Meg 2: The Trench Is Chock-Full of Fun Megalodon Mayhem

Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

2018’s The Meg was not a great movie. Hell, it wasn’t even particularly good. But it was fun, so I was really looking forward to the follow-up, Meg 2: The Trench. I was excited to go back to this world and these characters, and when the trailer dropped, it hyped me up even more. It promised an all-out monster bash, so I couldn’t wait to watch this film. I was sure it would give us even more of the awesome giant shark action that made The Meg so much fun, and after finally getting the chance to check it out, I’m happy to report that for the most part, it does exactly that.

Meg 2: The Trench was directed by Ben Wheatley, and it stars Jason Statham, Wu Jing, Sophia Cai, Page Kennedy, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Skyler Samuels and Cliff Curtis. It’s based on Steve Alten’s novel The Trench: Meg 2, and it’s about a group of scientists who travel to the bottom of the ocean to learn more about the place. However, as you can probably guess, things don’t go according to plan.

An underwater explosion leaves the scientists stranded and without much hope for survival, and while they do eventually make it out alive (well, most of them), they soon learn that the explosion paved the way for some deadly marine animals to escape the titular trench as well. Most notably, three megalodons and a giant octopus make their way to the surface, and they wreak absolute havoc on the humans who cross their paths.

Two people looking concerned
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

If that premise makes you roll your eyes, you’re probably not going to like Meg 2: The Trench. It doesn’t exactly transcend the giant shark subgenre, so it’s not going to convert any skeptics. But if you’re the kind of person who would enjoy watching Jason Statham fight some megalodons, I think you’re going to have a fun time with this movie.

For starters, the human characters are almost all really likable. Sure, they’re pretty one-dimensional, but they’re a ton of fun. I enjoyed the hell out of both the returning characters and the newbies, and as fans of The Meg can probably guess, the best of the bunch is Jonas Taylor. He’s Jason Statham’s character, and he’s awesome. As always, Statham just imbues Jonas with a unique charm that only he can bring, so you can’t help but love the guy.

But let’s be honest, nobody is going to watch a giant shark film for the human characters. We come to these movies for the monster mayhem, and thankfully, Meg 2: The Trench delivers that in spades. With three megalodons, we get even more giant shark action than we did the first time around, and it’s just as fun.

On top of that, as I said before, we also get a few other deadly creatures besides the titular megs, and they add a nice little touch that prevents the film from feeling like a carbon copy of the first Meg. In particular, there’s a really cool megalodon vs. octopus battle in the third act that just might be the best part of the movie. It’s admittedly quite short, but I, for one, didn’t have a problem with its length. It gave me enough monster vs. monster action that I walked away pretty satisfied, and if you’re a fan of this stuff, I think you’ll feel the same way.

A giant shark and a person
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

All that being said, I can’t say that I loved everything about Meg 2: The Trench. In particular, it has two big flaws that keep it from reaching its full potential. For starters, as much as I loved the giant shark action, there was one thing about it that bothered me quite a bit. The logic behind some of this action feels very Fast & Furious-esque, so even though I went into the film expecting it to be ridiculous, a few scenes went a bit too far for me. Most notably, some of the close calls are just a little too close to be believable (even by movie standards), so they took me out of the film a tiny bit.

But hands down, the worst thing about Meg 2: The Trench is its human villains. To be fair, these antagonists aren’t all bad. In the third act, when Meg 2: The Trench goes all-out with the monster action, the villains are tolerable. They don’t add much to the film, but they don’t detract from it either. However, the second act is a different story. There’s a part where the sharks fade into the background and the human baddies come to the fore, and the movie really begins to drag. In fact, it even got to the point where I wasn’t sure if I was liking it anymore.

These villains just didn’t work for me, and to make matters worse, they’re entirely unnecessary. This film would’ve been perfect if it was just people vs. giant sharks (and other monsters), but for some reason, the filmmakers felt the need to shoehorn some boring human bad guys into it as well.

Thankfully though, the monster mayhem in the third act saved Meg 2: The Trench, so despite the movie’s flaws, I still had a really good time with it. It has enough fun giant shark action that I think fans of the first film are going to enjoy this follow-up as well, so if you’ve been looking forward to it, I recommend that you go check it out.

Meg 2: The Trench is playing in theaters right now.

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Written by JP Nunez

JP Nunez is a lifelong horror fan. From a very early age, he learned to love monsters, ghosts, and all things spooky, and it's still his favorite genre today.

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