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Four friends set out by boat for an idyllic vacation on a private, remote island. But unknown to them, a weaponized shark has escaped from a top secret military lab nearby, a shark that was... See full summary »
Catherine Mary Clark
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The small island resort town of Amity is trying to bounce back from the financial troubles that suffered after becoming known as the site of shark attacks four years earlier. Mayor Larry Vaughn is welcoming developer Len Peterson and his new resort to Amity. Two scuba divers are exploring the area where the Orca sank after police chief Martin Brody killed a huge shark four years ago. A shark shows up and devoured the two divers, but not before one of the divers takes a close-up picture of the shark's eye, and sometime later, while a mother is driving a boat that's pulling her water-skiing teenage daughter, the shark devours the daughter and causes the mother to accidentally blow up the boat, then a killer whale is found on the shore with a huge bites on it. After Brody sees this, he knows there's another huge great white shark in Amity's waters, but Vaughn and Peterson explain these attacks away as non-shark accidents, because the thought of another shark in Amity's waters would drive... Written by
The position of the towel Chief Brody has on his shoulder changes (as evidenced by the pattern) when he wakes up the morning after being fired as he walks down the hallway and opens doors looking for his son. See more »
It only figured that multiple sequels would be spawned from (at the time) the most financially successful film in history. Jaws 2 was not the least bit necessary in terms of story and character development. It's merely an opportunity to put the lives of numerous young characters in jeopardy before our hero from part one (Scheider) can paddle to their rescue. The film is technically well-done, and the action somewhat compelling. This film also made a fortune, but it had nowhere near the commercial or critical success of the original.
First of all, the acting talent of Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss is sorely missed. They tried to write the Matt Hooper character back in, but Dreyfuss was in the midst of shooting Close Encounters with Spielberg, rendering his physical participation out of the question. Roy Scheider is back, though. And once again he proves that he is in fact a hell of a good actor. He's the kind of guy whose character you always end up rooting for. This time we see a darker side of his Chief Brody. Convinced there is a new shark in the waters off Amitty, he presses the point so vigorously that he is fired from his job. Keep in mind, the same mayor (Hamilton) is still in office, and he's not the kind of guy who wants his beaches closed for any reason.
Despite losing his job, Brody is once again forced to dispose of the killer great white before it devours his teenage son's friends and their sail boats. The film has some good stunt work, and some memorable shots of the killer fish. There is decidedly less blood shown in this one. The original barely escaped and R-rating, and they were obviously not going to chance that again. There are still plenty of frightening scenes, though. French director Jeannot Szwarc is no Spielberg, but he does a decent enough job with the material. John Williams' music still rings true.
Speaking of the material, that's the film's weak spot. Sharks do not behave like killers in a slasher movie. They don't use strategy to hunt down their victims like the sharks in these movies. A great white shark is a powerful and dangerous predator, but humans are generally not on its menu. Jaws 2 is however, miles above the next two sequels in the series. Part 3 had only the 3D gimmick to fall back on. Part 4 is hardly worth mentioning unless you like to laugh at really, really bad films.
7 of 10 stars for Jaws 2.
Added Feb 14, 2008: RIP Roy Scheider!
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