Franchise with Me: JAWS w/ Danny Gurrola

I remember I didn’t see Jaws until I was in high school because for some reason my father never showed it to me. It was one of the movies I rented with Blockbuster Online, that mailed DVD service that was started as competition for Netflix’s mailed DVD service. I thought it was great which for a super cynical 15 year old who looked down his nose at anything less than a hard R was a bit of an aberration. Of course this meant I never got around to seeing Jaws 2, Jaws 3-D or Jaws: The Revenge because public consensus and most reviews pointed to how much they sucked.

The person I chose to review this franchise with, Danny Gurrola, had pretty much the opposite experience as me. He grew up watching these movies over and over and over again on VHS. Danny is a film editor and co-worker of mine, the tech maestro behind my comedy troupe Pizza Party. He has a passionate love for terrible movies which my own love can’t come close to matching. Jaws is a great film but the sequels are real bad. Who better to hop into this misguided blockbuster franchise than someone with a passion for garbage?

Throughout this article, our separate reviews will be color coded. BLUE will represent my commentary while RED will represent Danny’s.

ALL ABOAAAAAAAAAAARD. (the only ocean/shark let’s begin pun I could think of…)

Jaws

directed by: Steven Spielberg ; written by: Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb, John Milius (uncredited)

starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gray, Murray Hamilton.

runtime: 124 minutes

release date: June 20, 1975

other movies released Summer ’75: Nashville, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Night Moves, Cooley High, Rollerball, The Apple Dumpling Gang, Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold, Mandingo, Hennessy, Coonskin, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Farewell, My Lovely.

MARGETIS = BLUE ; DANNY = RED

How do you even write about this movie? It’s the original summer blockbuster and one of the most influential movies of all time. There is literally nothing my dumb ass could say that hasn’t been better articulated by countless critics and film journalists for the past five decades. So I’ll just honestly assess this thing and echo what everyone says:

This is a rare, perfect movie. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is perfectly paced and most importantly it delivers five good “GOTCHA!” moments. That floating head shit always gets my ass. Every time. At just over two hours, it never comes close to overstaying its welcome. Spielberg keeps us in his grip the whole runtime, which is essential to a suspense movie. The whole shark malfunctioning so they couldn’t use it as much as they wanted to was the ultimate blessing in disguise. You never overuse a good villain. It also helps that when it is shown it’s still scary to this day.

I think the real reason why Jaws works so well beyond Spielberg’s direction, is that the story is beautifully divided up into two halves – the first half on the beach, the second half in the sea. The first half is just this perfect suspense movie exposition done in a super lean, no extra fat type way. It’s very blunt and to the point, never playing coy with the audience. There’s an opening murder to introduce this threat, there’s repeat attacks, the hero of the story tries to warn the mayor, the grimy butthead mayor ignores him and chooses capitalism over people’s lives, huge tragedy ensues because hero was unfortunately right and finally everyone is on the same page we need to whack this friggin’ shark.

The second half is where the movie really takes off. It’s the superior half and definitely by design. It’s like an intense three person black box theater production in the middle of the ocean. The threat of violence and possible death by shark lingers around every awkwardly quiet moment these three share. All with three incredibly different points of view which always put them at odds. Sheriff Brody (the incomparable Roy Scheider) plays the mediator while Hooper (the unfuckable Richard Dreyfuss) plays the educated liberal and Shaw (the brilliant Robert Shaw) plays the hard-nosed, blue-collar conservative. Some of the best scenes of the second half surround these three drinking and bullshitting together. For example, the now iconic scar comparison scene (ripped off in Lethal Weapon 3) which allowed Hooper and Shaw’s conflicting personalities to find middle ground. And of course, who could forget Hooper, Shaw and Brody’s quiet to raucous rendition of Show Me the Way to Go Home?

But the genuine and heartfelt male bonding is just there to distract you from the fact that a shark as big as Justin Theroux’s dick is coming to eat everyone. Of course, tragedy ensues and old Shaw meets his maker, in the most violent and haunting action set piece the movie has to offer. I can still hear the sound of those shark teeth going through the wood of that ship. And poor Shaw, try as he may, can’t get out of harms way. Holy shit, did I just write a limerick? Shaw wails and vomits blood all over himself. Now, the audience HATES Justin Sharkoux and we cheer when Brody manages to explode a propane gas tank in the shark’s mouth by firing a rifle at it. The shark explodes into a million pieces, while Brody and Hooper watch. The movie then knows no one gives a shit about an epilogue and has the common courtesy to end.

