David at the movies: Where’s the adrenaline rush?


A new Jason Statham movie should be – and usually is – a cinematic treat. Not this time. Meg 2 confirms the truth universally acknowledged that sequels always disappoint. Jonas Tyler (Jason) is back with a team of Chinese oceanographers exploring the depths of the Pacific Ocean and unleashing a whole pod (or whatever the collective noun is) of giant prehistoric sharks. There’s a subplot involving a rogue mining outfit whose staff are mainly there as shark-bait.

The first Meg just about got by on novelty value, despite blatantly rehashing the Piranhas franchise, which in its day was a mash-up of the Jaws compendium. The island resort finale in Meg 2 is a rehash too far, seriously stale. Jason, bless, tries to put some meat on the bare-bones script, but this role enhances his pension fund rather than his reputation.

Stephen Spielberg’s original 1975 Jaws had moments of high tension and shock-horror despite the plasticky-looking shark. There is no adrenaline rush in Meg 2 – and the CGI monsters sometimes look a bit plastic. Victims tend to be swallowed whole, often by the boatload, rather than bitten in half, so even the horror element is diluted.

I saw this on ScreenX: the side panels were a distraction rather than an enhancement, and I often felt like I was sitting in an aquarium tank (if this should have been a delight, it wasn’t). My first movie for five weeks was a major disappointment. Correction – a minor disappointment.

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