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Characters / The Meg

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Characters from the 2018 Meg movie. Note: Only for tropes related to characters from the film.

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     Jonas Taylor 
Played by: Jason Statham

A deep sea diver who was mistaken for mad when he failed to save two of his buddies from a megalodon, and is later called to help save a team from below the Marianna Trench.

  • 10-Minute Retirement: He comes out of retirement to save a crew trapped in the Marianna Trench when he is told his ex-wife is involved.
  • Action Hero: Saves the day by going toe-to-toe with the Meg, stabbing it in the eye and wounding it by tearing a gaping hole in its body.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: In the novel, Jonas became a paleobiologist after his final diving venture (where he allegedly saw a giant white shark's head), which is how he's able to immediately identify the giant shark as a megalodon. In the film, he never actually sees the megalodon in the beginning and became an alcoholic afterwards, but he's able to immediately identify the megalodon on first sight nonetheless. Granted megalodon isn't exactly an obscure fossil species.
  • Adaptational Job Change:
    • Jonas was a DSV pilot for the navy in the original book whereas in this one he was a rescue diver (though the film's Jonas retains the original's status as an Ace Pilot of submersibles). This is used to concisely explain why he in particular is chosen for the rescue mission despite being considered insane: he's the only man to ever perform a rescue that deep and survive.
    • This also applies to his occupation following his initial encounter with a megalodon. In the book, Jonas became a palaeontologist and marine biologist after his first contact, whereas in the film, he spends his time until the modern-day portions of the story running a boat-hire business and getting drunk in Thailand. This is partly due to the fact that, unlike the book, Jonas never actually sees a megalodon in his final diving mission in the prologue, due to being in the interior of a nuclear sub rather than a smaller submersible. He knows something from the outside attacked the sub, but unlike his book counterpart, doesn't have any idea what until he enters the thermocline later and thus doesn't obsess over trying to study and understand the creatures.
  • Amicable Exes: With Lori; they're divorcees, but they don't seem to hold any particularly bad blood with each other. The fact that they're professionals dealing with a very high-risk situation likely also factors in the lack of emotional drama.
  • Bald of Awesome: Courtesy of being played by Jason Statham and kicking all kinds of shark butt.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: He and Suyin argue and tease each other constantly, but throughout the movie it is pretty clear to everyone that there is a mutual attraction. Meiying even teases her mother about it.
  • Cold Equation: His career as a deep sea rescue specialist was spoiled by one when he was forced to decide between going back into a sunken nuclear submarine to save his best friends (which would've risked the lives of everyone down there), or return to the surface with the eleven people they had already rescued by then. He chose the latter, something he has never forgiven himself for even years later.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: More troubled than dark, but, during a rescue mission involving Heller, he had to sacrifice two teammates to the Meg to get everyone else. He hasn't been able to get over it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments, since this is still a Jason Statham character.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: His flashback introduction notwithstanding, the audience's first real encounter with Jonas is him getting hammered somewhere in Thailand to forget about the Sadistic Choice he had to make in said flashback scene. It seems he's been at it for years by the time he gets roped into the film's story proper, although it doesn't appear to have had any negative effects on him whatsoever.
  • Everyone Can See It: Almost every other character comments on the Unresolved Sexual Tension between him and Suyin, while they try to keep things professional in between sharing awkward moments.
  • Friend to All Children: Quickly makes friends with Meiying on Mana One.
  • Heroic BSoD: After he gets into the mini-sub to rescue the trapped crew in the depths again, he stops dead in the water and stare at the darkness beneath him, clearly terrified by the thought of what happened the last time he did this. Thankfully, it only lasts for a while, and he doesn't let it trouble him during the mission.
  • My Greatest Failure: Failing to save his buddies from being eaten by the Meg during a botched rescue mission.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Per the norm for a Jason Statham character. Morris even makes fun of him by saying he has a "negative attitude".
  • Retired Badass: At the beginning of the film, he retires from the guilt of failing to save his crewmates from the Meg.
  • The Smart Guy: Has his moments, such as when he realizes the Meg they killed is not the one that attacked Mana One.
  • Survivor's Guilt: He has this as a result of leaving his two friends and a group of survivors behind in the doomed sub to escape whatever's attacking them in the opening scene and it left him jaded and became a drunkard to the present day.

