The Netflix Sci-Fi Action Sequel Proves Franchise Is Here To Stay

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

The 2023 sci-fi action film Meg 2: The Trench is streaming on Netflix. Based on Steve Alten’s 1999 novel, The Trench, the movie serves as a sequel to 2018’s The Meg. The onscreen adaptation is directed by Ben Wheatley from a script by Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber, and Dean Georgaris. The cast includes Jason Statham, Wu Jing, Sophia Cai, Skyler Samuels, Page Kennedy, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, and Cliff Curtis.

A New Threat Emerges In Meg 2

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Like its predecessor, Meg 2 revolves around a group of scientists facing the threat of megalodons (giant sharks). The story begins eight years after the events of the first film. Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) has dedicated his life to fighting environmental crimes. He also assists Mana One in exploring the uncharted realms of the trench, where the infamous megalodon once roamed.Jonas finds himself raising Suyin’s (a character from the first film) teenage daughter, Meiying (Sophia Ca), alongside her uncle, Jiuming Zhang (Wu Jing). Jiuming has taken over his father’s company, partnering with a wealthy financier. Together, they oversee Mana One’s efforts to study an 80-foot female Meg named Haiqi, who was discovered as a pup and trained in a reserve in Hainan.

Journey To The Ocean’s Depths

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But Haiqi’s erratic behavior soon becomes a cause for concern. Meg 2 takes a thrilling turn when Jonas and Jiuming lead a routine exploration of the trench, with Meiying sneaking on board. As they descend, they are pursued by Haiqi, who escaped captivity the night before. The subs dive deeper to escape, but Haiqi relentlessly follows.

The crew also stumbles upon an illegal mining operation led by Montes (Sergio Peris Mencheta), a mercenary with a grudge against Jonas. Montes plans to exploit Mana One’s access to the trench for rare earth minerals. Chaos ensues when Montes kills his crew in a cover-up explosion, causing a rupture in the trench and stranding both Jonas and Jiuming.

The Megalodons Leave Their Mark At The Box Office

The stakes get higher with an unexpected betrayal and the appearance of two more megalodons. Meg 2 premiered at the Shanghai International Film Festival in June 2023 before being released in theaters in August that same year. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film was a financial success, earning over $397 million at the global box office.

The Sequel Was Years In The Making

The decision to create a sequel was announced in October 2018, following the success of the first film. Filming took place from February to May 2022 in various locations across Asia and Warner Bros. Studios in Watford, Hertfordshire, England. Author Steve Alten was optimistic about Meg 2’s potential, emphasizing the importance of nailing the shark, cast, and tone.

Post-production combined visual effects powerhouses DNEG, Scanline VFX, and Milk VFX, ensuring a visually stunning sequel. Harry Gregson-Williams returned to compose the score, adding his signature touch to the film’s sonic landscape.

A Franchise In The Making

Despite holding Rotten Tomatoes critics scores of 27 percent for Meg 2: The Trench and 47 percent for The Meg, the franchise has been a hit with viewers. Its success can be attributed to several factors, including excellent marketing, an international cast, and excellent special effects. Jason Statham also draws sole focus in the films, unlike his roles in Fast & Furious and The Expendables.