Running out of human adversaries who can square off with him, action star Jason Statham has once again decided to punch gigantic prehistoric sharks as Meg 2: The Trench, the sequel to the 2018 monster action flick Meg, has been released in theaters worldwide. Like the first installment, the sequel is also an adaptation of Steve Alten’s Megalodon-based novels, in this context, “The Trench,” and does a decent job of staying true to the source material quite unexpectedly, given how the previous movie ended.
However, despite having the very basic responsibility of delivering a no-nonsense, run-of-the-mill summer spectacle, Meg 2 fumbles miserably as it falls victim to extremely clichéd characterization, dragged storytelling, and a horribly patchwork third act. Annoying kids constantly jeopardizing the lives of others, POC scientists reduced to comic relief, any real sense of trepidation washed off with poorly CGI’d creatures, unnecessary and bland humor—every single thing wrong with yesteryear’s aquatic thriller movies has been proudly showcased in Meg 2. All of this contributed to an even more forgettable experience compared to the first chapter, which will inevitably leave the franchise’s future in question.
Apex Predator: Did Meg And T-Rex Really Exist in the Same Period?
The movie begins 65 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period when colossal reptiles dominated the Earth. The prehistoric food chain is pretty strongly established through a sequence of events: a dragonfly is seen to be eaten by a lizard, which itself gets devoured by a Koolasuchus-Nothosaurus-looking amphibian dinosaur, a pack of which is scavenging on a fresh kill on a nearby seashore. Viewers get to know the identity of the hunter whose kill the Koolasuchus are stealing as the biggest land predator to have ever existed, Tyrannosaurus Rex, appears from the jungle to assert its dominance. Moving to the shallow waters, the T-Rex grabs one of the amphibian dinosaurs, but before it can make a meal out of it, a ginormous Megalodon, one of the largest prehistoric marine carnivores, lunges out to grab the dinosaur by its neck and drag it back to the water. T-Rex might be a big deal on land, but a larger portion of the planet is ruled by creatures that swim.
The prologue section, although obviously showcased in a way to solidify the Megalodon as a credible threat, is far from the truth in essence. Megalodon and Tyrannosaurus, didn’t exist during the same time period, and there is a good 60-million-year gap between their respective eras of dominance.
The Bio-Savior Green James Bond Life: What Are Jonas, Meiying, and Mac Up To?
The scene shifts to the present day, where viewers are reunited with tough-as-nails protagonist Jonas Taylor infiltrating a cargo ship in the Philippine Sea. After handling the trickiest ever rescue operation by battling two Megalodon, Jonas has come a long way in the past six years and is now assisting his friend Mac in taking down bioterrorists, profiteers who actively contribute to environmental degradation. Infiltrating this particular ship, ‘Kitty Blue,’ is part of his assignment, as it has been illegally dumping toxic radioactive waste in the oceans. Gathering the required evidence, Jonas engages in a fight with the ship’s crew and manages to escape as his new associate Rigas and good olé friend Mac arrive as aerial rescue.
Jonas and Co. go to the Oceanic Institute in China to meet his adoptive daughter Meiying and her maternal uncle Jiuming. During the events of Meg, Jonas, while rescuing the explorers of deep-sea station Mana One, came across the brilliant oceanographer, Suyin, and her little daughter, Meiying. Jonas and Suyin fell for each other, and along with Meiying, they lived as a happy family until Suyin’s tragic demise two years ago. Since then, Meiying has been raised by two father figures in her life: Jonas and her uncle Jiuming.
