Review: I saw 'Meg 2: The Trench' in 4DX and it ruled
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
If anyone is considering seeing “Meg 2: The Trench,” they should make it a priority to see it in Regal’s 4DX format. What is 4DX? It's the most immersive moviegoing experience anyone with $30 can buy. A 4D experience, complete with fans blowing air in your face, chairs shaking and jerking around during explosions, and, in the case of a giant megalodon squaring off against a slack-jaw Jason Statham in the ocean, plenty of water. The final half-hour of “Meg 2: The Trench” was as if I was in the shower as water sprayed me from every angle (I could've pressed the handy “turn water off” button beside my cup holder, but where’s the fun in that?) In other words, 4DX is basically a rollercoaster, which is fitting for a movie like “Meg 2,” a loud, dumb, ludicrous, and obnoxious summer blockbuster where you don’t want to think anyway. You could argue Ben Wheatley’s follow-up to the surprise 2018 hit was made for this format.
Taken on its own, without all the bells and whistles, I’m not sure there’s much to vouch for.
The story is completely bonkers, but it packs more bite, unlike the lackluster carnage from “The Meg,” and understands its B-movie sensibilities. There were also moments where I struggled to focus on the movie because I was receiving what felt like a free enema. Who ever said movie theaters can’t innovate? What plot I managed to put together, after wiping the water off my glasses in between battles, is that it takes place six years after “The Meg,” where Jonas Taylor (Statham) is living at an underwater research facility and is still cultivating research on Megalodon’s deep into Marianas Trench. He’s also the co-parent of 14-year-old Meiying Zhang (Sophia Cai) alongside her uncle Jiuming (Wu Jing) after her mother passed away.
That’s about the only silver of character development for “Meg 2,” a film uninterested in giving audiences the slightest understanding of the villains or stakes. What you need to know is Statham and co, including returning comrades DJ (Page Kennedy) and Mac (Cliff Curtis), get themselves into the crosshairs of not one, but three giant man-eating carnivores (and other prehistoric creatures) as they struggle with several insurmountable obstacle, like casually strolling the deepest areas of the trench in a makeshift Iron-Man suit with minimal oxygen. Their objective is to kill the sharks before they descend upon a group of unsuspecting tourists, who are partying on “Love Island,” and thwart nefarious baddies whose motivations are beyond parody. We’re talking “Jurassic World: Dominion” levels of tomfoolery.
Yet, the 4DX experience enhanced many of these cliche and routine narrative mechanics into something tangible and worthwhile. It also doesn’t hurt that the packed theater was completely into how deliriously stupid and unhinged the dialogue was. At several points, they applauded and cheered at how outlandish the sequences were. You might too if you had the feeling of riding on a jet ski, wind blowing in your hair, and that intensity of something clawing at your feet. It elevates an otherwise rigid, shoddily pieced together late summer release with horrible VFX/CGI beyond the scope of Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber, and Dean Georgaris’s screenplay.
But word to the wise, if you're prone to motion sickness, take a dramamine prior to showtime and don’t purchase snacks or else it’ll end up in your lap like the poor soul next to me who vastly underestimated how quickly the seats were going to jerk us into several different directions during a scene where Staham’s character fended off a giant squid. I’m not sure 4DX is the future of moviegoing, but it’s certainly the only way to get the most enjoyment out of “Meg 2: The Trench.”
MEG 2: THE TRENCH is now playing in theaters.