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Jaws 2
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Unsurprisingly lacking but has glimmers of goodness

7/10
Author: DarthVoorhees from United States
3 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'Jaws 2' is an unsatisfying sequel to a masterpiece, no surprises there. I mean how can you follow up a film like 'Jaws' without engaging in silliness? I'm not surprised in the least that Universal wanted to cash in on the popularity of 'Jaws' with a sequel. It's a hard act to follow. As far as unnecessary sequels go though 'Jaws 2' has some charm and is competently made with thrills that pack some punch to them. It's problem though deals with it's total lack of interesting characters besides Roy Scheider's reprisal as Brody.

'Jaws' was a great film because of it's characters and how we cared for them. The dialogue, chemistry, and the acting between Shaw, Scheider, and Dreyfus elevated that picture. The fact is the rubber shark in 'Jaws 2' actually looks better in a lot of ways than the shark in the first one. I know a great deal of people credit Spielberg for saving the shark for the last act of the film but I think what adds to that is that the characters are stranded where they cannot get help and are at their most dangerous moment. 'Jaws 2' has that moment too. The Brody boys and their friends are trapped in the middle of the ocean with a shark circling in on them, it is a frightening scenario. What it is missing though is well developed and acted characters. Scheider isn't trapped on the water here and so we have to fear for these under developed characters. I didn't. A great deal of them play like something from a bad 'Friday the 13th' rip off. While horrible things happen to them we just aren't as pulled in to care for their survival. It's a miserable combination of bad dialogue and acting. The scenario is pretty frightening and I think had Spielberg been in the director's chair with a polished script it would have been quite memorable. The film just feels so anti-climatic in comparison to 'Jaws' and it no doubt has to do with the characters because the film tries newer and bigger things to do with its shark.

Scheider makes this film work on a certain level. One of the high points of the film is that he is the only character who has changed from his experiences from the first film. Scheider doesn't play Brody in the same way, he's bolder and far more paranoid. I really like seeing this aspect of the character and the performance. Of course we know a great white is terrorizing Amity again but I like the fact that Scheider's Brody compounds the fears to new manic levels where we can see why Amity residents might think this guy is a little unhinged. I think this aspect of the character certainly should have been explored more. It would have added more psychological thrills to the story and it would really give Scheider a stronger role to explore. I would have loved to have seen them explore Hooper in this way as well. Universal should have tried much harder to get Dreyfus back.

Besides Scheider everyone else's' character is a carbon copy of their role in one. The fact that Mayor Vaughn got elected to a second term is pretty astounding and of course his first response is boating accidents. Brody's wife Ellen is a bore and expanding her character didn't help the film at all. We'll be seeing more of her later on in the series...

All in all 'Jaws 2' is a flawed film but it has some merit to it. I think it has merit and with a more competent director and script it could have been a truly great sequel. I think the film will definitely appeal to fans of Scheider's Brody because it does explore this great character a little more.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Rubbery sequel but still entertaining

7/10
Author: Chris. from Australia
2 May 2011

An even larger Great White shark terrorises the Amity island community, this time threatening a group of teenage sailors who drift aimlessly after a collision, menaced from below by the fire-scarred white death. Roy Scheider returns to familiar territory, but this time without the benefit of the A-list co-stars that accompanied him on the last adventure; while there's plenty of familiar faces in the wings, it's surprising there weren't more "name" actors, considering the success of the predecessor. But then "Jaws 2" isn't a storyboard masterpiece, more a collage of attacks loosely woven into a beach party theme.

Memorable for its water-skier scene, much of the production crew reunited for this effort, but the characterisations lack the depth of the original. Future soap-star Mascolo and Hamilton (reprising his role) are virtually interchangeable in their varying shades of obstinacy, while former studio stable-hands Collin Wilcox and Barry Coe are sorely wasted in frivolous bit parts. Gary Springer is perhaps one of the few younger actors who manages to make an impression, the rest look and act like virtual amateurs.

As for the title star, technological advancements apparently took a hiatus in the three year interval following the original, the mechanical shark's rubber mouth bending vertically as it takes aim at a limp morsel dangling over the edge of a sailboat.