Wow, if I went out on a first date with this movie I’d definitely put out. What about you, Danny?

Well Mike, I’ll say we may have to agree to disagree. Jaws is slow, old, and most alarmingly, it’s leftist propaganda. Let me explain.

There is no superior half of the movie; both blow. The first half is just a cop (Adrian Brody) running around on the sand and yelling that he thinks there’s a looming threat with the potential to kill everyone in the town. His only suggestion…. Shut the beaches down during the most profitable weekend of the year. Nobody believes him because it’s the summertime and people’s livelihoods are on the line. There was also no major scientific data to back up anything he was saying.

The mayor, who is unrightfully demonized, decides “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t close down all the beaches and cripple this great town’s economy over something that you have a 99% chance of surviving.” Brody decides to spread misinformation, acts irrational on the shore to scare people and creates a narrative that the beaches are dangerous and the shark WILL kill you. Hey Chief, how about we implement some common-sense beach laws that allow people to make up their own minds if they want to get eaten or not, hm? MY body, MY choice.

People die all the time. It is unfortunate that these things have to happen, whether it’s a girl getting hit by a speedboat causing her arm to wash up on the beach covered in crabs or a rogue barracuda attacking a small kid on a raft like a floating meat-flavored Poptart. But can you really justify the closing of businesses over the potential deaths of innocent people, including children? No way, pal! Last time I checked, this was America.

Did Brody think of any of the consequences of closing the economy? Did he think about the mental health of the community? Or the potential rise in domestic abuse since everybody is home instead of out living the American Dream? Of course he didn’t, he’s selfishly more worried about a 30-foot shark murdering people he knows. 

Also Mike, you seem to be really diving deep into the supposed complexities of the story and characters that I just don’t think are there. Man vs. nature? American masculinity? Predestination and fate? Societal and class hierarchy? Get out of here! The movie is made by a liberal Hollywood elite that wants to push his pro-shark/anti-business agenda on us, and no amount of peer-edited dissertations can tell me otherwise. 

Lastly, the final half of the film takes place entirely out at sea. Three men on a boat, one of them dies, and there’s no witnesses. Coincidence? I don’t want to come off as a conspiracy theorist, but do we really believe the official account of what happened? After doing some of my own research (watching YouTube videos and reading my Facebook timeline), my theory is Brody and Hooper are angry that there was really no shark and decide to sacrifice Quint in order to save face. Quint would have never gone along with the lie and they needed to make it look convincing. 

“Yeah Mayor, the old hard-working conservative Quint died. He was eaten by the 30-foot shark that decided to come aboard and sink the boat, so I blew up the shark with a gun and scuba tank I hand-fed it. Oh, and Hooper was hiding underwater for 45 minutes. Sorry, there’s no bodies and all the evidence is at the bottom of the Atlantic. Anyways, I’d like a public apology.”

In conclusion, I didn’t love the movie. Sure, it was perfect technically and the acting was top-notch, but I just couldn’t get past the liberal agenda. I can only hope Jaws 2 takes a more pro-America approach.  

Jaws 2

directed by: Jeannot Szwarc ; written by: Carl Gottleib, Howard Sackler

starring: Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gray, Murray Hamilton, Keith Gordon, Jeffrey Kramer, Mark Gruner

runtime: 116 minutes

release date: June 16, 1978

other movies released Summer ’78: The Bad News Bears Go to Japan, Grease, Animal House, Capricorn One, Damien: Omen II, Heaven Can Wait, Revenge of the Pink Panther, International Velvet, Hooper, Foul Play, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Interiors, A Wedding, Piranha, Girlfriends, Debbie Does Dallas

MARGETIS = BLUE ; DANNY = RED

Okay, got the facetiousness out of my system!

Jaws 2 follows a common blueprint you often see with big Hollywood sequels; ‘What if the thing in the first one happened again, but BIGGER?’

‘What if Kevin McCalister wasn’t home alone… he was in New York City alone!’ like in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

What if John McClane wasn’t fighting terrorists in a building…. he was fighting terrorists in an airport!’ like in Die Hard 2: Die Harder. 

