Who sabotaged the rescue submarine? Has Haiqi-Meg got a boyfriend now? And is that prehistoric monster a squid or an octopus*? So many important questions. So a drumroll for the survivors and commiseration for those that didn’t make it — we remember your service, even if your character didn’t have a name and all you did was scream whilst holding a pina colada. And remember, every horrible shark movie death paradoxically makes the genre’s survival more likely, a worthy outcome for a film ostensibly about saving the environment. (Or read my review.)
Scroll down for the lives / dies balance sheet and a short plot re-cap…
Pippin lives, to fight / doggy paddle ineffectually another day. Meiying rescues him from the waves around Fun Island as it is menaced by both megalodons and a giant, prehistoric sqoctopus (*you’re right, I couldn’t be bothered to google).
Of the three megalodons that made it to the surface through the rip in the thermocline layer above the Mariana Trench, only one survives. Male Meg 1 is killed by Jonas with his homemade harpoons, thrown from his jet-ski as he tries to direct them away from the holidaymakers. Male Meg 2 is killed at the end, again by Jonas, when he impales it through the brain with a blade from Hillary Driscoll’s downed helicopter.
The sqoctopus is killed in a fight with Haiqi.
The lone shark survivor is indeed Haiqi, found as a baby and brought up by Jiuming in his marine research centre. At the end of the film Jonas, Mac and Jiuming are swimming for the shore, with Jiuming still sure Haiqi won’t hurt him. The others aren’t so convinced, but again she eventually leaves him alone, swimming off. At the end, the survivors relaxing on the beach with a well-earned whiskey, they ponder if Haiqi is pregnant.
Jonas Taylor also lives, his deviated septum intact. Can anything kill him, now he’s survived swimming without a dive suit at 25,000 feet down? And stopping a sabre-toothed megalodon with his foot?
His 14 year old step-daughter Meiying also makes it to the end, though we knew she would, as it’s a brave director of a “family” (ie 12A) disaster movie that kills off a child, however irritating.
Actually while Meg 2: The Trench is heavy on deaths these are mostly villains and background screamers in bathing suits. In fact I was surprised how many of Jonas’s team made it to the end, with no one having to die for young Meiying, despite promising to should the need arise (movie kids are always stowing away on dangerous voyages to show their maturity, meaning all the adult team members have be prepared to sacrifice themselves to save them). Her uncle, entrepreneur and inventor Jiuming, dive team member Regas, and support team members DJ and Mac all survive, though all are tested.
All three villains meet their doom: team traitor Jess is eaten by a meg, just after stating how the glass in their underwater observation deck is meg-proof. Two-faced top dog Hilary Driscoll, head of Jiuming’s company, is attacked by prehistoric spike-toothed dragons, which have also escaped the trench and made it to Fun Island. Her henchman Montes, who has somehow survived bouncing to the surface from 25,000 feet down attached to a buoy is then eaten by a meg after fighting Jonas on the Fun Island jetty.
Some of Jonas’s team don’t even make it back to the surface from the trench. Curtis implodes just as they are about to reach the safety of the mining station airlock (if only you had a deviated septum Curtis, you might have lived), her glass visor cracking under the pressure.
Lance doesn’t even make it that far, silently disappearing, presumably lunch for some unknown beast, as they walk the three kilometres from their damaged subs to the mining station. It’s a boring death in a movie choc-full of otherwise gleeful demises. Poor Lance, we’ll just have to imagine him par-boiled then charred in an underwater volcanic vent.
Ooh that’s a bit philosophical isn’t it. Well all the important characters (Jonas the whispering human, Pippin the dog, Haiqi the horny shark) survive until the end, and if Haiqi is pregnant then we have the perfect set-up for the next instalment: The Meg 3: Meglets is right there for you.
I hope so. I love third films in disaster franchises even when diminishing returns mean everyone else hates them: Aliens 3, Jurassic Park III, Jaws 3D. On the other hand, the filmmakers are going to have to decide if they can really kill off baby sharks, which murder only on instinct, when they won’t ever even do that to the really annoying child characters.
The bulk of the story takes place in two locations: undersea in the Mariana Trench, and on and around Fun Island, a playful paradise with the shallows filled with happy, brightly dressed people about to stain the surf with their own blood and shredded limbs.
Jonas has been captured in the Philippines Sea while tracking a ship dumping illegal waste. Yes, he’s gone green, though presumably he’s not a vegan as he would have told us all by now. Her escapes, and returns to the HQ of research company Mana One and his stepdaughter Meiying.
Meiying’s uncle Jiuming is an entrepreneur and scientist, developing eco-suits that can withstand the pressure at the bottom of the sea. He has also been raising a meg, called Haiqi, since she was a baby. We see him swimming with her, convinced her training and knowledge of him will stop her eating him. She swims towards him, swerving at the last minute, probably because their size differential is so vast it would be like a human swallowing a single Wotsit: soggy and unsatisfying.
Jonas and his team at Mana One head back to the Mariana Trench to continue their research in two submersibles, with two stowaways: the 14 year old Meiying in the sub, and Haiqi.
The now-adult Haiqi has been acting oddly (it turns out she’s just horny and bored) and eventually forces her way out of her enclosure into the sea, following Jonas and the two submarines down into the Mariana Trench where she meets two male megalodons.
Meanwhile a deliberate explosion cripples the subs and leaves them helpless on the sea floor. The explosion is set by Montes, who runs an illegal rare metals mining operation on the trench bed for evil mastermind (and Jiuming’s boss) Hilary Driscoll. Montes thoughtfully sacrifices his own miners to prevent the operation being discovered. With the Mana One support team unable to save them (the rescue submarine on the surface has been sabotaged by supposed friend and teammate Jess, who is working with Driscoll) Jonas and his colleagues have to walk across the sea floor to the mining station. En route they are attacked by more prehistoric monsters, small toothy dragon-like lizards.
Once they make it inside, escape seems even further away as Jess, on a video call to the team below, remotely takes control of their escape pods and fires them off into the water, then fills their safe haven with sea water. They are only saved when Jonas manages the incredible feat of swimming out without an exo-suit to the override button. Finding a submarine, they manage to surface through a hole in the thermocline layer caused by the explosion and make it back to their support rig, which has by now been taken over by Driscoll’s mercenaries.
Jess, controlling the rig from its underwater viewing station, is killed by a meg that charges through the viewing window, shattering it.
As everyone tries to evacuate the rig, Jonas, Mack, DJ, Jiuming and Meiying paddle carefully away from the circling megs that have followed them up, while the more reckless mercenaries, powering after them in a noisy speedboat, are eaten.
The megs are heading towards Fun Island, its guests unaware of the danger approaching from three enormous sharks, a selection of spike-toothed lizard monsters, a giant sqoctopus and Driscoll’s henchmen, who are helicoptering in with the lady herself.
Eventually Driscoll is killed by the lizards in that grounded helicopter. Jonas takes to a jet-ski, trying to harpoon the deadly creatures, while Mac and Jiuming manage to locate the helicopter and escape into the air. Jiuming injures the sqoctopus with a homemade fertiliser bomb, the tentacled menace then being finished off by Haiqi. Jiuming rescues Mac from the crashed and sinking helicopter. Jonas kills both male megs. Everyone swims to the safety of Fun Island’s shore.