Plenty of tension and just enough petrol in the tank to last the distance, if it wasn't for the inevitable comparisons with its older sister, "Jaws 2" could almost be a good movie in its own right. All in all, it's moody, suspenseful and professionally detailed with the finesse that one would expect from a big-budget Hollywood movie. Better than the average sequel.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Jaws That Cut Both Ways

7/10
Author: jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States
28 May 2010

It's fitting that Jaws 2 is a sequel, a second film, because it is totally a double-edged sword, equally comprised of positive and negative elements. Of course it's but a fraction of Spielberg's classic, and yet it's about as good as, maybe even a little better than could be expected, with some great scenes that are just about on par with the original, and some authentic scares. It has Roy Scheider returning with an effectively brooding performance as Police Chief Martin Brody, who must confront another Great White terrorizing the waters of Amity Island. And yet again, after all they've been through before, the Mayor just doesn't buy Brody's claims. But what's interesting about the story this time is how Brody deals with the shellshock of his experiences from the first film, how it pains him to have to go through the same thing as before, how overprotective he's become with his kids, who are older and more desirous of their freedom.

I like that the plot varies from the original rather than following all the same structural footsteps. It does open with some unassuming swimmers turning into a scrumptious meal for the unseen shark just as the first film did, but director Jeannot Szwarc puts an interesting twist on it by setting this entire sequence under water. We hear nothing but music score, we are immersed in the muted blue-green environment of the predator. However, I comment on the diverging story less because it's a particularly strong point for the movie itself and more because the movie can essentially be considered the first slasher sequel, basically taking a successful initial horror plot and making the source of the horror not so much a mysterious force but a slasher killer, so to speak, so amidst the pendulum of set-ups for teenager-killing, at least we have a character strand that grows from what the first movie subjected its surviving characters to.

Made in 1978, hot off the blockbusting coat tails of Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars, spectacle-minded producers and audiences alike seem to have begun to forget that the most effective suspense came from what wasn't always being shown and what wasn't entirely understood, and that the imagination is able to conceive far worse than the objectification of a simple mechanical monster. Nevertheless, Szwarc centralizes the dismay by intercutting between the teenagers, Chief Brody, and the government's endeavors to save them, generating enough tension to keep us stimulated. So as a slasher sequel, it's not half bad.

However, the aggravating and constantly screaming teenage characters don't make for very sympathetic victims. I'm resisting the temptation to compare them to the characters in the first movie, which wasn't just a horror movie but had a whole other level of male-bonding between these three unlikely partners who form a kind of diffident brotherhood on their mission. Jaws 2, as a stand-alone film, is not about making us fear for the victims but anticipating the now-traditional slasher-movie spectacle of screaming kids, flailing bodies and blood in the water. Even explosions and electrocutions. It's just not as disappointing because the scenes are so well-constructed as action set-pieces.

By the same token, John Williams' pulsing theme music does return intact as a surviving main character from the first film. Here, Williams is broader in his leading tones of approaching terror, he makes more use of an orchestra, using longer single notes and tones for effect as well as the astoundingly famous alternating pattern of two notes. I don't like the sequel's score better than the predecessor's score, but I like how it's built upon, just as other enduring central characters have been.

Coming full circle to the double-edged sword notion---and that is not a term I often use, by the way---Jaws 2 is inevitably going to be seen as an average movie because of the reflexive comparison to Spielberg's film. But let's look at Jaws 3-D and Jaws: The Revenge, two of the most deplorably stupid, utterly boring and shamelessly campy cash-ins one could ever stumble upon, two films that are only accessible in the mainstream because of their unfortunate affiliation with one of the most successful movies in American cinema history. Now look at Jaws 2, which by comparison is a vastly superior, very skillful and thoughtfully continuous shark attack film. It is the go-between flanked by the milestone which inspired it and the disasters which it inspired. Once again I can't get out of this hole with the double-edged sword thing. I suppose the verdict is that it's the best one can practically expect from a sequel to a turning-point film by a different director.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Worthy sequel that focuses more on the shark and the human's lives after "the attack".

6/10
Author: insomniac_rod from Noctropolis
20 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This time the big shark we all love gets to be the star of the movie. Unlike the original, this one focuses more on the shark and gets toned down in the suspense, thrills, and fear generated by the animal.

