“Meg 2: The Trench”, a Made For TV Movie With a Hollywood Budget

Swimming into theaters this August, “Meg 2: The Trench” directed by Ben Wheatley is a bad yet incredibly fun movie to watch this summer. After the surprising success of its 2018 predecessor  “The Meg” it is no surprise that a second one was greenlit, but with the quality of a made for TV movie it may not be able to find its fins to keep swimming.

The movie follows Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) and Jiuming Zhang (Wu Jing) who along with their research team (Melissanthi Mahut, Page Kennedy, Cliff Curtis, Skylar Samuels, Kiran Sonia Sawar, Felix Mayr, Whoopie Van Raam) and Jiumings niece, Meiying (Shuya Sophia Cai), lead an expedition into uncharted territory in the Mariana Trench. This expedition leads to the discovery of an illegal mining operation and the escape of two megalodons into the Pacific Ocean. After their escape the megalodons wreak havoc on a nearby island resort and Jonas, Jiuming, and his research team are the only people who can save the day. 

A by the book summer blockbuster and a basic shark movie premise, but this time supersized and with that comes a lot of danger and a lot of fun. In its 116 minute runtime the story calls for many leaps in logic, like swimming without a dive suit at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, but it’s a movie about giant sharks so that’s the least of your worries. The first half, funny enough the half in the trench, is by far the weakest part of the movie because of its seriousness. The seriousness and straight face dialogue doesn’t work super well with the quality of the script. But in the second half it sheds that seriousness and embraces the campy nature of the premise with one liners and over the top action.

The script is not well written and with that the performances suffer, at least in the first half. Jason Statham plays his regular role of the witty hero and all the other performances are serviceable for the quality of the movie. DJ played by Page Kennedy and James played by Cliff Curtis are the standouts of the side cast because they act like they know what kind of movie they’re in.

The special effects on the other hand can go from very good to awful in the blink of an eye. The megalodons usually look good, which is obviously because they are the namesake, but with that everything else suffers. Many of the other creatures look very rubbery or like video game characters and the explosions don’t look the best during certain parts. The action scenes utilizing the megalodons look good most of the time, but all the other scenes suffer.

Some may find the movie unbearable, but to many the premise will be bad enough to be incredibly fun. Even if it leaves many things to be desired, you may want to take a bite of this cheesy shark movie on a hot summer day.

Director Ben Wheatley

Starring Jason Statham, Wu Jing, Shuya Sophia Cai, Melissanthi Mahut, Page Kennedy, Cliff Curtis, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Sienna Guillroy, Skylar Samuels, Kiran Sonia Sawar, Felix Mayr, Whoopie Van Raam

Rated PG-13

My Rating ★½

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