Meg 2: The Trench (2023) - 4/10
I didn’t love The Meg, but it was simple stupid fun. Did we need a sequel? No of course not, but when has that ever stopped anyone. It certainly wouldn’t stop The Stath, he’s back as Jonas Taylor for more madness and mayhem. Subtle this is not. It starts with a T-Rex getting eaten and the most unlikely needle drop of Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’, as Jonas breaks out of a shipping container on a cargo ship in the middle of the sea. Something dodgy is going on of course and it’s not long before he’s kicking bad guys. Truth be told, story isn’t especially important here, to the point you don’t need to have seen the first film to follow what’s happening here. The people Jonas is working with are exploring the oceans, specifically an area ominously named The Trench, where giant dinosaur era fish called megladons rule. Jiuming Zhang (Jing Wu) is the boss of operations and thinks he can train megladons… Jonas disagrees. They have a megladon captive, one raised from a baby, but it’s a baby no more and doesn’t want to be locked up. That’s the least of their concerns though as they dive into The Trench and find that they’re not the only ones playing in the water. Where it’s thin on plot, it makes up for in action, dramatic OTT dialogue and The Stath’s cold hard stare. Things obviously go pear shaped and when things go wrong underwater, bad things happen. The Meg relied just on the spectacle of a big fish though. This tries to add meat to the bones with some double crossing humans chasing money, obviously. It doesn’t really work and all peters out anyway in the final act as director Ben Wheatley seems to just decide upon dialing everything up to eleventy stupid. This isn’t as good as the first film and that’s saying something, it’s riddled with holes and gets bogged down needlessly, but you’re not watching a film like this for clever plot twists and philosophical narrative. The good guys are good, the bad guys are bad, there’s lots of explosions, fights, peril, CGI monsters and it is fun to watch. Let’s hope there’s no Meg 3 though.