Mana One

Played by: Bingbing Li

  • Ascended Extra: In regards her role, Suyin is roughly comparable to Tanaka's son DJ in the novel; she doesn't believe Jonas about the truth of the Meg and proves in over her head on the ocean floor. Unlike DJ, she survives this encounter and lives all the way to the end.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: She and Jonas argue and tease each other constantly, but throughout the movie it is pretty clear to everyone that there is a mutual attraction. Meiying even teases her mother about it.
  • Big Damn Heroes: She saves Jonas from the Meg's death throes just as a hammerhead shark takes an interest in eating him.
  • Composite Character: She's is a combination of both of Tanaka's children from the book: she's the one that joins Jonas on the rescue mission to the Trench like DJ Tanaka, and like him proves in way over her head with the appearance of the meg (though unlike the book's DJ, she survives). Like Terry Tanaka, she's initially frosty towards Jonas for his perceived mental instability thanks to Heller, before warming to him and becoming his love interest towards the end.
  • Everyone Can See It: Almost every other character comments on the Unresolved Sexual Tension between her and Taylor, while they try to keep things professional in between sharing awkward moments.
  • Failed a Spot Check: She appears to have some kind of shark-blindness, as she's both constantly inside 360-degrees of transparent polymer and also constantly being snuck up on by three creatures the size of buildings as well as an entire swarm of sharks that manage to alarm her despite her spinning in place and actively trying to search the water around her. Clearly late-stage shark-blindness. When she finally rams one at the end, one half-expects her to ask what it was, having never seen one before.
  • Female Gaze: Although she asks him to Please Put Some Clothes On, Suyin is clearly appreciative of Jonas' chiseled physique when she walks in on him just as he's leaving the shower. She even returns to take another awkward peek at him through the window right upon leaving his apartment.
  • Near-Death Experience: She runs out of air during the fight with the Megalodon and loses consciousness, then remains underwater for several moments until she can be given medical attention. She technically dies and has to be resuscitated as a result.
  • Survivor's Guilt: She develops this after she couldn't get her fatally injured father back to Mana One to get proper treatment in time before he died.

     Dr. Minway Zhang 
Played by: Winston Chao

The Mana One captain and leader and Suyin's father.

  • Alas, Poor Villain: He's saddened after the megalodon is killed, feeling that this act continued the trend of mankind harming new environments they come across.
  • Benevolent Boss: He hurriedly goes to Thailand to find Taylor to save the crew.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Minway gets this after the second Megalodon sinks the group's ship. Justified as he actually did suffer a severe internal injury that ultimately kills him.
  • Death by Adaptation: He roughly plays the role of Tanaka from the book, but dies while his daughter lives. In the novel the film is based on Tanaka was also badly injured by a Meg attack but survived the events of the first book, living until another encounter with the sharks in the third novel.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: He's suddenly killed via internal injury during an attack by the second Meg.
  • Playing Gertrude: Winston Chao (58) plays the father of Bingbing Li (45).
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Dr Zhang. Morris shows signs of growing into this, but he remains a self-serving jackass to the end.

Played by: Sophia Cai

Suyin's young daughter.

  • Innocent Prodigy: Incredibly cute and smart, she also delivers some backstory.
    Meiying: Eight-year-olds hear everything.
  • Little Miss Snarker: She provides a few moments of levity with her constant wisecracks. For instance, when first meeting Taylor, she starts off by calling him "crazy guy", and when asked where her Disappeared Dad is, she replies that he's "in Taipei with a pilates instructor".

Played by: Masi Oka

Part of the ill-fated crew that dives into the Marianna Trench. He sacrifices himself and is killed during an explosion caused by the Meg that rams into his submarine.