‘What if a bunch of teens get picked off by Death after avoiding a fatal accident….  but this time a way bigger accident?’ like in Grease 2

Jaws 2 takes this formula to heart and treads some familiar water (ha!). It does absolutely everything that the first one does, but worse. It uses its predecessor’s successful equation:

shark + famous theme + Roy Schieder’s sun leathered face = profit 

Then did the bare minimum to create something different enough to legally not be considered a remake. And honestly, it’s hard to blame them. Movies are a business and the formula proved effective before! To the movie’s credit, it kind of works sometimes? Unlike other sequels (including some in this very franchise), it’s not unwatchable by any means. It has some memorable death scenes, Schneider seems to be acting against his will, and there’s even a part where a shark eats a helicopter! 

To quickly summarize the plot, there is another shark in Amity Island eatin’ people up. First, a couple of scuba dudes. Then, in a scene I can only describe as hilarious, the shark kills a water skier and proceeds to convince the boat driver to commit self-immolation like a Buddhist monk using gasoline and a flare gun. The boat comically blows up, giving the shark a super cool scar, making it exponentially more badass.

All this chaos has a now shell-sharked(?) Chief Brody convinced this is the work of another big ole’ maneater. He gets paranoid at a busy beach and shoots a school of fish that decided to create the outline of a shark like in Finding Nemo, which leads to him getting fired by that asshole Mayor. Brody wants to get a second opinion from his friend and shark expert Dr. Hooper, but Richard Dreyfuss told Universal to fuck off. Also, despite being right about literally everything about a giant shark a few years prior, nobody believes him again and everyone’s inexplicably more skeptical this time around.

Then Brody’s dumb whiny teenage son and his dipshit friends go out on a few party boats to get drunk/laid, and unsurprisingly, the shark attacks. Chief Brody must now not only rescue the town… but his own son!

Brody goes out and saves the day, but only after a few more teens get eaten. Apparently power lines run along the ocean floor because Chief Brody’s boat anchor snags it, so he pulls it up and uses it to bait the shark into zapping itself to death. The twist ending is that the shark was actually a shoddily-made waterlogged animatronic made by a studio trying to force a horror franchise, so the sudden increase in electrical power made it short circuit and sink.

I have to only guess that the movie originally clocked in at 25 minutes, because a majority of the film is filler. There are way too many characters, each get their own reaction shot close-up when something happens. We’re also subjugated to constant b-roll of beachgoers and boats and seagulls and shit to pad the time and stretch the film to theatrical length. Parts of the movie feel like someone searched ‘BEACH’ into a stock video library and let it run. Oh, and there’s also a shot of a bunch of ladies’ asses in bikinis accompanied with a tuba solo. Odd choice, John Williams you pervert, but I’m here for it.

Overall it’s a bad movie, but not completely terrible. Too much filler, but some funny scenes and a great tagline. This wikipedia sentence sums up the film’s vibe perfectly: ‘Scheider, who only reprised his role to end a contractual issue with Universal, was also unhappy during production and had several heated exchanges with [the director].’

Finally, on an unrelated note, I don’t believe I’ve seen a single person of color in either of the first two films. The shark ain’t the only big ugly white thing swimming around, lemme tell ya.

What did you think, Mikey?

I would rate this one 2 out of 5 fat extras, because if there’s one thing this sequel has the original doesn’t come through on is an abundance of heavy-set background extras, the largest number of faxtras I’ve ever seen in a movie outside of Heavyweights. Sorry if that offends anyone, I myself am a fat man, way fatter than you, I promise, so no maliciousness behind that statement, just a statement of facts. It’s nice to be seen I guess, but fuck, did it have to be in Jaws 2?

The beach scenes are seemingly all comprised of dozens of teenage characters we never get to know and fat extras. Fat boys getting lathered with sunscreen by their fat moms, grazing on beach towels, reading novels with beef jerky hidden in the pages. Fat guys trying to get a portable radio to work while their bellies jiggle in frustration, even fat dogs nervously shitting all over the sand cause their owners fed them too much fried chicken. Cutting through the chunk is Sheriff Brody (Roy Scheider) who has, in a lot of ways, become to the town kook. No one wants to believe a shark is back in their tourist town and for some reason nobody has any PTSD from that horrible summer where other townsfolk (most likely their friends and family) were mauled to death by a giant great white shark. Maybe they’re all eating out of depression? Maybe that’s just how they grieve?

