Meg 2: The Trench review: “A listless, mechanical follow-up”

Back in 2018, Jon Turteltaub’s The Meg took a $530m chomp out of the global box office with its knowing combo of campy thrills, Jason Statham’s scowl and a gigantic, prehistoric shark. High art it was not, but it made a splash regardless by delivering on its premise, embracing its silliness and giving audiences what they wanted from a late-summer guilty pleasure.

The Stath returns in Meg 2: The Trench and so does the shark, who’s joined this time by a pair of equally toothsome chums and a giant squid to boot. Missing, alas, is its predecessor’s goofy sense of fun. British director Ben Wheatley instead serves up a workmanlike platter of generic set-pieces that feel grimly filleted of jeopardy and tension. 

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