Meg 2: The Trench

Directed by: Ben Wheatley
Distributed by: Warner Bros.

Written by Taylor Baker


A stilted and accidental farce, “Meg 2: The Trench” has laughable dialogue driving a film centered on some of the worst big-budget computer-generated graphics this year. Wheatley through either a lack of experience, interest, or a combination of both fails to ground the film’s visual effect components. Which is an exacerbating problem when nearly the entirety of the threats to the central characters in the film arrive in a multitude of computer-generated sharks, dinosaurs, and various other sea creatures. Rather than threatening life and limb, they undercut the already steep unbelievability of “Meg 2.”

After his most recent feature “In the Earth” a grounded, psychedelic, and one might call intimate horror film, “Meg 2” appears to be a corporate cash-in by the director that lacks all the stylings he’s shown himself capable of on a lean budget and shooting schedule. It is not hard to see the cross-over of his dialogue-heavy “Free Fire” to “Meg 2” but it lacks the magnetism and acerbic if off-comedic tone that “Free Fire” was able to straddle. 

It’s not all sea trash though Wheatley’s use of glass surfaces, both above and below water shows a care and thought that is unfortunately absent in the visual effects work and broadly speaking the rest of the film. In its undersea moments, it’s little else than a poor imitation to recapture the lukewarm achievement that was the 2020’s Kristen Stewart starrer “Underwater.” Wheatley’s placement of the camera inside the shark’s mouth is a fun thing to do though, if only the rest of the film had such experimental tact or stylization.

“Meg 2: The Trench” Trailer

You can follow more of Taylor’s thoughts on film on LetterboxdTwitter, and Rotten Tomatoes.

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