Roy Scheider looks like he doesn’t want to be in this lackluster sequel, and he absolutely didn’t. Originally cast in Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter, in the Robert DeNiro role, another Universal picture from 1978 that went on to win Best Picture, Scheider dropped out of that and in order to fulfill his contractual obligation with the studio, was forced to appear in this. The mayor is back, and given way too much to do for a character that existed originally as only a plot device. There’s so many scenes of banquets he’s hosting or mayorial duties he’s performing that have absolutely nothing to do with sharks. Brody’s kid is back and grown into a teenager and his wife (Lorraine Gray) is back as well.

This is a dull, overlong sequel that basically tries to do the same thing the original did but completely fails. It’s a bad movie but not as terrible as the sequels that followed. This at least has some semblance of what a movie should be. It’s overlong and the technique of showing as little as possible of the shark before the finale doesn’t have the same effect here as it did in the original. The biggest sin of this sequel is how boring it is, all the scenes not involving shark attacks are boring and drag down the movie.

The scene where the lady “accidentally” douses herself in gasoline and then lights herself on fire is a real howler, like you said. It completely looks like she’s doing it intentionally, like she’s so afraid to face a shark he’s taking the initiative of killing herself before it gets to her…in a manner that is probably more painful than getting eaten by a shark. This is the hardest I’ve laughed in the entire franchise, a scene so ridiculous and poorly executed it’s a wonder they left it in.

Jaws 2 sucks and is so boring there’s really nothing left to say…

Jaws 3-D

directed by: Joe Alves ; written by: Richard Matheson, Carl Gottleib, Guerdon Trueblood

starring: Dennis Quaid, Bess Armstrong, Simon MacCorkinda, Louis Gossett, Jr., Lea Thompson

runtime: 98 minutes

release date: July 22, 1983

other movies released Summer ’83: Return of the Jedi, WarGames, Psycho II, Trading Places, Octopussy, Superman III, Porky’s II: The Next Day, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Zelig, Staying Alive, Mr. Mom, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Risky Business, Cujo, Smokey and the Bandit Part 3, Easy Money, Hercules

MARGETIS = BLUE ; DANNY = RED

I went into this franchise marathon assuming the worst Jaws movie would be the one everyone talks about, Jaws: The Revenge, the fourth installment. I’m here to tell you that the actual worst entry of the series is something a lot more boring and less interesting to talk and/or write about, the abysmal Jaws 3-D. It’s shot in 3-D with terribly uninspired shots like a decapitated fish head opening its mouth towards the camera or a shark exploding into a million little pieces and it’s jaw bone dancing in front of the camera for like 12 seconds.

The “movie” follows one of the Brody kids who grew up to be Dennis Quaid. Dennis and his girlfriend (Bess Armstrong) are living in sin and I’m not talking about sex before marriage, I’m talking about working at Sea World. She’s a torturer, I mean trainer, and he works security. The other Brody kid is a fuck boi and is dating Lea Thompson, who is trying to decide whether or not to take the role of the mom in Back to the Future. Hopelessly conflicted, she makes her boyfriend, younger Brody kid, take a vacation with her to Florida where this imaginary Sea World exists. The four of them drink beers together and goof around on the beach, but there’s a shark coming and it hates Brodies. This shark is gonna destroy everyone at Sea World, but no worries, Miami mayor Louis Gosset, Jr. is gonna whip its ass like it’s Richard Gere or some shit.

A bunch of boring things happen that made me fall asleep, including some 3-D shots inside the underwater Sea World facilities that look like outtakes from Mystery Science 3000 movies from the 60s. In the end, the four leads survive and Lea Thompson decides to take the role in Back to the Future.

Danny, you were one of those idiot losers that liked sharks as a kid right? You probably had a shark’s tooth necklace and everything, loser.

Thanks, Margetis. I did have a shark tooth necklace as a kid, but it was the 90’s and dressing like literal trash was considered acceptable.

Like many prepubescent boys, my personality growing up mostly comprised of sharks. Naturally, I’d watch the Jaws series continuously on VHS. So the fact that childhood me thought Jaws 3 was lame as shit says a lot about how bad this movie actually is. 

Unfortunately for us, the movie isn’t just bad, it’s booooooring. You have a giant shark! Seaworld water shows! 1980’s Lea Thompson! And goddamn Shamu! How did you fuck up this badly, Universal? 

Jaws 3 starts with the typical POV shot of the shark swimming around in suspiciously tight spaces considering it’s a 30+ foot shark. It munches on an unsuspecting fish, then the gasping bass head spins towards the camera and lingers for far too long. This was purposefully done to show off their underwhelming 3D effect and have the audience in the theater reach out and attempt to grab the fish head like a bunch of morons.