But I'm not saying that it's not a worthy sequel. In fact, it's a very well done Horror movie but it lacks the winning formula of the original.

The atmosphere is still present and the fear for the water raises anytime someone gets into it.

To be honest, I think the movie feels more of a slasher movie rather than a solid, tense Horror movie.

The plot gets more interesting this time. I really enjoyed the way the characters try to get over the situations from the original. That means there's an intention to connect the events of the original with the sequel in a manner that the shark isn't the only element to notice. But also the human lead characters and their life after the attacks.

Give it a try. A worthy sequel.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Could have done a bit better, but not bad.

8/10
Author: soumikbanerjee8 from India
29 September 2009

It has quite a boring kind of starting. But the climax scenes rock. Obviously it is better than JAWS 3 & JAWS: THE REVENGE(no surprises there). I remember when I watched the movie at the theater I was 11(four years after JAWS). The movie is almost as political based as JAWS but it didn't have the magic. I think the writers' idea of keeping the shark's face burnt almost throughout the movie was quite bad. It would have been beautiful if the shark would have it's own face instead of a burnt out one. But certain parts of the movie i liked very much:- 1.The Chief's fight against the town authorities. 2.The destruction of the shark. 3.The time when the Chief shot st the bluefish with great urgency. 4.Mike Brody 5.All the friends of Mike. In fact like the original movie it's a both theater & family entertaining movie. A last word: A marine biologist like Hooper said that "Sharks doesn't take things personally, Mr.Brody." & another thing:the movie could retain the JAWS magic if there could be a presence of Hooper.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"I don't intend to go through that hell again!"

8/10
Author: Genevi Landon from United Kingdom
16 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

No possible way to be better than the original. No way. Because the original was basically a creative and productive fluke that became a staple suspense classic due to primarily two things: Spielberg's amibitious direction and Verna Fields' FLAWLESS editing. (She won that Oscar for a damn good reason.) "Jaws" was nothing but mistakes, but Verna Fields' editing covered up every single one. It's basically a miracle of film-making, now how can you surpass a miracle? "Jaws 2" does one thing EXTREMELY right: it spends time analyzing the trauma resulting from shark attacks, or people that have witnessed them. One of my favorite parts of this sequel is when Brody and some men rescue that girl whose boyfriend got eaten the day before. She was cowering under the rim of the boat the entire night, muttering incoherently, and nearly catatonic from primal fear. I didn't think a sequel to "Jaws" could invoke something so relatable. That right there gets my props. The Editorial Review for this is too mean-spirited. It ain't necessarily wrong, but it just focuses on the superficial negatives. Watch the film, and a real story does emerge. Chief Brody, forever scarred by his aquatic showdown with Bruce, acts somewhat rash and a little obsessive, but can any one of us blame him? Spielberg put this guy through a wet Hell three years prior (see review title). I'll just say some things I enjoyed about it. It's the only sequel that comes closest to reflecting the visual cadence of the original. Contrary to the above, it does have a nice style, and the photography might be the prettiest you get in the entire franchise. Why does a "Jaws" movie look so pretty? It is directed by a Frenchman, after all. Apparently, Jeannot Szwarc knew Zanuck and Brown by directing episodes of "Night Gallery" like Spielberg did, too. He pulls off some gorgeous and difficult shots in this film. (Keep an eye on the shark's POV of the waterskier -- it ain't miniature, it's full-scale live.) Surprisingly, the gore is considerably less than the original, which is basically a bloody mess of a film if you think about it. There is some nasty violence in it though: the attack on the boyfriend I mentioned before, and the girl that gets swallowed whole near the end. Look, just have fun with the helicopter attack and the manic girl that won't stop screaming at the end. Love the shark the filmmakers nicknamed "Scarface" and the fact that he can survive an explosion being only inches away from it. But best of all, enjoy Roy Scheider giving his wife's boss some come-uppance with a parking ticket. "Jane Eyre" this film is not. Overall, check this out, it's not a waste at all. I watched this with my sister, a marine biologist, which is a novel way to view something like this. She can attest to some facts about the beached killer whale, but great whites just don't get as big as Shamu. It's fun to imagine if they did. Ironically, perhaps the best piece of the DVD is the Behind The Scenes Making Of Feature. It is thorough, comprehensive, informative, and engaging as hell. AT LEAST as good as the "Jaws" Behind The Scenes with Spielberg and Richard Dreyfuss, which was exceptional. These "Jaws" crews know how to make something out of nothing, that's for sure. Not necessarily essential, but still recommended.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A famous and memorable sequel, occasionally weak but good enough