After the demise of his father and sister, Jiuming, a skilled inventor himself, merged his company with his father’s oceanic exploration efforts to create the Oceanic Institute and became its director. The love for nature runs in the family, as Jiuming puts all his efforts into conserving marine life and, in order to understand it more in-depth, advocates for more oceanic exploration. The previous adventures of Suyin and Jonas revealed the existence of the Thermocline in the lowest depths of the Pacific Ocean, which acts as a barrier betwen the numerous unknown, previously considered extinct species like Megalodon and the upper levels of the ocean, past which the earlier Megalodons escaped. Jiuming wants to descend to 25000ft through the Thermocline to learn more about the farthest depths, and in order to do so outside of the exploration pods, he has created an exosuit that amplifies the user’s physical capabilities. Their exploration operation is funded by the affluent patron of the institution, Hilary Drescol. At the Oceanic Institute, Jiuming also raised a Megalodon pup named Haiqi in captivity, with whom he has trained and apparently formed a bond, although Jonas doesn’t buy that. Haiqi has also started acting strange in the last few days, the reason for which is unknown to Jiuming.
What Did Jiuming And Jonas Find Inside the Thermocline Seabed?
Jiuming and Jonas decide to venture inside the Thermocline with their crew in two separate pods, and although Meiying repeatedly pleads with Jonas to be allowed to dive alongside them, he is unwilling to take such a huge risk. The team reaches Mana One, the deep sea station, where Mac and DJ (a returning character and scientist friend of Jonas) are assisted by another technician named Jess, who oversees the two exploration pods that descend into the Thermocline. Halfway through their journey, Jonas discovers that, ignoring his command, Meiying has entered his pod and has even bought an exosuit of her own as well. Disgruntled, Jonas is willing to abort the mission then and there, but heeding the request of the others, he continues through the journey.
Meanwhile, Haiqi escapes from the Oceanic Institute and heads straight for the Thermocline as she chases Jonas and co. In fear of an impending collision, both pods rush into the Thermocline, and as Haiqi enters there, too, she heads to her own destination. Jiuming decides to follow Haiqi, and they come across a number of other Megalodons who have gathered around for mating, which explains the previous erratic behaviors of Haiqi. However, as the group ventures further inside the uncharted sectors, they find out that illegal mining operations are going on at a seafloor station. The mercenary leader Montez, who is overseeing the operation from his submarine, has a vendetta against Jonas due to him seizing his ship previously, which resulted in Montez being incarcerated. As soon as Montez notices Jonas, he triggers an explosion underwater, which kills his own mercenaries and results in a landslide that renders both pods inoperable. The explosion also creates a big hole in the Thermocline, which provides a way for the prehistoric creatures trapped inside to escape.
Mole In The Team: Whose Betrayal Resulted in the Entrapment of Jonas and Co.?
Establishing communication after the mishap, DJ and Mac try to send rescue pods to Jonas and co. but learn that those have been purposefully sabotaged by someone inside the Mana One. With no other option at their disposal, the explorer team wears their exo-suits and starts walking across the deep-sea floor to reach the mining station for assistance. On their way, most of the members get viciously killed by Giant octopuses, a bunch of Koolasuchus, and Megalodons one by one until the only surviving members who make it to the station are Jonas, Rigas, Meiying, and Jiuming.
Meanwhile, it is revealed that Hilary Drescol is in cahoots with Montez and is planning to use Jiuming’s technology to profit from mining and all other illegal deep-sea activities. Seeing the presence of Jonas and his team inside the station as detrimental to their plan, she orders Montez to take care of the situation.
Once the team enters the emergency escape chamber, it is remotely sealed by Jess from Mana One, who is revealed to have been on Hilary’s side all along. Mac and DJ find out about her treachery when they see in security footage that it was Jess who sabotaged the rescue pods. Jess asks Rigas to kill Jonas, and as she is unwilling to do so, Jess launches two emergency rescue pods from the sea station, leaving the team practically awaiting an inevitable death. That’s the only job of Jess in the movie—sabotaging an escape vehicle—and that’s all we get to know about her.
Jonas decides to move outside without an exo-suit and open the hatch from the other side, and he manages to do that by holding his breath under the crushing pressure of the undersea for a prolonged period, but as he enters the station from the other side, he loses consciousness. Upon waking up, he faces a vengeful Montez and engages in a brawl with him, eventually knocking him out.
How Did The Creatures Reach Fun Island?