The film’s protagonist is played by Dennis Quaid in his first role, as Chief Brody’s son Mike. Mike works at SeaWorld Orlando with his dolphin trainer girlfriend, Blonde Girlfriend. You mention he’s head of security, but it’s not entirely clear what his role is at the park because we see him working on day-to-day maintenance, spearheading a rescue mission, rehabbing a shark in the aquarium, and then investigate the death of an employee on park property. He doesn’t seem particularly good at any of these jobs.

Mike’s little brother, Sean, eventually comes down to Florida to visit. Sean, much like his father, has a fear of the water after the events of Jaws, so naturally he’d want to go to the wettest workplace on the planet. He meets the local Lea Thompson and they hit it off. They all get drunk at a diner and Sean tries to nail Mrs. McFly in a dirty swamp, but Mike cockblocks him like an asshole.

Eventually, the shark breaks a gate that apparently leads directly out into the Atlantic Ocean in an attempt to eat a bunch of performers. A buff mustachioed staff member with a mullet hops in the water at night to fix the fence. He gets torn apart by the shark and they end up finding his Spirit Halloween decoration-looking corpse later in the film, alerting them that there’s a large predator and/or a spooky seasonal store in the park.

I don’t really feel like writing any more about this snooze of a movie. It’s too boring, I might fall asleep. Just know that the remainder of the film has elongated sequences where the filmmakers are really trying to impress you with the 3D effects, so the shot just kinda hangs on dumb stuff in a failed attempt to impress.

Also, unlike Jaws 2, this movie has very little b-roll filler. It replaces the inconsequential shots of fat people walking on the beach with front-and-center Seaworld product placement. There are numerous shots of the logo and various sea mammals performing tricks you can sea at the park’s shows (who I’m sure never consented to being in this POS.) They also advertise a fictional submerged restaurant called The Neptune Room that is so 80’s looking, the set designer credit at the end just said ‘Cocaine.’ 

Considering how much product placement is in the film, you’d think SeaWorld would have given the crew more than $17 for the shark effects. The shark looks LAUGHABLY bad and is at no point scary. It has the in-water grace of a drowning person in cement shoes. In some scenes the shark has no articulation and swims like a submarine made of ducttape and dogshit. 

The ending of the film is so confusing and muddled that it is hard to describe. It takes place in lots of concrete corridors and control rooms and occasionally in an underwater-themed paper mache cave that looks to have been made by a middle school theatre club. 

Towards the end, it’s revealed (spoilers?) the 10-foot shark terrorizing the park was actually the baby shark (do do do do do do)! Meaning that all the carnage was caused by the big mama. The climax occurs when all our characters are in SeaWorld’s NASA-esque command center trying to get control of the situation. The stuffed shark then flies towards the camera and breaks the glass in the most unconvincing special effect I’ve ever seen, sending shards of it towards the audience. Unfortunately, it’s not real glass hitting me in the eyes. She munches on a few people as the room fills up with water. One of the half-eaten employees inexplicably had a grenade in hand, so Dennis Quaid reaches into the shark’s mouth and pulls the pin. The fish explodes like a rubber shark you win at Dave & Buster’s filled with red paint. Two jaws fly at the camera and float around a bit just as one last ‘fuck you’ to the audience. Dennis Quaid and Blonde Girlfriend swim to the surface and are greeted by their dolphin friends. The movie ends and SeaWorld presumably goes bankrupt from the wrongful death lawsuits they have to pay out.

Oh, and there was also a cocky British wildlife documentarian who showed up and acted like a dickhead for some reason? He was there to film the opening of the park, but also was on board to help kill the shark? I don’t know why and I don’t really care. The movie was worse than I remember. Not good, Mike.

Jaws: The Revenge

directed by: Joseph Sargent ; written by: Michael de Guzman

starring: Lorraine Gray, Michael Caine, Lance Guest, Mario Van Peebles, Karen Young, Lynn Whitfield, Melvin van Peebles

runtime: 90 minutes

release day: July 17, 1987

other movies released Summer ’87: Ernest Goes to Camp, Predator, RoboCop, The Lost Boys, La Bamba, The Witches of Eastwick, Harry and the Hendersons, The Untouchables, Benji the Hunted, Dragnet, Spaceballs, Adventures in Babysitting, Full Metal Jacket, The Brave Little Toaster, Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, Superman IV: Quest for Peace, Summer School, The Living Daylights, Masters of the Universe, Can’t Buy Me Love, Born in East L.A., Hamburger Hill, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie

MARGETIS = BLUE ; DANNY = RED

We’re finally here, Mike! The finish line!

