Should The Meg have introduced a bigger shark in the end?

The Meg, photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures via WB Media Pass
The Meg, photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures via WB Media Pass /

While The Meg was billed as the biggest shark movie of the last 20 years, the Megalodon itself failed to make a lasting impression on audiences. The reason hasn’t been determined but could it be as simple as the shark not being big enough?

Generally, when you center a movie around a shark as big as the Megalodon, the shark should eclipse everything else on-screen. There’s no doubting that the shark in The Meg was big, though it didn’t seem to carry the weight of a legendary prehistoric shark. The shark obviously created a problem for Jonas (Jason Statham) and his team but it didn’t seem like that big of a threat. Had the shark been much larger, things might be different.

Spoiler Alert for The Meg. Plot details follow!

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In the movie, Jonas encounters the Megalodon several times while under the water. It’s when they accidentally release the shark from its home that things start to get interesting. Once out, the Meg proceeds to attack the underwater facility where Jonas and the others are holed up in. They manage to get to the surface but that’s only the start of their troubles.

On the surface, Jonas and the others track the shark down. It takes them a while to get it but the crew gets a tracking dart on it. With the shark’s location now found, they set a trap for the Meg. Nothing goes according to plan but the team successfully brings the shark in regardless. The crew rejoices in their victory, expecting an early celebration for their catch but their fight is far from over.

Once they have the shark captured and hanging in a wench, the crew starts taking pictures. One of them gets too close to the shark’s mouth and the scene gives us the feeling that it’s going to start moving again. The shark doesn’t do anything and appears to be dead for good—until the real Megalodon shows up.

The smaller Megalodon that Jonas and the crew were chasing was just a fraction of the size of the real one. And this bigger shark makes its entrance by chomping down into the smaller one. The big Meg proceeds to wreak havoc but not as much as we thought.

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Did The Meg fail to meet expectations of what a prehistoric shark should look like?

In reality, the Meg only eats a handful of people in individual incidents and swallows up a small portion of the beachgoers that it attacked. That beach scene definitely made the Meg feel menacing, just not as intense as it initially expected. Had the Meg been so big that the shark ate groups of people all at one time, it could’ve become the shark of people’s nightmares. But since the bigger Megalodon was single-handedly subdued by Jonas, it failed to impress.

What would’ve made the Meg more terrifying is turning it into a ridiculously large creature. The shark was already bigger than scientists’ approximation of the real Megalodon but the producers of The Meg should’ve known that audiences want to see a shark so massive in scale that it stands to be a challenge for even the military. The shark should’ve given audiences the feeling that this prehistoric creature was uncatchable—and unkillable. But instead, the shark could barely take down a yacht, giving it some clear limitations. At the same time, this made the creature less terrifying than the previews teased and overall less entertaining.

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Do you think The Meg should’ve introduced a bigger shark? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Meg is currently in theaters everywhere.