On the other hand, Jess and Hilary bring mercenary groups to take control of the sea station Mana One, and thanks to DJ’s Batman-like prep and improv, he and Mac manage to evade them for some time. At the seafloor station, Jonas opens the hatch from the other side, allowing his associates to enter, and they decide to head back to the surface using Montez’s submarine. Jiuming is heartbroken to learn that he was played by Hilary all along and that his intellect was being misused, as he finds his exo-suits and exploration tech being used by the illegal miners in the seafloor station. Before leaving, Jiuming uses the lights outside the sea station as a distraction to attract the Megs, who completely demolish the mining operation along with the seafloor station. Montez also manages to escape using an exosuit and a buoy, reaches Mana One, and reunites with Jess, who is revealed to be his partner.
DJ and Mac get caught by the mercenaries, but a timely intervention by Jonas and his team allows them to escape their fate. In the meantime, the hole in the Thermocline allows three Megs, the giant octopus, and a bunch of Koolasuchus to escape to the surface ocean. The Megs surface near Mana One, and the traitor Jess dies a swift death as one of the giant sharks devours her, breaking right through the glass panels. Assessing the situation and learning that Jonas is alive, Hilary arrives at the nearby Fun Island and asks Montez to regroup there after killing Jonas, as she seeks to use the disastrous condition to the company’s advantage by making Montez the Meg-killing hero. The escaped prehistoric creatures head towards the nearest land mass, Fun Island, as well, with Jonas and his team rushing to warn the unaware tourists.
Will Jonas And Jiuming Face More Megs In the Future?
Before any of the human party reaches their destination, the creatures arrive and start massacring the tourists, so you can say the actual good stuff in the movie happens only during the last leg of the final half of the movie. While Koolasuchus preys on Hilary’s mercs on land, Megs goes on to have a bloody feast of humans in the shallow waters, and the giant octopus tosses the tourists to death. The team arrives and tries their best to get the tourists out of harm’s way, but finds communication with the outside world impossible as Hilary and Montez have the signals jammed to keep the world unaware of the cataclysm they have caused. Jonas creates three makeshift incendiary-laced spears to take care of the sharks, while Jiuming and Mac move further inland to look for more firepower. Jiuming creates a makeshift explosive using ammonium nitrate.
Most of the mercs, along with Hillary, die from the Koolasuchus attack, and Jiuming and Mac plan to use her chopper as a rescue vehicle. As the duo return to the seashore, they find Meiying in peril, as while rescuing a drowning lady, she has been attacked by the giant octopus. Jiuming takes on the octopus and uses his explosive on it, to no avail. The octopus also causes the chopper to crash with Mac inside, who miraculously survives somehow. However, Haiqi arrives out of nowhere and rips apart the octopus after a brief struggle. It’s wild to think they really referenced “Sharktopus” with this one. Elsewhere, Jonas manages to kill one Meg using his incendiary spear, but soon Montez starts chasing him, and the duo briefly scuffle. Finally, after disarming Montez, Jonas uses him as a chum as Meg devours him. Most of the Koolasuchus die in explosions on the island, and DJ finds a satellite phone, which he uses to call for aid.
Jiuming goes to the chopper wreckage to rescue Mac, and the largest Meg heads their way. Jonas returns to the shore to check up on Meiying and quickly reaches the wreckage, where, using a chopper blade, he distracts Meg and finally impales him with it. Haiqi is seen to be obeying Jiuming’s clicking command and going her own way. As the rescue arrives on the island, the group takes some time to relax and sip whisky at the seashore. The thought of a possibly pregnant Meg still roaming the sea doesn’t escape them, but Jiuming and Jonas choose to ponder that later. The group might have succeeded in saving the day, but the opening of the Thermocline during the brief period might have invited even more vicious creatures to the ocean, which might be explored in future ventures. Also, similar to how Angel, the female Megalodon, was associated with the humans in the novel, Haiqi has been introduced, whose involvement also leaves ample space to explore regarding the prehistoric beasts.