31 Days of Horror – October 26th – “Meg 2: The Trench”

Tonight I have to thank the good old Internet Movie Database for my free pass on this flick. They qualify this one as a horror movie. If I’m being honest it’s clearly leaning far more heavily on the action side of the film than the horror but I shouldn’t discount the efforts made to be both menacing and truly frightening at points in this film. Clearly this film is born out of the love for OG shark movies “Jaws”, but unfortunately this tale of underwater behemoths is somewhat of a far cry from the 70’s Spielbergian classic. I should also note that this one makes it to the front of the line because it arrived this week as a new arrival. I know a number of films, especially at the beginning of the month, were of some age so I’m trying to mix in some newer flicks as well. Being that I was excited to check this one out and it fits the bill, I popped it in for tonight’s watch.

Meg 2: The Trench IMDb

The thing that’s been interesting about this adventure through October is I’ve watched all sorts of films. One of the things that’s interesting is that budget isn’t necessarily tied to quality. It will certainly buy you production value. But it doesn’t, by any means, directly correlate to a film outright being good. I will say, before things get too out of control, that this movie isn’t that bad. It’s not great. But it is entertaining at times. I think the thing is that really and truly, The Meg didn’t really warrant a sequel and they didn’t put together something overtly compelling to necessitate the sequel. So this movie just sort of exists. I don’t think it’s a bad thing but it’s also not a good thing. It’s just a thing. If you watch this movie that’s what you will have done. The more that I think about it, especially in these terms I really have to simply recognize that this movie is a statement of fact. That’s it. There are parts that are enjoyable. There are parts that are not. Trying to review this movie subjectively feels like trying to hold on to a smooth wall in a circular room. I don’t know that that is a thing really but there’s just sort of nothing about this movie.

Ok lets break out of that spiral and try and sift through the movie. It’s brand new so I don’t want to be “that guy” and totally give away anything about the movie. But at the same time if you’ve watched the trailer for this movie, then you’ve seen this movie. People built technology to go deeper into the ocean. That’s where all the scary sea monsters are. Guess what happens when they go down there? Yup. The scary sea monsters get out. Did they learn anything? Did they gain any valuable scientific knowledge? Was there anything of significant benefit to these intrepid explorers that was gained by this seemingly foolish venture? No. Plain and simple. They go down past the goo layer that keeps all the Jurassic Park fish trapped and somehow blow a hole in it so the monster sharks, and everything else, can now come to the surface. So it’s totally a win win scenario. Unless you’re one of the many people who died in all of this. Then I could see how you’d look at the situation from a global sense and feel like that glass is more half empty than half full. But then again, you’re the one that was minding your own business on Fun Island miles and miles away from the secret goo layer and the ancient see dragons. So you can see how you’re at fault in this.

That might be a bit snarky but it’s fair. I probably shouldn’t own this movie. But I do. It’s partially because I have the first one. It’s also partially because Jason Statham is in this movie. And it’s partially because I’m somewhat of a completist. Now I don’t think there will be any other Meg movies. I think we’ve plumbed these depths well enough and no one is really clamoring for more at this point. If we’re being painfully honest, I really don’t know who keeps ordering up all the shark movies as it is. Frankly as a society I don’t know what the fascination with sharks is in reality. They are fierce creatures, obviously. But that’s simply because they are at the respective top of their food chain. Nature is gnarly. But if humans left sharks alone permanently, it’s not like sharks would start breaking into homes to hurt people. Sharks are just really big fish with pointy teeth. Just like lions are giant cats with big teeth. Humans make them out to be scary because they could eat us if they really wanted. But the only way that happens is if we go alllll the way to their house and then get in their face. Lions are not known for home invasions. Sharks rarely, if ever, stalk people outside of the water. Maybe some light catfishing on the internet. And I knew that was a horrible pun before I even finished the sentence. But I still typed it. And even now, knowing that BOTH of us understand I could have deleted it along with all this completely unnecessary exposition about the pun, I still didn’t. It’s there and we’re both just going to have to live with it going forward.

One of the things that I do find entertaining about this movie is the fact that part of the plot is predicated on the notion that we took sharks, a fish we’re already afraid of for some reason, and made it huge and angrier so that it seems more deadly. We made up the megalodon. Ginormous angry shark. It’s a dino-shark just without Jurassic Sea World. But we created a shark exponentially larger than the sharks we’re already afraid of so that there’s a huge shark we should be terrified of even more so than the sharks that exist that we’re already terrified of right now. And in the last movie we had a giant shark that eventually got killed by a bigger giant shark. Oh no! Well at the beginning of this movie, that giant-er shark is a pet now. We aren’t afraid of it because we gave it a giant fish bowl and taught it to be a good shark with clicky sounds underwater. But under that goo layer in the ocean, remember that made up thing from before? Well under that are sharks that are bigger than the biggest bigger shark we knew of from before. So how did we make sharks scarier in this movie? Made them bigger. At this point if we did make a sequel to this movie, sharks would be the size of Cleveland. They’d have to be. That’s the smallest a shark could be in the third installment of this franchise for it to be truly terrifying.

