MEG 2: The Trench hit its theatrical debut with the lowest possible score on Rotten Tomatoes. After a good bit of hype, the Jason Statham sea monster movie sequel no one wanted turned out to also be the Jason Statham sea monster movie sequel no one liked—even a little bit. One Take News shared the less-than-shocking but oddly satisfying statistic via Twit—uh, X.
MEG 2: The Trench is already making waves with the first batch of reviews earning it a coveted zero percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
User Graeme Games noted that the abysmal rating puts MEG 2: The Trench lower than literally all the Sharknado movies.
One user even took a clever “Barbenheimer” approach to MEG 2 and the 94% fresh Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, asking, “Which one will you be watching this weekend?”
Of course, reviews for MEG 2 on the site have been descriptive in their dislike for the movie, with Caryn James of BBC.com noting “Meg 2 doesn’t know what it is, other than a movie sort of like that first movie, but messier.” Meanwhile, Aaron Neuwirth of We Live Entertainment says we probably shouldn’t expect much from the sequel to a film a sequel to a film whose premise is “that’s a huge shark.” And Courtney Howard of Fresh Fiction writes, “We deserve better than this bloated, rotting cinematic carcass.”
Initial critic reviews for MEG 2: The Trench praise it for being exactly what you expect, a film in which Jason Statham does battle with a giant shark, which is good or bad based on your taste in movies.
To be fair, MEG 2: The Trench, as of the time of this writing, currently sits at 19% on the site’s Tomatometer with no Audience Score yet recorded, so things have gotten a little brighter at the bottom of this particular critical ocean. Still, a 0% opening does not bode well for the giant shark movie, especially given the distinct lack of promise noted by most reviewers going into the theatre. And, to further be fair, not all the reviews are completely bad.
Liz Shannon Miller of Consequence says in her “B- “review that MEG 2 “knows its job, and delivers on exactly the level you’re hoping for,” noting that expecting any originality from the film is “as foolish as asking Jason Statham to do an American accent.” For her part, Derek Smith of Slant Magazine, who gave the film a 2.5 out of 4 stars, says, “If your hook is the promise of seeing Jason Statham go mano a mano with prehistoric sea behemoths, then leaning into the ludicrous is the only way to go.” Granted, these reviews don’t swell with praise or positivity, but you have to give them credit for accepting the film as what it is and reviewing it on its own terms.
Still, it’s not as though MEG 2: The Trench is going to end up on anyone’s Ten Best list this year—or perhaps even on anyone’s 100 Best list—but that’s to be expected. After all, it’s insane shark movies like the Sharknado series and the original MEG that are one reason we’re not likely to see a Jaws sequel. Of course, they’re intended as guilty pleasures, but it can sometimes be hard to access the “pleasure” side of something as monstrously over the top as these films tend to be.
MEG 2 : The Trench is intended to be a guilty-pleasure action movie, as are most of Jason Statham’s movies, including the upcoming Expend4bles.
For his part, Statham will be following MEG 2: The Trench with, among other things, the questionably titled Expend4bles. The latest in the similarly over-the-top action franchise starring Sylvester Stallone, it is sure to be another series of explosions and wild stunts, though the series tends to fare much better with audiences than Statham’s aquatic outings. While the actor is not known for choosing the most dramatically complex or sophisticated stores, he has starred in a number of successful films.
Whether MEG 2: The Trench will succeed at being anything but the punchline to its own joke remains to be seen, but the judiciously charitable reviews it has received so far are likely to be the best it can hope for.