Author: Samiam3 from Canada
25 August 2009

At the request of the fans, Oscar nominated producers David Brown and Dick Zanuck embarked on the task of a sequel to the greatest monster movie of all time. back then, sequels were not status quo in Hollywood, so if you are among the few people who has only recently viewed Jaws and loved it, do not be so hesitant to dismiss Jaws 2 as a pure gimmick. It doesn't quite feel like Jaws, but it looks virtually identical; same cast (mostly), same place, and few other new ideas from director Jennot Szwarc. The only thing missing is a sense of tension equivalent to that which Spielberg brought

Set four years later on Amity Island, Chief Brody (no longer water phobic) continues to live in peace with his family. Ellen works fund raisers, Michael is into sailing with his buddies, and little Shawn still likes to tag along when he can. But calm will not last long. One day, the reported disappearance of a pair of divers, a boat strange boat accident, and later a half eaten whale carcass leads Brody to believe that another shark has come to feed in the Amity waters. Can he convince the town that he is right?

The biggest problem with Jaws 2, is one that everybody has noted on. Director Szwarc has such a low opinion of himself that he clearly doubted that he could match the suspense that Spielberg created by hiding his leviathan from the camera. As a result, the twenty-six foot fish is shown a little too much, and sometimes in clumsy ways which hint that the creature is more rubber than flesh. That said, the first shark wasn't terribly realistic or scientifically accurate either. The mechanics are sometimes unpredictable that it often becomes a matter of luck.

Both films were not only intended for a mature audience, but for kids as well. Jaws 2 successfully lightens up on the blood a bit. (most sequels including Halloween 2 increase this). I first saw this as a kid. In some ways I preferred this over Jaws because it was fun scary rather than scary scary. It has some memorably suspenseful moments, but it is nowhere near as brilliant as Spielberg's timeless film.

Whether it honours or dishonours Jaws will be up to you to decide, but I find it a sufficient sequel.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Just when you thought it was safe to assume that every sequel to Jaws was awful...

8/10
Author: happyendingrocks from United States
18 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If we can agree up front that making a sequel to a film as flawless and powerful as Jaws is a definite, if inevitable, mistake, the rest of this write-up will be a lot easier to swallow. Unquestionably it's probably safe to have low expectations for a film that, by all accounts, even the participants weren't interested in making. But, when we shrug aside the knowledge that this film is wholly unnecessary, Jaws 2 is actually a pretty damn enjoyable movie that certainly doesn't match the original (an impossibility, this), but adds to the story in a way that respectfully honors the spirit of the original. While the two cruddy chapters that follow this one are bottom-feeding tripe, no one involved with Jaws 2 has anything to be ashamed of.

In fact, there are moments of intensity here that would nearly match what we saw in the classic original, if we hadn't already seen them in the classic original. The film-makers were savvy enough to utilize the same elements that crafted such sublime suspense the first time, and the sprawling ocean is once again used like a supplemental character. Once we establish that we have another shark on our hands, every panning shot of the murky depths or deceptively calm ocean surface generates genuine tension, and unlike the other films in this franchise, which relied more on close-ups of their clunky monsters than sustained build-up, the straight visual presence of the shark here is saved for moments of true impact, which the film has plenty of.

If Roy Schieder wasn't too excited about revisiting Amity Island, you'd certainly never know it from his excellent performance, which is every bit as good as it was the first time out. The quaint island setting, now thriving once again and trying to put its terrible past to rest, is just as well-realized as we remember. And the returning presence of nearly the entire supporting ensemble certainly adds immeasurably. Even the young cast of newcomers deliver strong performances, and nearly everything about the film seems to indicate that just because the film-makers knew they couldn't outdo the original, it wasn't going to be because they didn't try.

