Meg 2: The Trench parents guide

Meg 2: The Trench Parent Guide

This creature feature provides dumb fun but it lacks the crisp editing and solid storytelling of its predecessor.

Overall B-

Theaters: During an exploratory trip to the deepest depths of the ocean, a team of scientists accidentally unleash multiple megalodons on an unsuspecting ocean.

Release date August 4, 2023

Violence C
Sexual Content A
Profanity C+
Substance Use B+

Why is Meg 2: The Trench rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Meg 2: The Trench PG-13 for action/violence, some bloody images, language and brief suggestive material.

Run Time: 116 minutes

Parent Movie Review

After Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) and his team discovered, unintentionally released, and then killed a megalodon, life hasn’t gotten any easier. Suyin Zhang (played in the first film by Li Bingbing) has died, and Jonas is caring for her daughter Meiying. Raising a 14-year-old is even more difficult on a remote research station, especially since Jonas’s time is occupied by errands and missions. The two are still close, but, like most 14-year-olds, Meiying thinks she’s ready for a lot more risk than Jonas does…so she sneaks onto his submersible.

As the submersible passes the thermoclime and descends into the oceanic trench where the first megalodon was found, the onboard humans discover some much, much, larger sharks and a secret mining facility. When they start investigating, a massive explosion triggers a rockslide which pins their submersible, startling the megalodons. Thousands of meters underwater, surrounded by prehistoric sharks the size of an office building, and without stable surface communications, it’s going to take quick thinking and hard work to stay alive long enough to figure out what’s really going on down there.

Not only was The Meg one of the first films I ever reviewed for this site, it’s still one of my favorites – I think I’ve watched it five times. It’s such a delightfully over-the-top summer shark movie that it’s hard not to catch some of the film’s infectious enthusiasm for its remarkably silly premise. More to the point, the first film chugs along like a model train, hitting all the stops you expect and without slowing down to see the flaws in the paint. Meg 2, on the other hand, can’t manage to get out of its own way.

Where the first film felt direct and tightly timed, The Trench has all the polish and precision of that homework assignment you finished in a sweaty panic, several hours before the due date. Some of the ideas and characters survive some of the time, but more frequently situations just seem to happen around the characters because the screenwriter thought it sounded cool. Since the characters’ choices don’t seem to have much impact on their outcomes, it becomes hard to care about what’s going on – even with massive sharks floating around.

If you saw the first film, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect in this one – the violence we associate with prehistoric critters coming up to visit, a little bit of cussing, and brief social drinking. And if you’re ok with that, you might still manage to have a decent time here. The movie can’t quite compete with its predecessor, but as completely (and I mean completely) brainless summer blockbuster, it manages to have a little fun. The key to enjoying this movie is low expectations, a short memory, and an even shorter attention span. All in all, a real winner for teenagers.

Directed by Ben Wheatley. Starring Jason Statham, Jing Wu, Sienna Guillory. Running time: 116 minutes. Theatrical release August 4, 2023. Updated

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Meg 2: The Trench
Rating & Content Info

Why is Meg 2: The Trench rated PG-13? Meg 2: The Trench is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for action/violence, some bloody images, language and brief suggestive material.

Violence: People are repeatedly killed or devoured by large animals. A character implodes when their pressure suit fails. People are injured in fistfights, and several more are cut or stabbed. A number of individuals are shot. Several animals are killed in a variety of ways including shootings, explosions, and impalements.
Sexual Content: People are seen in swimwear on a beach.
Profanity: There are five uses of scatological profanity and regular use of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are briefly seen drinking socially during a celebration.

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There are no shortage of “scary animal in the water” movies – try something like The Meg, 47 Meters Down, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, The Shallows, Crawl, or, of course, Jaws. If those all sound too polished for you, try the ultra-cheesy Virus Shark. Fans of prehistoric life taking a bite out of more contemporary critters might enjoy Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III, Jurassic World, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Jurassic World: Dominion, 65, Journey to the Center of the Earth, or King Kong. If you’re looking for more from director Ben Wheatley, and don’t mind shifting genres, try In the Earth.