” offers a mere extension of the first film’s formula, opting for a rinse-and-repeat approach.

A Missed Opportunity

Director Ben Wheatley, known for his pulpy exploits, is let down by a clunky screenplay. The film lacks the sharp humour and engaging dialogue that could have elevated it. Despite the film’s impressive visuals and occasionally thrilling action sequences, it falls short in one crucial aspect: character development. The characters remain one-dimensional and unremarkable, lacking the depth needed to create a genuine emotional connection with the audience. The chemistry among the cast is not the film’s strongest suit, and it’s clear that the film prioritises spectacle over substance.

For Fans of Underwater Monster Movies

Despite the film’s muddled formulaic narrative, ‘The Meg 2’ can still offer a spectacular thrill ride for fans of underwater monster movies. The depths of the ocean may conceal many secrets, but when it comes to cinematic carnage, this sequel refuses to keep anything hidden.

Close image. The Meg. Dark background, dark ocean photo, beneath the trench. Front face image: eye and open jaws.
The Meg 2: The Trench, 2023, Warner Bros, Fair Use

While it provides some heart-pounding moments, it ultimately sinks beneath the weight of its own storytelling, leaving audiences with the feeling that this franchise may have finally reached its low-water mark.

Action Reloaded’s Verdict: Sink or Swim?

While the original ‘Meg’ aimed to entertain with its shark-themed action, the sequel crams in too much and ends up floundering. It’s a missed opportunity to build on the fun premise and create an engaging creature feature.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Action Reloaded

Check out the review of the prequel, The Meg, 2018