Meg 2: The Trench – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Jason Statham

Meg 2 Meg 2: The Trench is out now, and one person who did NOT suffer the jaws of defeat was the first film’s Suyin.

Bingbing Li didn’t return to her role for reasons unexplained, but because China is a massive market for movie revenue, they still needed a Chinese lead, hence Jiuming Zhang (Jing Wu), a know-it-all who has trained the first Meg in captivity, Haiqi.

But first we go back to 65 million years ago, during the time of the dinosaurs, when the Meg first made their presence felt…

And then fast-forward to the present day when Jonas Taylor (Jason StathamFast X) is in the Philippine Sea, searching out environmental crimes, taking photos of secrets – having stowed away on a container ship – and getting up the noses of those up to mischief.

Head over to the Oceanic Institute in China, where Jiuming has created a special, high-strength exo-suit to use safely underwater. How long before they need it, do you reckon?

Meanwhile, Suyin’s daughter, Meiying (Sophia Cai, also returning along with Statham and Page Kennedy, as DJ), is now 14, and having been raised by Jonas, she also now wants to get involved in his day-to-day work and tag along for an undersea trip to watch Megs.

Yes, this sequel features multiple megs, even though we’re told they’re meant to be solitary creatures. As Jonas moans, “Oh great, more Megs(!)”

Meg 2: The Trench – Advertising Video Board at Cineworld #Shorts – DVDfeverGames

Problems begin first – for them – since after crashing on the sea bed while out on the trip, their only option is to get out and walk along the trench to get back to base, but what caused the problem? Well, they have a mole, it’s not the digging type, and therefore, baddies are about! Did you guess who it would be? Did you care? Did I even remember by the time I got round to writing my review?

Along the way, not everyone will survive – usually getting bumped off by a big fish – but even though the trench, itself, is 25,000ft deep, there doesn’t feel like any sense of danger for anyone involved, and you don’t care if any of them snuff it. You know Jonas will be fine because they’ll want to make a third movie if this one is also a success.

However, as well as seemingly just making up the plot as it goes along, when they’re down under the sea where there are no accusations, just friendly crustaceans, it’s mostly in the dark, so I’m glad I didn’t see this in 3D, not least because it wasn’t filmed that way, but because the 3D glasses would make it even darker!

The last 20 minutes are the best of what’s on offer because it’s where most of the action takes place – even if it is quite stupid at times – but if they’d had a lot more of that elsewhere, it would’ve been a better film and more enjoyable. As such, you spend most of the two-hour running time just waiting for something to happen.

And, as shown in the trailer, you know that when someone says that a facility is “Meg-proof” and taps the toughened glass… yep.

As I mentioned with Neill Blomkamp’s Gran Turismo, this film also feels like a movie made by committee, so despite Ben Wheatley being listed as the director, it has none of his trademark style to it, such as films like Free Fire, A Field In England and Sightseers, so it’s as if in both cases, they just put their names to it, and the directors stayed home!

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Meg 2: The Trench poster in Manchester’s Arndale Centre on the top floor

But there were problems for me, too, just even trying to WATCH this film! On the opening Sat and Sun (and maybe weekdays, too), I first booked Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem at 3.40pm, then Meg 2 at 6.10pm in screen 4 on Saturday and the same seat. The Saturday showing of Meg 2 was then cancelled… So, I rebooked both for Sunday at the same times in the same screen (with this film being listed as a subtitled screening – which would’ve helped with the mumbling dialogue), then the same happened again!

I wasn’t able to do Sat lunchtime-ish for this film (12.50pm), so ended up on the Sunday Meg 2 at 12.50pm and Turtles at 3.40pm, again both in the same screen and the same seat.

Basically, what happened is that the 6.10pm-ish Turtles 4DX 3D was downgraded to 2D in screen 4, and Meg 2 was bumped from 2D to 4DX 3D. On both days, and presumably this has happened throughout the week. A free upgrade would be nice, but then apart from the last 20 mins, there’s not a lot happening in Meg 2, and so much of it is in the dark, so as I mentioned, 3D would just make it even darker.

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Another poster.

And some audience hassles… About 30 mins into this, a lad and two girls raced out of the screen, as if they’d sneaked in before it started, then got bored and left.

Then, at around the hour mark, they came back in! And, of course, they sat in the row in front of me. In this screen, there’s two rows at the very front (completely impossible to watch the film properly in either of them – even though I saw two people tried), but after that, from row C onwards up to the back, row D is fine for me, as it’s in-your-face and comfortable to watch. Except when kids are giggling away and chatting…

Now, if you are going to sneak into a film, at least keep schtum, since if you don’t, you’ll just piss everyone off!

I’m guessing they were about 13/14, and initially, a nudge on the back of their chair had no effect (they were a couple of seats along from me, so I couldn’t do a direct kick), so a few minutes later, once they started up again, I stood up, went over, tapped the lad on the shoulder (the closest one to me), they all looked up at me (and all huddled down in their chairs as if to pretend they weren’t there), one girl gasped that someone could actually challenge them, and I said, “Either shut up or get out!”

There was some slight murmurings from them after that as the film went on, but very little by comparison…

I later saw one of them with an adult, so I presume they did actually have tickets, but just decided to be complete shit-heads, and the parents did fuck all about it. Of course, staff clearly aren’t checking the CCTV. I know Odeon have those screens made public so people know they’re being watched if they try to dick about. However, Cineworld’s shares aren’t even worth the paper they’re printed on, these days, and they’re on the way to bankruptcy, so clearly, they don’t give a shit.

Later, on National Cinema Day (Sept 2nd), I saw it again in 4DX 3D for just £3. The water and moving effects were quite fun, but this time, it was in 3D and really shouldn’t have been. Apart from the fact that Cineworld have an issue with their 3D filter (as I later found out being the reason), which makes the image rather blurry, the 3D was very poor, too. This sort of film really doesn’t need it, since there’s a lot of quick-cutting of scenes, so the brain can’t assess the 3D depth of each image before it moves on to the next one. 3D should really be saved for films which have slow panning effects, or anything that at least allows you to get an idea of the effect, before changing to something else. Otherwise, it shouldn’t be used.

Meg 2: The Trench isn’t yet available to buy on any home formats, but you can buy the novel on Kindle, Hardback and Paperback.

Meg 2: The Trench – Official Trailer – Warner Bros

Detailed specs:

Running time: 116 minutes
Release date: August 4th 2023
Studio: Warner Bros
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Cinema: Cineworld Didsbury
Rating: 4/10

Director: Ben Wheatley
Producers: Belle Avery, Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Screenplay: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber, Dean Georgaris
Novel: The Trench by Steve Alten

Jonas Taylor: Jason Statham
Jiuming Zhang: Jing Wu
Meiying: Sophia Cai
Mac: Cliff Curtis
DJ: Page Kennedy
Montes: Sergio Peris-Mencheta
Jess: Skyler Samuels
Rigas: Melissanthi Mahut
Curtis: Whoopie Van Raam
Sal: Kiran Sonia Sawar
Lance: Felix Mayr
Driscoll: Sienna Guillory
Coco: Ivy Tsui
Kenneth Wong: Kenneth Won