  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: As they're trapped in the submersible at the bottom of the trench, Toshi writes a letter to his wife "just in case". Guess who's the first one to get killed?
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Averted. He gives the other characters motivation to fight and kill the Meg.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He separates his sub and turns on its lights when he realizes Jonas does not have enough time to save everyone, intending to draw the shark towards himself and give the others time to escape. Thankfully, it works.
  • Retirony: A variant. He gets killed after writing a letter just in case to his wife.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: The first major character to bite the dust.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Dies after a couple of scenes, but his death gives the characters motivation to continue fighting the beast.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Aside from being the occasional comic relief and telling everyone he has a wife he has little other characterization before biting the dust.

    The Wall 

A tall guy part of the ill-fated crew. He survives but is later eaten by the bigger Meg during a prank.

Played by: Page Kennedy
  • Heroic BSoD: He freaks out after the second meg sinks their ship and kills the Wall. A particularly sad example, as he points out all the people the shark has killed were his friends. Not only that, but it was his prank that caused the Wall to fall into the water in the first place.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: His prank, scaring the Wall into the water by making him think the displayed meg corpse was showing signs of life, gets his friend killed when the second, larger megalodon arrives.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: DJ, the black member of the team, is a comic relief character who is constantly bemoaning the other characters for their near-suicidal plans to stop the Megalodon while being largely incompetent himself. Even Meiying tells him to shut up at one point.

Played by: Robert Taylor

  • Heroic Sacrifice: He saves Jaxx by splashing his arms in the water and drawing the meg towards him, distracting it and giving her time to swim to the ship.
  • Redemption Equals Death: He apologizes to Taylor for declaring him a coward after he made a Cold Equation during a previous deep sea rescue mission after he discovers that Taylor didn't make the Megalodon up, but eventually sacrifices his own life by attracting the Megalodon to keep it away from Jaxx.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He gives Jonas no end of accusations of killing the men on his sub he couldn't save and repeatedly calls him crazy despite the fact that he saved his life and those of several friends and colleagues. Jonas remains fairly bitter about it and gladly rubs the fact that the sea monster he attributed to cracking under pressure was real after all in his face. He does admit he was wrong and apologizes for it, but Jonas is still slow to forgive him, telling him they'll call it even if he can save Lori.

Played by: Ruby Rose
  • Boyish Short Hair: Jaxx's spiky hair is very short, indicating her tomboyish, rebellious nature.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: She bitterly suggests throwing Morris out of the boat just a scene after he saves her life. Moments later, when a helicopter with a machine gunner Morris has contacted to drive away the chasing Meg shows up, she complains about what use that would be against such a big shark. Morris quite reasonably points out it was the best he could do on such short notice and that it actually does drive the Meg away. That said, she does thank him for it in the moment.

    James "Mac" Mackreides 
Played by: Cliff Curtis

An old friend of Jonas'.

  • Cassandra Truth: He tries to warn the authorities about the Meg's approach. Predictably, no one believes that a 75-foot prehistoric shark is closing in on their coastline.
  • Composite Character: He has traits of both his book counterpart (Jonas' Deadpan Snarker best friend) and Tanaka from the same book (the old friend that comes calling to get Jonas back in the game) with Tanaka's other attributes as Reasonable Authority Figure and nature conservationist being given to Dr. Minway Zhang.

Played by: Jessica McNamee

  • Adaptational Heroism: Her literary basis, Jonas' ex-wife Maggie, is a publicity-hungry Jerkass with few redeeming qualities. Lori is a competent professional with little interpersonal drama with Jonas, and immediately volunteers to help take out the Meg when it becomes apparent the crew are going to have to do it themselves.
  • Amicable Exes: With Jonas; they're divorcees, but they don't seem to hold any particularly bad blood with each other. The fact that they're professionals dealing with a very high-risk situation likely also factors in the lack of emotional drama.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: She gets stabbed with a screwdriver while in the sub. While she survives and it explicitly missed her vital organs, she's still hospitalized for much of the movie due to blood loss.