Certainly the most confusing film of the bunch, Jaws 4: The Revenge decides to throw out all the themes that made the original a classic and replace it with absolutely nothing. The film comes off as a studio-paid vacation to the Bahamas for the cast and crew.

You will see lots of (?)’s in places where I am trying my best at piecing together what happened. I can’t entirely explain what happens in the beginning of the movie because it’s starts off immediately not making sense. So Sean, the horndog younger bro from the previous film, is now chief of police in Amity. On Christmas Eve, he’s called out to remove a log from a buoy that is apparently VERY urgent (?) only to have his arm bitten off by a shark lurking near the buoy (?). All the while, on shore in the middle of the winter (?) a Christmas choir pageant is being rehearsed on the sand at night (?). Sean is then killed by the shark after it sinks his boat. I’m already exhausted.

Ellen Brody, shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of her son, reveals that her husband Chief Brody also recently died from… fear (?) of the water (?) or a shark (?). It’s glossed over pretty quickly. This completely undermines the events and lessons learned from the first film but fuck it, whatever. As Melania’s fugly coat once said, ‘I don’t care, do you?’

Convinced that the shark had it out for her family, she is asked to come stay with her other son Mike to get her mind off the tragedy. Why let the untimely death of your youngest ruin Christmas, ya know? She travels to the Bahamas where Mike works as a marine biologist, spending most of his time putting huge tags on sea snails (?) and arguing with Mario Van Peebles about his bad Jamaican accent.

The shark eventually makes its way down to the islands in what seems like only a few hours, which is mind-blowing considering how it looks to be in constant pain when it moves. The lumbering, foam shark is rarely fully on screen and often sinks below frame. I can only imagine the frustrated shark operator struggling to keep this 2-ton machine upright while just above water the director is getting fucking hammered on Bahama Mamas. The shark attacks Mike when he is working, narrowly escaping the giant fibreglass predator. While this is happening, Ellen Brody is having telepathic episodes where she can sense that the shark is trying to kill another family member (?).

Also on the island is Hoagie (Michael Caine), the local pilot who clearly didn’t read a singular line written for him and ad-libbed his entire performance. He starts courting Ellen, taking her on dates and dangerously flying her around in his shitty plane, all to the disapproval of Mike. We aren’t entirely sure why Mike doesn’t like Hoagie apart from him being named after a sandwich.

Mike and Jake (Van Peebles) create a jerry-rigged device of some sort that seems to track the shark’s heartbeat (?) or increases the shark’s heartbeat (?) or fills the shark with energy (?). The device looks like a flashlight stolen from Ace Hardware taped to a pole. They stick the device on the shark so occasionally, some blips pop up on a radar to fabricate some tension. Why Jake has this weird device that is ready for tracking a massive great white shark is unexplained.

Mike’s wife is apparently an artist and was commissioned to create some terrible sculpture for the beach. I’m sure all the locals appreciated a boring white lady’s artistic take on island life. As the ceremony is happening to unveil the scrap metal, Mike’s daughter bitches and moans to ride a banana boat so they just let her do it to shut her up. Unsurprisingly, the shark jumps out of the water and chomps at the daughter, narrowly missing her but snagging a random lady, who is now having the worst vacation since Natalee Holloway.

This prompts Ellen Brody, with no plan in mind, to commandeer her son’s boat and go on a suicide mission to find the shark (?). Mike and Jake tag along with Hoagie in his plane and find her mid-shark attack. Hoagie inexplicably crashes his plane into the ocean to distract the shark (?), endangering literally every character present. The shark hilariously starts to attack Hoagie’s plane with him in it while Jake and Mike grab the energy shooting flashlight thing and jab the shark with it. He turns it on, flashes the shark a few times, which causes the shark to throw its head out of the water and roar like a t-rex (?). Hoagie then comes out of the water unscathed and joins them aboard (?). With Jake on the bow of the ship, the shark floats out of the water and bites him, dragging him away to his certain death. Once the shark comes back around, it hops out of the water and Ellen rams it with the boat, exploding it on contact (?) while having flashbacks from her husband shooting the shark from the first movie and her son Sean being killed earlier in the film. You know… scenes where she was not present in order to have a flashback (?). Then Jake swims over to the boat and is saved even though we saw him in the mouth of a 30 foot shark getting dragged to the depths of the sea ten seconds prior (?). They all then live happily ever after. This has been a crazy 3 days, huh?

