Meg 2: The Trench is a typical sequel, which is bigger, louder, and ultimately crappier than the original. Look, 2018's The Meg, about a prehistoric shark known as the Megalodon wreaking havoc on the open sea and also a nearby beach, is a silly but well made popcorn movie. The sequel just isn't fun. It's a bloated bore!
In Meg 2, Jason Statham returns as rescue diver Jonas Taylor. Now, he's an environmental crusader while continuing to explore the Mariana Trench where the first Megalodon had been discovered. The underwater mission, however, is sabotaged, causing a thermocline rupture in the trench allowing a trio of Megs, Komodo dragon-like creatures called Snappers, and a giant octopus to head for the surface of the water.
Once again based on a book by Steve Alton, Meg 2 is directed this time by Ben Wheatley (Free Fire, Kill List) with a script concocted by three writers, or at least the three who were actually credited. I don't know if it was the writing, directing or editing, but the movie runs through every scene without any build up or suspense or characterization. Believe it or not, but in the first Meg, Jonas has character development and inner conflict. The only conflict he has here is to figure out what would be the most bitchin' way to murder a giant shark.
There are three main villains working together, but they are so paper-thin that they barely register. The filmmakers seem to know this too, since two out of the three baddies are ejected from the film earlier than expected.
For whatever reason, actress Li Bingbing did not reprise her role as oceanographer Suyin Zhang and love interest for Jonas for this sequel. We are told that her character died in-between movies. That revelation is so perfunctory that we aren't given a reason of what she died from. It always irritates me when likable characters from the first movie are killed off for the sequel. Look, Statham and Bingbing had good chemistry in the original, so she is sorely missed here.
A character from the first film who survives to make it to this one is DJ, an engineer played by Page Kennedy. He's the best thing about this film. In the first, he was a nervous tech nerd who couldn't swim, and here he has turned survivalist, carrying a cannon of a gun and delivering the funniest line of dialog that this movie doesn't deserve: "I even made poison-tipped bullets, just like Jaws 2."
Other than that, Meg 2 is shockingly dull. In fact, it stinks. A more appropriate title for this one might be Meg Poo: The Stench.