‘Meg 2: The Trench’: Violence without blood in an entertaining sequel that wastes its potential


During the summer season, the film industry has a great predilection for releasing big action blockbusters being a tradition since Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ established it in the 70s. Five years have passed since fans of maritime predators and action icon Jason Statham enjoyed ‘Meg‘, an ambitious blockbuster that, Despite doing well at the box office, it failed to keep up with other summer blockbusters.

And it is that, the execution of the exorbitant budget of 150 million dollars that Jon Turteltaub and his family enjoyed resulted in a film that did not leave much of an impression, a proposal devoid of humor, with a weak plot line and very little suspense. Still, it was done with 530 million dollars at the box office, so it was decided to make a sequel to take another path, counting again, yes, with its original Messiah and one of the Patron Saints of action movies. Jason Statham has returned to bring us the second part of ‘Meg’, ‘Meg 2: The Trench‘, in which Ben Wheatley Pick up the address baton.

Although it goes without saying that success is the objective of each film, it should be clarified that its scale is very different for each person and production. Let’s contextualize a bit: we are watching the sequel to a film that was harshly punished by critics and those who managed to enjoy its plot, it is because their cinephile criteria knew how to adjust to what they were seeing. Come on, you have to know what we’re going with her. Her goal is entertainment, distraction, and with this in mind, this new installment can be labeled a success especially since it entertains and surpasses its predecessor. Although not very loosely.

The change of director has not been noticed as much as one might expect.

Wheatley’s varied filmography made us sense substantial changes. Although his films like ‘Free Fire’ or ‘High-Rise’ postulate him as a cult film author who showed a personal vision for violence, comedy and even black humor, the director has continued his career with an unpredictable filmography that has led him to directing blockbusters. The changes that the second installment of ‘Meg’ seemed to need were taken for granted and Wheatley was a perfect candidate to make them, but again, disappointment takes out his best gala tuxedo to make a presence in a continuation that seems to continue to feel comfortable in the party of mediocrity.

The focus for this new film in the saga oscillated between two options: one is that due to its theme, we could be facing a totally heartbreaking plot (literally), full of harsh sequences of deaths, murders and agonizing ways of dying. Another is that of an action blockbuster that, despite being aware of its situation, knows how to handle comedy and make it attractive to a wide audience. And once again, regardless of the cast, script or director change, ‘La fossa’ remains in no man’s land. The result is a surprisingly clean film on their deaths, with very little gore or visceral elements to make you squirm in your seat (which is not necessarily bad, but shocking) and with a lesser element of comedy than expected from the promotional previews, drama reigns everywhere. Somehow, its shortcomings feed off each other and taking into account the potential it could have if it had opted for one side or the other, it makes this film a production that leaves you quite indifferent.

The argument, however, is somewhat more striking.. Not everything revolves around megalodons, but to this must be added a story full of greed, betrayal and the odd element of surprise. Although there are no gruesome scenes, yes you take the occasional sustillo and to tell the truth, they are very grateful; predictable, but thankful. ‘Meg 2: The Trench’ is not going to be the height of suspense in this 2023, but it does manage to keep you focused on the most important parts of its plot line. Even so, there are points to improve, since there comes a time when the action is so chaotic that you forget who the real antagonist is and although sometimes this formula can work, Wheatley has arranged the elements of his film in a somewhat confusing way.

This second installment is better than the first.

Speaking of action, this is not going to be one of the movies that stands out for its incredible scenes or for being the epitome of monster movies, like ‘Jaws’ or ‘Jurassic Park’, both by Steven Spielberg. The lack of visual violence subtracts a lot of potential from the Megs and being a tremendously hackneyed element, means that without bloody variants or imagination, all deaths feel like the same and at the same time, like no other.. The combats are nothing remarkable, but neither penalizable. They entertain just enough so that their scenes don’t become long and interminable.

The denouement of the argument represents the climax of madness and chaos, having various battles, action elements and of course, unlikely heroics because what would these movies be without those small/big implausible elements? Even with all this and as a teacher of mine would say, the most important thing about a film is that it has a beginning, middle and end, and this leaves it with a “happy” ending in which small gaps are left at the end (for what? a third part?).

The characters: the kryptonite from ‘The Trench’

If there is something that has left me totally cold has been the characterization of the characters. For a moment I was afraid of myself and I thought that I had become totally detached and lacking in empathy, but that mini-crisis passed when I realized that each and every one of the characters fails in their function of making them connect with the public. When the characters that die (you know who they are going to be from the beginning) disappear, you wonder when they entered the film and what their function was, because although some of them may have a ‘relevant’ role, not even the personalities themselves of the plot they feel it as such.

The characters fail to connect with the audience.

His antagonists, especially the role of Sergio Peris-Mencheta, is totally flat and bordering on boring. and his main henchman, disappears in a very stealthy and unconvincing way for what these movies are supposed to be. Maybe the most distinctive role of all (except for Statham) be that of DJ (Page Kennedy), since it is the only one that more or less regularly manages to make the public laugh. Through his performance, Kennedy is imbued with a kind of straight-out-GTA satire with humor that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t, but since he’s the only one trying, we give him the medal of merit.

As for my Stathamhians’ parishioners, do not be nervous, we now dedicate our paragraph to one of the twelve apostles who preach with the proverb of the hot cheek; wordlessness. His character is the usual one and it works like practically in the rest of his films: well. Serious, with temper and with his little humorous punch lines that characterize him and that make his character stand out when he has to.

In short, ‘Meg 2: The Trench’ is a film that moves on the scale of futility but that in contrast to his first film, it’s decently entertaining. That extra touch of creativity that this production needed has not finally been given, but at least have managed to develop a more distinctive script that arouses the curiosity of those present in the movie theater. Even so, the obvious plan for ‘La fossa’ to be a production ‘for the whole family’ (as long as you resist some scares) limits the potential of the film excessively, making this Meg, despite its flashes of fun, once again be the undisputed king of the waters of disdain.


The best: The plot is attractive and somewhat deeper than the previous one. If you know what you’re going for, comply.

Worst: His light violence limits his potential. The characters are very flat.

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