This movie sucks, but is actually far MORE entertaining than I remember as a child. It doesn’t make any sense at all, the performances ranged from ‘bad’ to ‘strange,’ and the shark looks to be made from Hobby Lobby styrofoam and immobile. It is the best sequel for all the wrong purposes. What did you think, Mike?

YOU CAN SEE THE ROPES AND WIRES USED TO MANIPULATE THE PUPPET IN THE SHOT THEY USED IN THE MOVIE!

There were three things about this movie I was not expecting. #1 – I wasn’t expecting it to be this hilarious and entertaining. Awful is one thing but absolutely lacking in any kind of logic is quite another. I can’t even believe a studio made this ; #2 – Part of me believes a studio made this because certain aspects of the production (minus the shark) are competently photographed and lit. I was expecting this to be a way lower budget, cheap-looking film with gritty grindhouse quality film stock but it wasn’t ; #3 – I was not expecting them to do that thing with Brodie’s wife.

What thing with Brodie’s wife, you ask? Well, Brodie’s wife (played by returning actress Lorraine Gray) has some sort of psychic link with the shark that travels from Amity all the way to the Bahamas to snack on Brodie strips. Whenever Michael Caine takes her out on dates around town, she has these little seizures like she’s experiencing what the shark is experiencing. She’s grieving over the digestion of her youngest boy, and is super scared the shark is going to fuck with Dennis Quaid, who is now played by Lance Guest. Dennis Quaid (Lance Guest) works with Melvin Van Peebles (played by his real life son Mario Van Peebles) who sports the worst Bahamian or really any type of Caribbean accent I’ve ever heard. He goes in and out of it and when he’s in it he’s only like half in it. It’s so bad, Dennis Quaid gives him guff about it, which might have just been the actor giving Mario shit in between takes.

Fans of The Sopranos are sure to recognize Karen Young as Dennis Quaid’s wife. Young played (highlight following text for Sopranos spoiler) Adriana La Cerva’s FBI handler, Agent Sanseverino in Seasons 4 through 5 of the show. The dynamic between her and Dennis Quaid is awkward. It tries to be sexy and funny but ends up being like she’s a high strung artist that’s kinky for welding.

The daughter of Quaid and Young is a giant piece of shit in this and it’s unfortunate she wasn’t eaten by the sharks. The rest of the cast is not great, honestly, the only decent part of the cast is Michael Caine and I’ve never seen the actor seem so annoyed to be somewhere.

You basically said everything in your review, Danny, besides the whole shitty telepathic link to a shark that didn’t even experience the first movie unless we are expected to assume this shark is the son, daughter or grandchild of the Jaws shark. Or maybe even a distant cousin. Are all sharks related? Maybe just great whites? Do giraffes have arms?

Ranking & Final Assessment

  1. Jaws (10/10)
  2. Jaws 2 (3.5/10)
  3. Jaws: The Revenge (2/10)
  4. Jaws 3-D (1/10)

Has there ever been a greater drop in quality from original to first sequel as Jaws to Jaws 2? Yes, the quality drop from The Exorcist to The Exorcist II: The Heretic was much worse, but unlike The Exorcist, which is just shy of a masterpiece, Jaws is an absolute fucking masterpiece. One of the best films ever made, certainly one of the best action/adventure movies ever made and the first summer blockbuster to ever exist. The fact that they’d ever see a need to make a Jaws sequel is ridiculous since there was really nothing left to say. Jaws 2 was a bad but not terrible film but Jaws 3-D and Jaws: The Revenge were. Jaws: The Revenge being impossibly stupid and Jaws 3-D being impossibly boring. This franchise blows, the only movie I consider an actual Jaws sequel is Renny Harlin’s Deep Blue Sea, cause that’s actually fun. Franchise Grade: D+

  1. Jaws (10/10)
  2. Jaws 2 (4/10)
  3. Jaws: The Revenge (2/10)
  4. Jaws 3-D (1.5/10)

I agree with Mike. Perfect first film followed by terrible sequels that get worse as they go along. Some bright moments here and there, but overall an unnecessary franchise trying to squeeze blood from a stone. Overall franchise rating is a D+ from me, dawg.

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