    Jack Morris 
Played by: Rainn Wilson
The billionaire who funded Mana One.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Inverted. All that's left of him is his arm hanging onto the side of a whale carcass.
  • Asshole Victim: He dies at the jaws of the very creature whose existence he'd endangered several lives to hide.
  • Covered in Gunge: Played for Laughs when he has a helicopter depth-charge what he thinks is the Meg even after the shredded carcass has been blown to the ocean surface. The pilot reluctantly drops another bomb on it, which throws up a huge column of water, and when the camera cuts to him again, he's covered head to toe in liquified whale blubber.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: He starts off as greedy and conceited (and sees the discovery of a living megalodon as something to be exploited) but seems to soften throughout the movie, saving Jaxx' life during the first surface encounter with the Meg and calling in a Gunship Rescue to drive off the meg pursuing them. Upon returning to the Mana One, he calls in an evac ship and tells everyone that he informed the Chinese military. Then it turns out he hadn't informed the authorities of the shark's existence as he'd claimed to, and is concerned with killing it solely to cover up its existence to ward off potential lawsuits.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He's a self-serving, glory-seeking jackass, but he's also the one who comes up with the idea to just tag the shark with a tracking device so they can keep tabs on it while preparing the cage.
    Morris: What? Don't you watch Shark Week?
  • Karmic Death: After lying to everyone on Mana One about calling the authorities about the Meg, he ends up becoming shark chow during his unsuccessful attempt at killing it.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Morris' only attempt at speaking Chinese turns into Word Salad; fortunately for him, everyone switches to English afterwards.
  • Properly Paranoid: When he and his mercenaries attempt to kill the second Meg on their own, he wisely stops his boat no less than a mile away from the Meg's location and orders the helicopter to drop what's essentially a depth charge on it, again and again, to make sure it's really dead. The bombing only stops after the helicopter pilot — splashed with the creature's blood — tells him there's no way that it's still alive after all that. Only then does Morris moves the boat in. When it turns out that the body isn't the Meg, but a whale, Morris immediately orders his crew to get the hell out of Dodge now. If he hadn't fallen off the boat by accident, he might've made it out alive. Of course, the fact that he tries to kill the Meg on his own, at night, and personally stays on a small boat instead of the helicopter he's on beforehand is just asking to be eaten anyway.
  • Take a Moment to Catch Your Death: After he falls off the boat in his attempt to kill the Meg, he attempts to climb up the whale carcass to get to safety as the Meg charges in to attack. It misses. Morris laughs in relief after successfully climbing up the carcass, thinking that he's safe for the moment, only for the Meg to launch itself up and eat him.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He goes after the Megalodon by himself with a small crew without informing any of the other characters. While he takes sufficient firepower with him in the form of depth charges, his choice to hunt it down in a small boat instead of the helicopter he was previously in gets him killed.