Scheider's trailer line "I know what a shark looks like because I've seen one up close... and you better do something about this shark because I don't intend to go through that hell again" supplements a plausible and rational follow-up to the events in the original film, and while he is clearly the protagonist once again, the film is smart enough to note that Chief Brody was never a hero in the first film, just a small town lawman thrown into supernatural and horrifying circumstance. It would have been far too easy, and typical, for Jaws 2 to up the action to compensate for its lack of originality, and while the second half certainly loads up on the shark attacks, we are spared the unrealistic idea of Chief Brody charging into the sea to save his town from terror once again. No, like any normal person who once stared into the black eyes a murderous great white, Brody wants nothing to do with this returning menace, and Schieder's nuanced performance never allows even his bravest deeds to overshadow the fear bubbling inside Brody's stomach.

When he finally does step into action, it isn't because he's keen on facing down the beast that continues to haunt his sleepy little township, it's because his two sons (who have aged abnormally quickly in three years, but no matter) are trapped within the tour de force that is the film's second half. After a firmly suspenseful and understated build-up, the frenzied pace of the lengthy climax is a welcome shift, packing as many bits of shark mayhem into 40 minutes as possible. While many will shirk at the idea of our perhaps unreasonably intelligent shark pulling a helicopter down into the sea, even moments like these are handled with utmost care, and they are certainly not as silly as they would have come across in lesser hands.

Again, only the familiarity of the carnage dilutes its impact, and seeing Eddie dragged in dreadful fashion across the surface while his girlfriend looks on in helpless horror, we still get the same charge of squeamish delight drawn forward by the ground-breaking effects of the original. By making teenagers the central items on the shark's menu this time out, it's obvious the film has demographics in mind, but Jaws 2 is far too slickly made, well-paced, and splendidly-plotted to be a mere slasher film at sea. As the dwindling survivors drift aimlessly on their decimated water-crafts, their myriad expressions of despair and fright are realistic and relatable, because as we saw with the disparate, quibbling personalities of Quint, Hooper, and Brody in the first film, fear does different things to different people.

Perhaps that's the key here. The original Jaws wasn't really about a shark, it was about human beings facing terror beyond imagination. Jaws 2 keeps this point in mind, and while the titular teeth are certainly factored in more prominently this time out, the themes of the original are well-upheld.

So, they couldn't top the original. But, in terms of continuing on after an impossible act to follow, this sequel succeeds more admirably than perhaps any other film in its predicament. The very fact that it's not insulting to its audience is a triumph in itself, and considering the abysmal franchise that followed it, Jaws 2 is almost genius in comparison.

Give this one another look, and a fair chance, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at what you discover.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A good film , extremely under rated.

8/10
Author: michaellaing71 from United Kingdom
27 June 2009

I could Jaws as being one of my favourite movies. Its character and script are of the highest quality. Watching Jaws 2 is interesting. Althuogh I don't think Jaws 2 is quite as exciting I do think that it is a exceptionally good film and if it wasn't a sequel would be much more highly rated.

The story is similar in certain ways to the first whilst just being different enough to the first to make it interesting. It is much more a like a slasher film with the shark (even giving the shark a deformity). Even having the teenagers as victims. I think the acting is generally good Roy Scbieder is particularly good as a policeman at on the edge. The rest of the cast hold up well and I rarely found the teens in the film annoying.

Jeannot Szwarc does a good job, keeping the style of the film similar to the first film. The cinematography is of a very high standard and editing again works very well. John Williams reworking of the original theme works extremely well coming in at just the right moments. The only slightly silly part is the helicopter but even then I think it is forgivable and done well.

Jaws 2 in my mind a extremely good film. It does pretty much everything right and has been treated rather badly by people on this site.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

What a spectacular sequel to the original classic chiller, Jaws!

8/10
Author: maxnsam05 from United States
29 October 2007

Roy Schieder reprises his role as Chief of Police, Martin Brody. It has been 4 years ever since the first great white shark infiltrated Amityville's waters. Now, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the terror continues! As new vacationers that have moved into Amity Island begin disappearing in an all-two familiar fashion. Only one man knows the truth. A second great white has got its hands of Chief Brody's sons, Sean and Michael, and their friends. With no way to get lifted out by helicopter or swim back to shore with their sailboats being brought down by the shark, Brody must now go after this great white on his own and ensure the rescue of every single kid who's left abandoned into the open ocean holding pen of the shark. Jaws waits...

8/10

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