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The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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“Meg 2: the Trench” (Movie Review)

Gabi Merchen tears apart the Meg, much like the big shark in the film
Photo provided by Google
“Meg 2: The Trench” was released Aug. 4 to theaters. Gabi Merchen went to great depths to review the film and its cast.

I believe that there are approximately two types of moviegoers in this world. There are those who will walk into “Meg 2: The Trench” with expectations of grandeur, hoping to be transported, heartbroken, or somehow changed like Nicole Kidman at the beginning of that in-house AMC commercial, and there are those who will walk in expecting nothing but a great big shark doing great big shark activities. Only one of these groups will leave the theater happy.

The latest installment in the Jason Statham-centered franchise, “Meg 2: the Trench” offers exactly what you’d expect from the sequel to a surprise runaway hit about a gigantic shark causing mayhem for marine explorers. It’s a little too stupid to be considered good, but it might just qualify for the affectionate label of “fun trash” on its best day, given a less than critical critic.

Unfortunately for Meg, I don’t consider myself less than critical.

Let me be clear: I do not think anyone involved in this film did a particularly good job except for the special effects people. A near incomprehensible string of what are essentially the same three scenes over and over, the movie fails to capture the magic of the first installment but does come through on its most important campaign promise. If you go to see this film, you most definitely will see big sharks do big shark things: chomping, swimming, being menacing, etc.

If you harbor any expectations for this film that don’t precisely align with watching a humongous fish bother people, maybe consider skipping this one in favor of “Blue Beetle” or something a little less heartlessly commercial.

The story follows Statham’s character from the first film as well as a few other familiar faces. While the tone and aesthetic of the second film largely match the first, there are a few key differences that may have contributed to the franchise losing a touch of its signature sparkle.

Sequels are usually at least slightly worse than the original, as a general rule, so my expectations for this movie were rather measured. That said, every element of the movie except the big shark was still a colossal disappointment. Sinking to new depths both literally and figuratively, the film presents a lackluster story filled with cringe-inducing dialogue that fails to either expand character or further the narrative.

In addition to poor writing and lukewarm dramatic performances all around, the movie suffered its own length at one hour and fifty-six minutes, making it almost a full two-hour romp in the oceanic world of the mythic megalodon. “The Trench” could’ve stood to be at least twenty minutes shorter. In fact, if you somehow managed to cobble together all the relevant scenes that actually include a marine CGI monster wreaking havoc and being awesome, the film would probably clock in at around thirty minutes total, and that is perhaps an overly generous assessment of the movie’s offerings.

I love a big shark as much as the next guy, but “big shark is big” does not constitute a functional blueprint for a successful film. Events also have to happen in a logical and gripping manner so as to heighten the stakes of the story and keep the audience engaged. However, if a filmmaker wants to hold attention without any of that skillful nonsense, one can always CGI a plethora of sea monsters to distract from the waning talents of Stathom.

Will people go to see this watered-down sequel? Most assuredly. Will the movie make money? Oh, it absolutely will. But does the movie effectively tell a compelling story? I almost don’t want to dignify my own question with a response, but on the off chance that it isn’t easily discernible: No. No, it does not.

In summation, if you want to have some fun big shark time in the theater, this is the film for you. If you want literally anything else out of your film-watching experience, seek out something with a little more heart and a little less Statham.


Gabi Merchen is a fourth-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributor
Gabi Merchen, Senior Writer
Gabi is a fourth-year transfer student from the University of Oklahoma (OU), now Gabi is looking to obtain her bachelor's degree in communication at USAO. She is from Yukon. She loves writing and has been contributing to local and scholastic publications since 2015. Gabi also participates in two choral groups on campus. When she isn't in class, Gabi likes to spend her time crafting, crocheting, and rewatching the same three sitcoms over and over again.   Experience with The Trend: Senior Writer: May 2023 - present Contributing Writer: Jan. 2023 - Apr. 2023