THE GOOD STUFF
THE F****** STATH!- Let’s just call it like it is. At this point Jason Statham is a modern-day Sylvester Stallone. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a signature role like Rocky or Rambo to immortalize his cinematic efforts, but he is a definitive action star of our era. His name is becoming as synonymous with the genre as anyone before him.
He now comes with signature glances and grunts that only he does that audiences can identify to convey certain emotional locations that his characters may be in. There are a couple of films in which Jason Statham proves he’s a little bit better than we believe him to be. (The bank job, wrath of man, snatch) but this is his wheelhouse. This is the kind of stuff that… Dare I say… Cements his legacy? Whenever this man decides to retire from making films, we will identify him with the silly junk food movies that he did as his badge of honor than any film that he does that is more serious than a film like this. We really will. We don’t know how good we have it right now when it comes to the Stath.
PAIGE KENNEDY- Can we please put Paige Kennedy in more comedies? Every time I see him around, he ends up being one of the best things about anything he does. That was the case when it came to the show Weeds back in the day, that was the case when it came to Blue mountain State back in the day, and even still, that is the case with these MEG movies. He’s absolutely fantastic in everything he’s in and should be getting bigger things than he gets.
ACT I & II- I’ll give credit where credit is due, this is a much more ambitious movie than the first film. Much more. The first two acts of this movie kind of want to take you deeper into the characters and make the universe of this a little bit more detailed, all the while maintaining the level of batshit ridiculousness. I find that to be respectable.
On top of all that, there are nice scenes involving an ocean floor foot chase involving the now multiple megs that there are in existence, there’s a nice little subplot involving the history of Jason Statham’s character and the consequences of his past actions, and for the most part the GCI’s the best it looks in this whole film in this particular section.
THE BAD STUFF
WU JING- I understand that Jing is quite possibly the biggest star in China, and his presence in this movie may boost the box office over there. I haven’t seen much of his work, quite honestly, outside of the wandering earth, and this. Based on that alone, I got to say maybe he’s not on the same level of charisma as the Jet Li’s, Donnie Yen’s, or Jiang Wen’s of the world. That take may come back to bite me later on, but for right now, I just don’t…feel him as a movie star that can cross over like that.
THE UGLY STUFF
FUN ISLAND- The third act of this movie is perhaps too insane for people who aren’t ardent fans of ultra junk food action flicks. As opposed to the first two acts trying to take this franchise in a different direction, the third act of this movie just turns up the bats*** insanity to level 10.
If you’re able just to take a deep breath and accept the multitude of ridiculous things that you will get hit with then you can still have a lot of fun. But it is here where the story stops getting told, and we got to get to the Meg eating beachgoers on top of other EVEN MORE super strange things. It is also here where the CGI completely drops off a cliff from where it was before. Even though it maintains the comedy, and it’s still well shot for the most part, this is going to be way too deep in WTF land for someone who cannot turn their brain off.
However, I can only assume that if you’ve paid money to watch this movie, you’ve got a one-way ticket to WTF land. Right?
Just around this time last year, I had to explain to folks why a movie called bullet train was the perfect kind of action movie to cap off the summer. I have often explained that not all action movies are made in the same light or intent. A lot of it is built upon a sense of self-seriousness that works more often than it doesn’t. There are other films, however, that are here simply for campiness, and those films need to be embraced or at least respected when it comes to getting a theatrical release instead of going straight to Redbox.
The Meg 2: the trench it’s not only junk food action; it’s junk food on top of junk food. It’s a Snickers bar dipped in Cool Whip with sprinkles on top. Take that for what you will.
THE MEG 2: THE TRENCH is in theaters now.