WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for director Jon Turteltaub’s The Meg, in theaters now.
It's almost an unspoken rule that any movie involving a giant shark, or any shark, for that matter, must borrow from the 1975 classic that launched an entire subgenre, Jaws. What Steven Spielberg created four decades ago made audiences terrified to go into the water, and it's what movies like The Shallows try to recreate, painting the creature as antagonist.
While director John Turteltaub has the advantage of modern special effects for The Meg, he still honors Spielberg's classic with scenes that can be considered pure homage. Let's take a look at the sequences that pay tribute to Jaws, and its sequels.
5. The Motion in the Ocean
The megalodon that escapes a mysterious trench off the coast of China draws heavy influence from the Jaws movies in how it stalks its prey. In almost every scene, it plays a cat-and-mouse game, swimming beneath boats, swimmers and kayakers. All we can see is the outline and color of the 75-foot monster, ghosting past its intended victims.
Turteltaub is aping what Spielberg did in Jaws, where the shark stalked its victims off the coast of Amity Island. We rarely saw the shark apart from a few key scenes, with Spielberg choosing to instead use this technique to build tension and of course, horror. The Meg adopts a similar strategy, which creates intrigue and immense tension as you never know just when it'll surface for a meal.
4. Taking Aim at the Fish
Jason Statham's Jonas Taylor is called in to save the day as he's had experience with the meg, so when the creature reaches open water he must hunt it down and kill it. Of course, the first part of that task involves tracking it, and so he jumps into the sea when they finally meet the behemoth, looking to place a tracker on the fin.
That's similar to the ending of Jaws, in which Roy Scheider's Chief Brody is on a sinking boat, trying to snipe the shark with a rifle. It had just swallowed a pressurized scuba tank, and with one shot, he'd blow it up. And so he did, a victory shot that The Meg blatantly apes as Jonas makes the first moves toward the creature's demise.