This is what I watched this week.
Jaws 2 is the awkward middle child of the Jaws-series. It’s not the classic that Jaws is, nor is it as full of the wackiness that is Jaws 3D. Yet, I still managed to enjoy it. It has a shark that causes an explosion, kills an orca whale, attacks a helicopter, and is eventually killed with electricity. What’s not to love?!
Roy Scheider reprises his role as Martin Brody. Sadly, Robert Shaw’s character is dead so there isn’t even a flashback to Quint, and Richard Dreyfuss’s character is only mentioned in passing.
The only reason that we even get Roy Scheider back is because he was originally cast as Michael Vronsky in The Deer Hunter but dropped out over “creative differences.” Universal told him he could consider his contractual obligation fulfilled if he would be in Jaws 2. Scheider didn’t want to be in the movie because he felt he’d gone as far as he could with the character of Brody. I can really understand that. But still…he turned down The Deer Hunter!
The movie finds Amity Island struggling to recover from the events of Jaws. They’ve even built a luxury hotel and condo complex to attract even more tourists. The town officials are once again concerned with money and the tourist season and ignore Brody when he says that things are getting sharky.
The movie really is a reboot of Jaws. People go missing, Brody says they’re eaten by sharks and no one believes him. But the action is amped up. There’s a shark attack within the first ten minutes of the movie.
There’s also an explosion that the shark is kind of indirectly responsible for.
When a dead orca whale that’s been chomped on washes on shore Brody says, “Hey, a shark did that!” Although I do appreciate the scientist’s skepticism since they don’t really know how long the whale was drifting before it landed at Amity.
Brody’s son is a full-on teenager now and all he wants to do is sail. He even sneaks out with his little brother. Too bad the shark has developed a hankering for horny teenagers.
My favorite part is when the shark attacks a helicopter that came to rescue the teens, for the sheer audacity.
Finally, Brody kills this shark by getting it to chomp on an electrical line from Cable Junction. There is a glorious, bright shark explosion.
While the movie is definitely watchable, it’s definitely not as good as the original. You see more of the shark this time and that’s definitely not a good thing. The more you see the shark the less scary it is. Plus, it looks pretty really fake. It just doesn’t have the illusion of life and its head is kind of lumpy and misshapen. As a biology geek, I was bothered that the shark didn’t have a nictitating membrane. For those who don’t speak geek, that’s the third eyelid that some animals have. If you have a kitty you’ve prolly seen that white eyelid when it blinks–that’s its nictitating membrane and it protects the kitty’s eyes when it attacks. Sharks have them too.
While the movie does deliver some scares and some tension, the whole theme feels played over. The stakes didn’t seem as high as in the original movie. Ironically, both of Brody’s children are in danger from the shark but you know that neither of them will be eaten. So that kind of kills the tension.