The Megs

    Shared tropes 
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the novel, the megalodons are ghostly white as a result of pigment loss from living in the oceanic abyss for so long. Here, they're a more standard brownish-grey, the result of pragmatic artistic license, as Word of God stated that an entirely white shark didn't look good on film.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: How and why there are megalodons (believed to have been a shallow-water predator) in a deep sea trench is never explained in the film, while the novels go in-depth with their evolution into an abyssal species (they migrated to the heated hydrothermal vents to escape the ice ages, over millennia gaining a slower metabolism and losing skin pigmentation in the process).
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • In general, depressurization is not kind to deep sea animals that reach the surface. Compare it to the Blobfish, which lives at depths between 600 and 1,200m, while the Meg dwells at 11,000m deep. The megashark should have turned into mush the second it breached the surface.
    • In relation to the above, sharks actually appear to be entirely absent from the truly abyssal depths of the ocean (there are many deep sea shark species, but they are not found in the deepest parts of the ocean, at least on anything but a temporary basis). Scientists are not entirely sure why (it may have something to do with their physiology), but sharks and their relatives appear to have a depth limit compared to bony fish and invertebrates. Which means it'd be impossible for not just a Megalodon but ANY shark to live in the depths portrayed in the film.
    • Owing to the general lack of sunlight at deeper sea levels, the Meg should realistically not be able to see at all as it surfaces, since the greater volume of light up there is much more overwhelming than what it's been accustomed to for millions of years. This is unusual because the book gets this right and has the important reoccurring plot-point that the megalodon only surfaces at night because the sunlight hurts its eyes.
    • The very idea that an apex predator like the Megalodon could thrive in the cold and nutrient-poor deep sea is questionable at best. Prehistoric Megalodon lived along warmer coastal areas, where they preyed upon whales and other high-fat, nutrient-rich mammals, which are conspicuously absent in the lower layers of the ocean for good reasons.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Literally. Being apex predators evolved to hunt in darkness, they're is attracted to bright light to the point that they goe nuts in the face of it. Unfortunately for the humans, they need a lot of light to be able to see anything deep under water, so their subs tend to put out one hell of a light show...
  • Non-Malicious Monster: They're simply predators looking for food and don't really target humans over other prey, being shown to devour giant squids and whales at other points in the film; humans just happen to be readily available once the sharks reach the surface.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Despite being gigantic, the megalodons can still attack suddenly and out of nowhere. Sharks are still ambush predators, and the ocean is big. As a result, their fins normally only break the surface when they're swimming around or chasing prey down. When they go on the offense, they go underwater and strike from nowhere.
    • The megalodons might be gigantic and have hide too thick for bullets to pierce, but they're still startled and backs off when shot.
    • They consistently ignore smaller targets if larger prey is readily available and primarily attack what's making the most noise or emitting the most light at any given time. This includes completely ignoring the small dog in the water in favor of the large, noisy, splashing crowd of people nearby, as would be expected of a real life predator. The exception to this is when they're enraged or driven into a feeding frenzy.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: They were confined to the deepest part of the ocean and sealed off from the rest of the world, but, unfortunately, Taylor's rescue mission created a path to the surface that they promptly followed.
  • Shark Fin of Doom: As usual for shark movies. Megalodon's especially large fin provides the main characters an easy way to track the gigantic shark from the surface, as well as a Mass "Oh, Crap!" moment when it goes below the water...
  • Stealthy Colossus: As befits aquatic ambush predators, they're quite capable of sneaking up on people despite being the size of a large whale.
  • Threatening Shark: Monstrously large, aggressive sharks that serve as the movie's main threats.
  • Villainous Rescue: A megalodon eats the giant squid that was about to destroy Suyin's submersible, although it later comes back and tries to kill them.

    The first Meg 
  • Ascended Extra: In the novel, the first megalodon is swiftly eaten by the much larger one, and its chief role is for its blood to allow the second to escape from the trench in a halo of heated water. In the film, it's the primary foe in the first half of the story.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: It's the primary foe for the first half of the film, but after it's killed halfway through a second, much larger shark shows up.
  • Mythology Gag: Despite living much longer, it still dies caught in cables and is then eaten by the second, much larger female, as in the novel.

    The second Meg 
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Just as the crew think that they've dealt with their shark problem, a much bigger megalodon rises out of the ocean and devours the one they're just managed to kill.
  • Devoured by the Horde: After being fatally wounded, it's set upon and devoured by a massive shoal of other, lesser sharks.
  • Eaten Alive: In addition to eating most of victims whole and alive, it's ultimately devoured by a horde of smaller sharks while still living.
  • Eye Scream: A rare satisfying example. Taylor wounds it by stabbing it through the eye with a harpoon, presumably all the way into the brain cavity.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: Its first appearance is when it lunges out of the water to seize the carcass of the first shark to chow down on. The concluding battle's ending, in which the second meg is devoured by hundreds of ordinary sharks, puts it at the receiving end of this trope, although technically it's a subversion because they're not the same species of shark.
  • Rasputinian Death: How ir bites it at the end — first it's eviscerated by a submarine ramming into it, then it has an harpoon plunged into one of its eyes, and then, as it bleeds to death, it's eaten alive by hundreds of smaller sharks.
  • Truth in Television: It's is relatively docile while swimming near the beach full of people, seeming more curious than anything. Then everyone sees it and panics. That many creatures making movements like prey in distress promptly causes it to go completely berserk and enter a feeding frenzy, as a real shark would. Even then, it mostly targets larger "prey", like the rafts, rather than piddly little individual swimmers.


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