Jaws the Revenge (1987)

Rating: PG
Length: 1h 29
Release: 21.8.1987
Dir: Joseph Sargent
About: The island community of Amity is terrorised by shark attacks when a vengeful shark returns to avenge the death of her progeny.


The Good

  • I really loved the conversation between Ellen and her daughter-in-law after kissing Hoagie for the first time. In a film bogged down with shit, it was quite refreshing to have this honest interaction about something real.
  • I really enjoyed Michael Caine’s performance as Hoagie. While we get very little about the character other than mystery and stories, he’s charming enough for me to be pissed off at Michael’s attempts at cock-blocking his mother. The Caine-ness of it all can be summed up in the final act where he is talking, only to cut himself off mid-sentence to utter “shit” in a way only Michael Caine can.
  • I really loved the casting of Sean Brody. He was a lovely bright and bubbly character that I took to immediately. Then that bastard shark went and did its thing.

The Bad

  • Much like the second film, everyone seems miserable. Even the majority of the conversations that are had seem rooted in negativity. Even the dialogue between Michael and his chipper friend, Jake becomes snippy when we get half way. Yes, I know its about a “vengeful” shark however, its success (the film’s, not the shark) relies on the human relationships and interactions. Yes, it also opens with the death of a character we’ve seen in all previous films, but the negative exchanges are nothing as cathartic as dealing with grief.
  • The continuity between movies is shit. Sean is younger than he was four years previous, Michael has a kid that would have been one year old during the events of SeaWorld and he’s now a Marine Biologist. Okay, so I guess we can ignore Jaws 3 and things work out. But I can’t, I watched that bastard yesterday. Yes, I’m getting pissy about characters in a film about a shark that goes to the Bahamas for Christmas to seek out, and presumably, kill the remaining Brody family.
  • Was there a need to recreate the opening of the Little Mermaid with Michael and the shark?!

The Ugly

  • Is Ellen psychically connected to the shark? What the fuck is with the editing when Michael is attacked?! At first it looked like she was witnessing the attack. Nope, she was having a vision or some shit.
  • The character of Ellen as a whole was just off. More an embodiment of her husband than anything reminiscent of Lorraine Grey’s initial performances. From her fear of the water to her bickering with her son. It all seemed out of character, even considering what she’d been through. While I was happy with her heading out to sea, I’d have liked to see her go out a little more prepared.
  • The fucking shark! Jesus, that shark all but tap danced. Gone is the tension from the first film. Just because the bar is placed so high and you can’t reach it, doesn’t mean you have to reach for new lows! There was no attempt to try and make what I can only guess was a man in a fish suit, act like an actual shark. Instead, what we get is a grey rubber mass going for the solo ‘participation award’ in synchronised swimming.
  • Slow-mo death scenes are bad. Yet we get a fair few in this. Including the death of the fucking shark itself. After its weird jiggles from the ‘bomb’ come electric shock thingy, the film goes for Sharky like he’s Ursula.

Final Thoughts

Actually floats in the ‘its so bad, its a bit funny’ category. That said, I spent most of my life treating Jaws as a singular movie and I think I’ll be going back to that way of thinking.

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