Welcome to the rarely seen Triple Feature! A little change in pace in things as the Jaws franchise being available on Netflix lead us to watching the sequels back to back to back. With that said, there are only so many words I can say about these sequels so I’m going to jump right in!
Jaws 2 (1978)
Director: Jeannot Szwarc
Cast: Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Joseph Mascolo, Mark Gruner, Ann Dusenberry, Barry Coe, Gary Springer, Donna Wilkes
Police chief Brody must protect the citizens of Amity after a second monstrous shark begins terrorizing the waters. – IMDB
In this sequel of Jaws, Jaws 2 takes us into a good time after the Jaws events (it can only be expected as the councilman doesn’t seem to care about it anymore). As the town has recuperated slightly and moves forward, Chief Brody yet again starts suspecting that there is another shark attacking and yet no one seem to believe him. Jaws 2 is a pretty good premise to start off and in general, executes the movie pretty well. While its not quite the character depth or sophistication of the first film, this sequel directed by Jeannot Szwarc is pretty much a decent success and a real thrill to watch for the majority of the time, with some exceptions character-wise.
Its great for one to see the sequel bringing back familiar faces and at the same time, still giving it the same location and Chief Brody’s family. This time it gets slightly more personal. With the first movie, Chief Brody becomes a more-fleshed out character and can now be diving into other aspects and this one, we see how he interacts as a parent and the heaviness he has for his duty to protect especially seemingly being the only person that has learned from the previous shark situation that happened and making precautions than everyone else. In that element, we don’t only get to see Chief Brody as different situations that the audience gets to see gets brought to his situation reinforcing his belief that there is a second shark haunting the waters while at the same time, there is a focus on his older son Mike who has gotten a liking for sailing with his other teenage friends as well as trying to show off to get a girl’s attention. As expected, these sailing trips will uncover and also be the focus of where trouble hits at a certain point and Brody ends up heading to the rescue despite his lack of knowledge of driving a boat.
To be fair, there’s a whole lot more of good here. There are some great shark attack moments and a decent build of tension. The story itself, while a bit predictable, still manages to be a fun shark movie to watch as it has a few tricks up its sleeve. The teenagers are mostly fun to watch. The one exception, which is my main complaint about the film, would be one of the girls is incredibly annoying to watch. Overall, its a decent sequel effect and one definitely worth watching if you haven’t seen it yet.
Jaws 3 (1983)
Director: Joe Alves
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Bess Armstrong, Simon MacCorkindale, Louis Gossett Jr., John Putch, Lea Thompson, P.H. Moriarty
The sons of police chief Brody must protect customers at a SeaWorld theme park after a thirty-five-foot shark becomes trapped in the park with them. – IMDB
Not sure how many years after the 2nd movie this takes place but Brody’s sons are already adults now. In this third movie, Jaws takes its set to SeaWorld. Jaws 3 is meant to be in 3D and for that, there are a lot of crappy, out-dated and forced 3D shots done that really makes it feel like its trying too hard. To be fair, Jaws 3 has a decent premise. Nothing is more at stakes than the idea of being trapped in an area with a shark and for that, the story does work. Its the execution here that has a lot of issues whether logically or just how the story spirals. There is a theme park element here as well as a mother shark seeking its baby element as well, put together while its a fairly commonly used outline, does have potential to be done well.
Jaws 3 does give us Dennis Quaid in one of his earlier roles where he also does take the lead as Mike Brody while Sean is played by John Putch, who at the time took up his first movie role in his career with this movie. Mike and his girlfriend Kay (played by Bess Armstrong) have a good deal of screen time as they play key roles in the park as the engineer and the biologist respectively. Their roles are portrayed well. While with any theme park movie, you always have the rich boss, Calvin Bouchard (played by Louis Gossett Jr.) who makes bad decisions that makes a lot of situations worse.
Its hard to say outside of the forced 3D elements here where things ultimately fail. Perhaps its because the story lacks enough depth to make it feel like a good shark movie. Maybe its the fact that we never learn enough about Mike or Sean Brody to make them characters that we care about before they are headed straight for danger. Or it could attribute to the fact that there are some close-ups of the shark attacks that make the shark extremely animatronic or robotic, just the opening and closing of the jaws itself. However, it has some nice points and that is the emphasis on the cleverness of dolphins and their instincts to save humans in times of danger during shark pursuits. Overall, Jaws 3 is many steps down from its former two films. There are good elements and a lot of flawed ones but I think one of the main issues is that the ending feeling is that its pretty much forgettable.
Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
Director: Joseph Sargent
Cast: Lorraine Gary, Lance Guest, Mario Van Peebles, Karen Young, Michael Caine, Judith Barsi, Mitchell Anderson, Lynn Whitfield, Cedric Scott
Chief Brody’s widow believes that her family is deliberately being targeted by another shark in search of revenge. – IMDB
Jaws: The Revenge is the 4th instalment of the Jaws franchise. After Jaws 3, its hard to have too much hope about this one being better. Out of the original cast, Lorraine Gary returns as Chief Brody’s wife but as we can see, Chief Brody has passed on leaving her a widow. Adding salt to the wounds, Sean starts off the movie on Amity Island who has followed her father’s footsteps as a police officer and gets killed by a shark. Because of this loss, she ends up moving to Bahamas to live with Mike however the haunting fear of water and how sharks are out to get her family bothers her. Let’s first start this off by the fact that this script doesn’t seem to match with the previous one where Mike had mentioned how Sean doesn’t like to be on Amity Island which is why he didn’t study on the island so why did he go back? Then you think about what shark is revenging on her family because in our memory, every shark has died in the previous movie. Either way, just a few points to think about how the story in the beginning already has its plot holes.
Lets say that we look past that and accept for the way it is. There are still some annoyinh characters here from Lorraine Gray who overacts a bit. At the same time, Mike’s buddy, Jake is supposed to be a fun character but also stands close to the line into annoying as his dialogue feels very rinse and repeat. Theres a whole emphasis on the relationship between Mike and his wife which doesn’t seem to matter much other than give the movie some character building but then, Mike Brody has been a character in each of these films just at a different age. One thing that did bring my heart up a little is seeing Michael Caine here who brings some character to the film as a whole.
Jaws:The Revenge seems unnecessary and forced. The story doesn’t seem to flow with the previous film and then has this element of never giving intriguing characters. If this film didn’t take itself seriously, maybe I wouldn’t either and then at least there would be some fun.
That’s for this rare triple feature!
Have you seen any of the Jaws sequels before?