Friday 4 August 2023

REVIEW: The Meg 2: The Trench (2023)

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Who doesn’t like a shark movie, huh?


We go back to Mana One, where Jonas is now an eco-terrorist and the custodian of Meiying, who is also joined by Jiuming, who is Meiying’s uncle and is the inventor of a type of exo-suit that will allow them to explore the trench under the thermal cloud, the home of the Meg.

As expected, they dive down past the thermal cloud, but Jiuming’s pet Meg Haiqi has gotten free, and also joins them on their journey. While in the Trench, they notice there is a base station there, and there are some nefarious looking characters who are mining for rare earth minerals.

A scuffle ensues, resulting in an explosion that causes a hole to be teared in the thermal cloud, allowing multiple Megs and other creatures to breach the surface

It’s now a race against time to stop the megs and other creatures before they cause chaos on Fun Island.


I learnt a value lesson again – never anticipate a movie, because it will always disappoint you.

I’m going to try a compliment sandwich review, where ill talk about something good, then the bad stuff and try and end with something good again.

First up, it’s kinda of a fun movie and the visual effects are pretty damn good. Don’t let anyone tell you any different, and with the exception of a few weird things like the mega-octopus, everything looks pretty damn good.

But, I signed up to watch a monster film about sharks, not a film about cartoon character bad guys who are mining the deep ocean for rare earth minerals to sell for billions of dollars. And I didn’t sign up for an action film either. The movie starts with a stupid scene on a ship with all this ridiculous fighting that seems out of character for Jonas, and then ends up with a shoot out that looks even more out of place for the characters. It’s like Statham has looked at his role in Wrath of Man and Wu Jing looked at his role as Wolf Warrior and they’ve brought it into this movie, forgetting that the audience is here for the damn sharks.

This feels very much like a Chinese monster movie. And while they are fun, they’re always heavy handed with their social messages, and it weird to see a movie like this – and I acknowledge it’s a co-production – with these environmental messages. That’s the Chinese government’s fingerprints all over this movie, and it’s clear that the producers were cool to allow it to happen.

What’s worse is that there is a perfectly good subplot here that this movie should have been about – and that is Meg mating scene. Firstly, who ever built the tank to hold the captive Haiqi Meg in should be fired. Who builds a waste hatch in a shark enclosure the same size, or bigger than the damn shark its holding? Of course, it was going to break out. Then, who writes a sub plot about potential shark mating then decides the movie should have a series of bad guys and lots of action, completely forgetting about the sharks. And the sharks go missing for huge chunks of this films.

The first Meg was fun because it was about Man vs Shark – but Meg 2 is about man vs evil man who likes to mine, oh and then there are some sharks. And a damn octopus. Where did the octopus come from?

In order to complete the compliment sandwich, I would like to mention that I appreciated the little call back to the first movie with Pippin the small dog and the bride who panics over him. For some reason, she is now husbandless. Also, why does this movie end in a similar location to the first movie. First movie had the tourist location of Sanya Island, and this one ends on Fun Island.

What are my overall thoughts?

So, with a heavy heart, I struggle to go beyond 2 stars. And I really wanted to give it more and not be one of those negative Nancy YouTube reviews, but the movie is what it is. It’s a Chinese action movie masquerading as a shark film, completely by accident, starring the hottest actor in China with thankfully complimented with pretty damn good visual effects.

What a shame, because I wanted a shark movie. I wanted The Meg but more.

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Genre Monster Movie Horror
Director Ben Wheatley
Starring Jason Statham, Wu Jing, Sophia Cai
Original Title 巨齿鲨2:深渊
Alterative Title The Meg 2: The Trench
Country of Origin China and USA
Release Date August 4 2023 (August 3 in Australia!)