Jaws: The Revenge (1987) / Horror-Thriller
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for violence, sexuality and language
Running Time: 90 min.
Cast: Lorraine Gary, Lance Guest, Mario Van Peebles, Michael Caine, Karen Young, Judith Barsi, Lynn Whitfield, Melvin Van Peebles (cameo)
Director: Joseph Sargent
Screenplay: Michael De Guzman
Anyone that has seen Jaws the Revenge, or at least heard of it, knows that it is considered one of the worst films ever made. Writing a review for it would seem unnecessary, as you pretty much know it is going to suck, and boy, does it ever. I thought I’d take a different approach here, since a bad review is practically a given, and come up with ten positive things to say about the sequel that would end the Jaws franchise once and for all. We’ll see if I can scrape up that many…10 “good” things about Jaws: The Revengeis about 20 minutes shorter, but contains about as much filler. Jaws: The Revenge is the worst of the films, but quite thankfully, the creators have shown some mercy by not continuing to assault our intelligence for longer than 90 minutes.
It ignores the equally awful Jaws 3. I guess there’s a reason it isn’t called Jaws 4. You can look at this two different ways. One way is that it is annoying that there are glaring inconsistencies between the Brody siblings, Michael and Sean, their career paths, and their fears about going into the ocean. Sure, the lack of continuity can be a bit frustrating, although I personally choose to see the bright side of this; now, instead of having to see Jaws 3 before Jaws: The Revenge, you have the option of ignoring at least one awful movie. Of course, ignoring both is, by far, the best available option.
It has the shortest running time of all Jaws films. Jaws 2 isn’t exactly must-see entertainment, but at two hours, it is burdened by stretching out its thin material to the breaking point. Jaws 3
It is the funniest of the Jaws films. Although the laughs are completely unintentional, Jaws: The Revenge far exceeds the laugh quotient of all three previous Jaws films combined. It even rivals some of the best comedies ever made, if one were to count the pure moments of laughter.
You learn things about sharks that you’d never know, even with a lifetime of study. Did you know that sharks carry out personal vendettas against human families? Did you know they could follow airplanes traveling hundreds of miles at high speeds? Did you know that they toy with their prey just for the fun of it, and not because they are hungry? Did you know that sharks like to growl while attacking, despite their lack of vocal chords? Did you know that sharks could glide for hundreds of feet with most of their bodies above the water? Yes, all this and more are learned throughout the course of this highly educational film. The camera never lies!
It shows that the suspense of the Jaws films wasn’t all about the John Williams score. Despite utilizing the same score as Spielberg’s original Jaws, this one can’t even muster one hundredth of the amount of tension, intrigue, or fright. The soundtrack does, however, feature a few late 80s pop tunes that rank high on the scare factor. If you don’t think that The Jets’ “You Got It All” is nausea inducing, wait until you see the slow, sensually close dancing of Michael Caine and Lorraine Gary that accompanies it.
It reminds you of how great the first Jaws is. Sure, we all know how entertaining Spielberg’s original is, but the constant flashbacks and allusions to the first film can only make everyone viewing this travesty think it the greatest film ever made just by sheer comparison. Interestingly, some of these flashbacks occur to characters that weren’t even there to witness them. You’ll have the urge to stop Jaws: The Revenge halfway in order to re-watch Jaws, if you don’t just stop halfway outright just to end the pain.
It eventually ends. Few will ever see the final credits, but, painful as they were to get to, I have. Yes. they are there.
Ok, so this was only seven out of ten, but anyone that has seen this fiasco must realize that coming up with ten “positive” things to say about it is downright impossible. Watch this tripe only if you mean to laugh at how astonishingly bad it all is. You’ll love the psychic connections, spiritual mumbo-jumbo, Mario Van Peebles’ terrible faux-Rasta accent, Michael friggin’ Caine cashing his check, and the most fake shark action ever put to celluloid. This one’s so bad, that, like a car wreck, you can’t avert your eyes from it, no matter how horrific it is. Just as Jaws made people everywhere afraid to go back into the water, Jaws” The Revenge proved to be a stinker of such magnitude, they were also afraid to return to the theater for another Jaws excursion.
©2006 Vince Leo