Meg 2 (2023) Movie Review – Unpretentious, no nonsense fun… and abysmally bad

Unpretentious, no nonsense fun… and abysmally bad

A bad film can be quite enjoyable. Not every movie can be a Citizen Kane or The Godfather. We have heard this justification for a long time, and at times, it evokes disgust – why are you getting paid the big bucks when you can’t make a decent film? Ohters, are quite content to switch off and enjoy a silly spectacle for a few hours.

Either way, there are certain films only meant for a no-nonsense evening of fun with your family. While Meg 2: The Trench doesn’t exactly provide that consistently, it comes very close. 

The sequel to the 2018 film The Meg is so bad that it is good. Meg 2: The Trench was never going to take itself seriously. Those of you who went into the film with any semblance of expectations of story and narrative will come away disappointed.

Meg 2 is unabashedly brazen in what it is: a disaster film about the deadliest prehistoric sea creature and one man to brave them all. That is pretty much all there is to the film. The sequel has nothing more to offer. The writing is bad, the special effects are a disaster, and there is no sense of cinematic acumen whatsoever.

Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is still continuing his vigilantism against eco-destructors and large corporations. He has been working on Mana One, a marine life station in the Mariana Trench where the first megalodon was found as well. Zhang Jiuming (Wu Jing) the director of the Oceanic Institute, has developed state-of-the-art submersibles that are capable of reaching the thermocline. This term refers to the boundary that separates the normal ocean and the freezing water where the megalodons still live. Zhang is the brother of Suyin, who died in the last film.

Hilary Driscoll, the CEO of a tech company, has joined hands with Zhang to make it happen. During a routine dive into the Trench (as if something like that could ever be routine), Meiying, Suyin’s daughter, is discovered to be in Dive 1 (the first submersible). Jonas, who is looking after her as a promise to Suyin, is upset. But what comes next gathers his and the rest of the team’s attention. The Trench has multiple numbers of Megs swimming around and also an active seafloor station.

Unlike the last film, Meg 2 inexplicably does not revolve around the titular monster. The central conceit of the sequel is the fight between Jonas and his team and the large corporation mining the Trench for rare metals. This is as crazy as it is logistically impossible. But that is what the writers go along with. It is preposterous to think that the megalodons are only seen for a few moments here and there. 

A film sold on their terror is more interested in aggrandizing a singular man and his eco-friendly mission. However, Meg 2 isn’t able to do that properly either. Meg 2 is a film of two halves… literally. In the first half, the mission seems to be heading towards a fight between Jonas and the proprietor of the mining operation. But in the second half, the attention is switched to saving the “Fun Island,” which is arguably an even worse tactic.

Somehow, the first part is resolved in the second without a direct confrontation. It seems all of the film’s $100 million budget went into paying actors’ fees – no wonder the writers aren’t paid enough.

There is no semblance of character arcs or narrative. Random things happen in the film to make the journey from the start to the end as convenient as possible. Granted, the effort of watching Meg 2 isn’t seamless and there are more hiccups than one would like. But the creature monster movie serves its purpose. It is difficult to make any sort of comment on the acting knowing what context the cast is performing under.

It is quite bad but the qualifying caveat must be given regard as well. Jason Statham pulls off some amazing stunts and looks badass while killing megs and his nemesis. One would have liked the Trench part to be elaborated. Given its setting and characterization of pitch-black darkness that hides enormous predatory monsters, there was a lot of potential to do some fascinating world-building.

A few moments are also truly terrifying to watch on the big screen. Some more teasing and chasing were well within the control of the creators to manifest but the megs themselves belong to the 1990’s. Special effects to bring them to life could also have been much better, something you would expect going into the film. 

Meg 2 gladly walks into formulaic traps that have beset the monster-creature genre for years. There is no second thought to what the consequences of it might be and that is something that elevates your experience of watching the film. I know it sounds strange but Meg 2 makes all its bad decisions without any mala fide intention.

The film is purposely bad, dumbed down, and abnormally cliched to ensure its larger-than-life plot (or lack thereof) does not hinder our experience of just having some fun. 


Read More: Meg 2 Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 4.5/10

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