Movie Talk,  MovieMuse Reviews by Erin

The Meg 2: The Trench

If you’re a long-time reader of my blog (or have known me personally for many years), you probably know that I have a soft spot for fun, ridiculous, campy B-movies. As long as everyone understands that they’re silly (including the people acting in them), then we’re probably good. They can’t just be bad; I’ve seen plenty of ridiculously bad movies. It has to be a particular type of bad that is difficult for me to articulate. These seem to fall primarily into two categories: 1) Disaster movies, like Raging Inferno, Dante’s Peak, The Poseidon Adventure, etc. and 2) Giant animal movies, like Godzilla (the original), King Kong (most versions), Rampage, Lake Placid, and yes, the original iteration of The Meg. So it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that we would be seeing the sequel when it came out.

And it was bad. WAY worse than the first. The Meg 2 makes the original The Meg look like a Scorsese Oscar winner. The story was a “back of the napkin” outline, at best. The effects were decent, if idiotic in premise. The acting was typical for this type of film, no better and no worse. I really missed the previous characters who weren’t there (and greatly enjoyed those who were, particularly DJ). But when there is a continuity error that is so egregious that my son and my husband – who were sitting on either side of me – turn to me almost simultaneously and say “where did that come from” and “I thought there were only 3” IN STEREO, you know you have problems. There was also a point about 2/3 of the way through where I leaned over to Luke and said, “so help me, if a pteranodon comes out of those bushes, I’m out.” (It didn’t.)

They tried to hit the “right” emotional notes, but where the first one frequently succeeded, this one fell flat. In the original, I actually really cared about Toshi, even if he didn’t get much screen time; the interactions between Jonas and Heller had some bite (no pun intended) and some punch when things went down. The Meg 2 had the right amount of ridiculousness, almost too much. People took it mostly seriously, though the “obvious” bad guy probably needed to tone it down a notch or two. (There’s taking your part seriously, and then there’s turning into a cartoon. It’s a fine line, but an important one.) I actually wish they had utilized him more from a story perspective, rather than being strictly an obstacle or a means to an end. I loved that Shuya Sophia Cai was back as Meiying! She and Jason Statham were so sweet together in the first one, and that continued here while adding in teenager sassy-ness and genuine affection between the two.

So The Meg 2 was not horrible, but didn’t strike the right balance (for me) to make it repeatedly watchable. It is missing the classic “B-movie magic” of the first film. Again, it’s hard to really explain, but whatever “it” is that makes me enjoy this kind of movie, this one just didn’t quite have it. I do have to make a final comment about the end credits. It has a rap that plays over the “black and white” credits (after the “pretty credits”; no real stinger during or after the credits, though). It was awful. I mean, truly ghastly. Laughably horrific. The only thing that makes any sense as to how this thing came to be is that they fed the entire “script” (napkin? LOL) into ChatGPT, and asked it to spit out a rap song to play over the end credits, and this is what the AI came up with. Y’all, it is SO BAD! I… it… there truly are no words. You simply must listen! #SorryNotSorry