Home / News / The Trench” is a watery shrug of a sequel.

The Trench” is a watery shrug of a sequel.


Five years ago, “The Meg” lived up to expectations as a pretty fun time-waster about big, prehistoric sharks. In trailers for the sequel (new director, more creatures), Jason Statham is seen holding a barge-sized Megalodon with his feet on a dock. Bring it I think. for time a good-dumb movie with zero “thought pieces” in its future.

So much for crazy expectations! In “Meg 2: The Trench,” Statham returns as Jonas, the “eco-terrorist” who now protects the seas from radioactive discharge and other humiliations. The sequel continues with a wider tonal range than the original, especially with a lot more comic relief. Plus, more 75-foot sharks (and an XXXXL-size octopus) among the new digital cast.

Unfortunately, the lethal percentage of “Meg 2” relates to a “rogue mining operation” about 8 miles below the ocean’s surface. The precious metals are below, begging to be mined. An explosion shakes the sequel’s name shield, releasing various Megs and the tentacled thing. Meanwhile, Statham and his team come face-to-face with the mercenaries, resulting in multiple stabs, gunshots, and bodies thrown into the ocean. The cleaning part remains unaddressed.

Chained to a script, director Ben Wheatley is stuck in telling a bleak, weak story with underwater and computer-generated visuals, with jokes no better than his straight-forward plot. From scene to scene, jump scare to jump scare, “Meg 2” gets D-minus for clarity. Most of the time you don’t know who’s where or who’s having lunch. Statham’s lack of excitement is contagious. “Great,” he mutters, rolling his eyes like a shark, and his voice sounds like he’s been in line at the post office for an hour. “More Megs.”

Things come to life a bit in the last 30 minutes, which transforms and expands at the climax of the first “Meg” movie. Cast aside for most of their own movies, hungry predators emerge from the trench for the day and attack a resort called Fun Island. Fast, sharp-toothed land dwellers emerge from the water and come to kill, and Statham’s crew must deal with them as they battle against the chief mercenary (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) employed by a character we’ll call Spoy Lurr Ullert. .

Jonas does it all for the love of his teenage stepdaughter (Sophia Cai). Jing Wu plays Jonas’ daredevil uncle, with notable co-star awards going to Melissanthi Mahut as the toughest, coolest member of the undersea exploration team. She may not get the screen time she deserves, but neither can the Megs, she. If there’s a bigger question that comes up in this sequel, it’s this: Can digital sea monsters fire AI talent agents for better representation?

“Meg 2: Trench” — 1.5 stars (out of 4)

MPA rating: PG-13 (for action/violence, some gory images, language, and short obscene material)

Duration: 1:56

How to watch: In theaters now

Michael Phillips is a Tribune critic.


twitter @phillipstribune


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