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Meg 2: The Trench(2023)(Review)

Well guys, I’m going to be quite blunt right now. I’m pissed off. Like… excessively pissed off.
‘Meg 2: The Trench’ came out this summer with a very exciting trailer and a humongous budget and came out to hardly a splash. All reviews were negative, nobody I personally know saw it, and it quietly faded from the box office (despite making $395 million) and is already on massive discount on digital streaming services.
Everybody sucks, and this is the perfect example that you should enjoy the things you want to enjoy before you let the opinions of others disappoint you.

This movie is an absolute blast. Following the first story of ‘The Meg’, we are following Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) as he continues his work as a top-tier scientist and badass who researches and controls a megalodon for a private research company. This company is run with love and displays that out the gate by intercepting and arresting a large cargo ship that’s dumping nuclear waste into the ocean. But eventually, while doing a dive into the Mariana Trench, they discover that there’s another private company with a base at the bottom who are blowing up stone to collect rare and valuable minerals. One thing leads to another and things go completely off the rails.

Now, back to my starting point. Everyone hated this movie because it’s “stupid, pointless”, and “just a Jurassic World knockoff”. But listen here… it’s supposed to be. Unlike the first film, this movie sheds it’s too-serious tone and fully embraces the charm and humor that we wanted in the first place. I mean… guys… the poster art is Jason Statham stabbing a Megoladon with a spear while riding a jet ski. Like.. what the fuck did you expect?

On top of the silly tone, this movie is 100% a ‘Jurassic World’ ripoff, there’s literally dinosaurs in it. But we not only get more than one massive megalodon and dinosaurs, we get another massive creature I will not spoil and lots of fun homages. This movie literally feels like ‘Jurassic Park’, meets ‘Jurassic World’, meets ‘Underwater’, meets ‘Aliens’, meets ‘Jaws’, meets ‘John Wick’. Yes – it’s a lot, but it’s entirely just fun and isn’t trying to do anything beyond that.

And then on a technical level, the CGI is rather impressive. The action is thrilling and moves very fast so there’s hardly any pauses or breaks. The storyline bounces all over the place which also helps with the pacing. Jason Statham is how he always is, and it’s wonderful. The humor works, the violence works, the tension is legit, the stakes feel real, and we do FINALLY get a 20-minute long shark attack beach-invasion scene that was severely disappointing in the original entry. There’s also multiple set pieces (which align with the different movies I referenced above) that keep you interested all the way through.

Aside from all of this, this movie is directed by horror anomaly Ben Wheatley (Kill List, In The Earth, A Field in England) – so at the very least this is a massive success for a creative and often brutal genre filmmaker who shows he knows how to use a big crew and big budget and make a spectacle out of it.

The unnecessary hate this film has been receiving is upsetting. I have put the film off for months because of the word of mouth, but none of it feels legit. This movie is just pure, exciting, shark-based fun that feels appropriate enough for kids but mature enough for adults too. If the idea of a man charging a giant shark with a katana on a jet ski doesn’t sound enticing in the slightest, then this isn’t for you. But for the horror fan who enjoys just watching something silly but highly entertaining, then this is a success.

I apologize for the aggressive rant, but I was triggered reading the reviews on Letterboxd after I finished this. Go have some fun guys, you’ve proven you need more of it in your lives.

4/5
“Meg 2: The Trench” is currently streaming on Max & Vudu.

‘Til Next Time,
Mike Cleopatra

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