A movie like this is a fun one to pop in and make fun of really. It’s got a big enough budget and there’s enough production quality to be relatively fun to watch. I’ve watched some truly horrid films over the last several weeks at this point and as ridiculous as this movie is, combined with how absolutely unnecessary of a sequel it really is, there’s some big stupid action sequences that are fun enough to enjoy. Don’t look for a plot. Don’t look for great acting. Just don’t do anything that would mean you have an expectation for this film. If you’ve got yourself some snacks and you want to catch up on some tiktoks or play some mindless game on your phone while you watch, this is a great movie for that. You’ll never need to say “What did that guy just say?” or “Wait a minute, why are they doing that?” because they never say anything important and none of the things they do ever make any sense anyways. It’s just people doing things in between stupid catastrophes that may or may not involve some sort of terrifying underwater creature. If you do pay attention, you’re going to get more of the jump scares that they hit you with so that may or may not be fun. I don’t really count it against them because that’s the only way they’re going to scare anyone in this movie. Since they don’t get to me, especially when they are as gratuitous as they are in this movie, it’s just fluff really. There’s explosions and guns and kicking and double crosses and jet skis and sharks and helicopters. It’s just action beats and sharks. So enjoy them. Don’t feel like you need to figure out what’s going to happen next. The bad guys get it in the end just like you’d assume they do. Most of the good guys make it out alive, including all the ones you want to live. I’m telling you, action and sharks. Sure, they want you to be afraid of the sharks so they’ve roughed them up a bit. These sharks are definitely from the other side of the tracks. These sharks have seen some things. But the good news is that when the movie is over, you won’t have to worry about a shark getting you. Because these are also made up sharks. They don’t even really exist. Jaws is a robot shark but it’s based on a real shark. Those exist. If you go in the ocean, especially certain parts of it, you can find real sharks. They exist and you can see and touch them if you are close enough. I don’t recommend it. But it’s at least within the realm of the possible. These sharks aren’t real. Ever. At all. For any reason. And I didn’t look it up, but I’m pretty skeptical the goo level exists in the ocean as well. So there’s no secret hiding giant sharks either. It’s all just made up for these movies. They exist solely to eat vacationing Asian people and for Jason Statham to both stab and kick. Existentially I do not believe these sharks serve any other purpose even within the realm they pretend exist.

I honestly don’t know what to give this movie as a grade. I feel like it’s not really on the 1-10 scale because it doesn’t totally feel like a real movie. I feel like it should get a scratch and sniff pun sticker like “You’re Grape!” which is supposed to mean that you are great but when you scratch it, it smells like grape candy, not actual grapes because I don’t know that they have a notable smell. I think that’s how I should grade this movie. And frankly up to this point I think I’ve both sold and not sold the idea of watching this movie which is correct. You should and should not watch this movie. If you saw The Meg and enjoyed it, you will probably watch this movie and enjoy it less than the first one simply because that one had a sort of point. This one has a lot of scenes and there are both actors and and dialogue in the film. Plus there are a bunch of colors and lights. Those are visually stimulating. When you add in the sounds that the movie also has then you will also encounter the movie through one of your 5 senses. I feel like this movie is one where you’d see a review that calls it a “feast for the senses” which is a thing I’ve heard before but never really known how to fully interpret that kind of language. There’s plenty for your sense of sight and sound to eat up here. Lots of sights and plenty of sounds. But that’s only 40% of your senses. There’s nothing to taste, touch or smell really. Unless you had fish for dinner. Or if you watched this movie on a house boat. Then you’d get a more authentic vibe and it would be between 60-80% of your senses which really does seem like it’s more in the feast region at that point. So if you have seafood for dinner on a houseboat and then watch this movie with the sound turned up on a HDTV then you will be experiencing a feast for the senses. So make it a Long John Silver’s night this week with Meg 2: The Trench and treat your senses to a feast. It’s Grape. I mean, Great. Again, could absolutely delete all this and change it but to share in this experience with you, I’m totally leaving it in. Until the next time we meet, friend, I’ll catch you on the flip side.

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