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*** 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.
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.
JAWS 2 has always been a strange sequel for me to rate. My first encounter with this much-anticipated followup to the classic original came at a Drive-In back in 1978. At the time I was 16 and a huge fan of the first movie, having seen it several times back when I was only 13. With a carload of teenagers around my own age, we took the summer drive one evening and watched the new sequel. I was greatly disappointed at the time realizing, even at that young an age, that this was an uninspired cash-in with no real story and a quickly contrived plot to utilize a group of know-it-all kids who are on a carefree sailing trip only to become fish food for the newest Great White shark. Subsequent viewings on home video never improved things that much, though I always maintained that Roy Scheider was exceptional in his return role as Chief Brody.
Well, time has been kinder to JAWS 2 for me lately, and I've come to enjoy it enough on its own terms, even though it pales greatly in comparison to Steven Spielberg's classic. It's still got a weak script, and it's still contrived, but I've come to give the "teen bait" angle more of a free pass. I used to say that JAWS 2 and its teenage victim scenario was too much like a cheap slasher film cop-out, in the vein of a Friday THE 13th flick or something along those lines -- Take a group of irritating kids - throw 'em out there as fodder for the killer, and tally up the body count. But recently I got to thinking that when you really analyze it, the now-formulaic slasherfests were not even around when JAWS 2 made its theatrical debut. Even the first HALLOWEEN (the one that started it all) didn't come out until four months after JAWS 2's June '78 premiere - in October of the same year.
A few years have passed since the last picture. Chief Brody is still on the job as sheriff at Amity Island, married to Lorraine Gary. Brody hears about two missing divers, and later two women who vanished during some sort of water skiing mishap. When he sees the chewed remains of a giant killer whale washed ashore, the chief feels a gnawing sense of deja vu and suspects he's got a second Great White on his hands. Retrieving the divers' camera at the bottom of the ocean and developing its film, Brody comes up with a photograph of bubbles and what appears to be the black eye of a killer shark.
Once again he confronts Mayor Murray Hamilton (also back from part one) about his hunch, but is dismissed as paranoid. Brody's anxieties come to a head when he fires his gun on a crowded public beach, shooting up a school of bluefish he mistakes for a Great White. He then finds himself without a job and with two missing sons who have taken it upon themselves to go sailing with a group of other young friends against dad's orders. Way out on the ocean, the teenagers are being terrorized by this latest man-eater. Their tiny sailboats are getting smashed and at least one of their friends gets devoured. Even when a friendly helicopter pilot sets down to help out he finds his own aircraft being bitten and pulled under the surface where he meets his doom. It seems like all hope is lost until daddy Brody shows up in a stolen police boat and lures the shark to bite down on an electric power cable which puts a fiery finish on this dashed-off chapter of the JAWS saga.
The real assets to the film are director Jeannot Szwarc (who inherited it when original director John Hancock retreated) and returning star Roy Scheider. As director, Szwarc does a capable job with the script he's got, making many scenes much more interesting than they otherwise might have been. Scheider had recently walked off THE DEER HUNTER and Universal agreed to forget about it if the actor would do the Jaws sequel. Once the studio offered to count this film as two for Roy, he reluctantly agreed. He gives a very good performance despite his misgivings for the project, and he's extremely effective as a tormented man at odds.
The biggest problem with JAWS 2 is its script. While the whole business about Brody's nervous obsession is involving, little else is, really. Reportedly, Steven Spielberg and JAWS star Richard Dreyfuss wanted to participate, but they were committed to further work on CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. So rather than wait it out, Universal wanted to go ahead with the sequel at any cost and what the price turned out to be was a great story. As it turned out, we got the aforementioned "teens in peril" approach, with a film aimed at a younger audience. JAWS 2 is not without merit; some of the shark sequences are well staged, and one scene that is especially chilling features Ann Dusenberry as a terrified teen found cowering inside her tiny boat after her boyfriend has just been eaten by the shark; it sends shivers down the spine. Yet the film just can't compete with the awesome power of the original, and in particular the marvels provided through the conflicting characterizations from Scheider, Dreyfuss and Shaw. **1/2 out of ****
I love this movie, just like I loved the first one. This movie rocks. Growing up on the same street as the ocean, smelling the ocean air, the movie takes me back to being young. Not caring, worrying about anything, but just having fun. Just like the boys and girls who just cared about having fun on the ocean riding the waves in their boats. It reminded me of my friends. I LOVE THIS MOVIE. I LOVE THIS MOVIE. I LOVE THIS MOVIE. I LOVE THIS MOVIE. I LOVE THIS MOVIE.
After Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" came out as it open to critically acclaimed reviews, and making a sensational success at the box- office, a sequel was made and many people were split by this movie. So, the movie takes place after the first one as another great white shark attacks more people on Amity Island, while Martin Brody comes back as he has to go through the trouble again in order to kill the shark as he tries to save the people from being attacked. I understand that the movie doesn't have the same magic as the first one, but it works as its own animal. How can I be so sure? Because the movie isn't trying to be a carbon-copy of the first movie, and surely trying not copying its success. I know this movie did well at the box-office, but not as sensational as the first one and it did at least made enough a decent profit. I will admit that the movie does have some problems. I really do appreciate that movie is trying to be different, but it kind of slow some things down a bit as we kind of get so many scenes with the teenagers as they go parasailing, and wish they cut some scenes out for a bit. Also, the teenagers aren't really as interesting as the three main characters from the first one. I mean they're okay and so is there acting being okay, but they at least to their credit tried their best on how to survive, and try not to let the shark get to them as they are being stranded out by sea. While the one girl name Jackie that is being stranded with the group, doesn't help much as she keeps on screaming and getting hysterical at times; she is played by Donna Wilkes, but I'm not saying that her acting is bad nor against of being scared by a shark which its understandable, but can't she stop freaking out so much and learn how to be strong a bit like what the other teenagers were doing? That is just me, personally. With that said, the movie does have some good acting for Lorraine Gary and Murray Hamilton as they reprise their role from the first one, but the best one in the movie is Roy Scheider for reprising his role and given out the best performance that he is ever given. You root for him as he tries to deal with the shark, and doesn't intend to go through that problem again. Unfortunately, the people wouldn't trust him or help out which it now makes Brody to be the only one that handles with this kind of situation. The story itself is fine for what it is, and nothing more that I can say about. The direction by Jeannot Szwarc does a decent job on directing the movie. He may not be Spielberg, but he is at least a capable director on making this sequel decent. Of course, John Williams comes back from the first one and he really does a great job with the music as the music acts on its own, and not rehashing some of the same music that has already been done before. The shark itself is just as good as it was from the first one, and really do like the look of it where parts of its' face burns off like as if it were either Freddy Krueger or Two-Face. Also, still doing the same mixture of practical effects and real life shark footage by Ron and Valerie Taylor. The movie does deliver some good parts that are quite suspenseful like the scene, where the teenagers are trying to get Mike Brody out of the water as the shark tries to get him. So that is how much I can say about "Jaws 2," and I really don't think it deserves a bad rep. At least, with that kind of rating it gets on IMDb. I'm not say make the rating higher than the first, but at least give it a decent rating. Also, its nowhere near as bad as the other "Jaws" sequels had. For my suggestion, I say give this one another look while compare to the other two sequels as how bad they are instead of this one. Again, it doesn't have the same magic as the first, but it at least works on its own. I enjoy "Jaws 2" for what it is, and I give an 8 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
SPOILER WARNING the first sequel of the Jaws series is just ridiculous...... first, the idea of another killer shark appearing in THE SAME island is of course not believable......second, any sequel or imitation to Jaws would never cause the same impact as the original, and of course, this one doesn't at all......it's just too stupid........ third, the shark in this film is shown with a huge scar on it's head to make it scarier(!)....please!!!...........this first sequel is the first one to ruin the original Jaws movie.....but just a little bit compared to the next ones..........why did they ever make sequels to such a great movie???? ** out of 5
It doesn't get much worse than this...
Throughout watching this film I got the constant feeling that the script was being made up on the spot...perhaps the actors wrote it day by day 10 minutes before filming.
Jaws worked because between the meaty bits, ie the shark scenes, there was a jelly holding it together that worked. There was an interesting 3 way dynamic between engaging characters played out by excellent actors. Here we have arrant idiocy acted out by, what I assume to be random kids they pulled off the street. Bleuwch!!
This should have a much lower rating.
I was 13 when this clunker came out and saw it at
the new indoor theatre in my hometown in Penna.
I highly anticipated it and had loved the original Jaws so much
im sure alot of you couldn't wait to see it .Welcome back Roy Scheider ,Lorraine Gary and Murray Hamilton. But sorely missing are Shaw and Dreyfuss. Shaw had passed away anyway and Dreyfuss moved on to the Goodbye Girl -another wonderful movie. When scenes are on land movie really stinks . It degenerated into a teen slasher movie like feel. As Friday the 13th kicked off the slasher movie craze.I think the makers of Jaws2 tried to cash in on that . I always have liked Roy Scheider but he shouldve passed on it as Dreyfuss did. Lorraine Gary was wasted as was Murray Hamilton . It did have the same feel as Jaws as far as the location settings but that was it . Stick with the original. Man i wished the shark had eaten all those winey teenagers. Even the 2 who played Brodys kids were annoying . And by the way how come if this was only 3 years after the events in Jaws were Mike and Sean so much older . Sean was only 5 and Mike 10 in the original .They look alot more than 3 years older in the sequel.
Surely one of the worst sequels of all time. Leave out everything worthwhile in the original movie (the great chemistry between the three main characters, the genuine suspense, the great chase scenes, the original ideas, etc), keep one of the main characters, hire a couple of no-talent scriptwriters, make the shark look ten times more artificial, and this is roughly what you get. No wonder Spielberg was appalled.
this movie is quite good,in my estimation.it doesn't differ much from the original,but i think it has more suspense and intensity.this movie really had my adrenaline flowing and my heart pumping.being a sequel,obviously it would have less impact than the first one.as entertainment,think it is better than than the first one.it does not have the flaw that the first one had,at least i don't think so.also,we get to see the shark more.i like the story a bit better too.i think a lot of people automatically give lower rating to a sequel,just because it is a sequel.many people believe sequel could never outdo it original,particularly if the original has the impact that the original "Jaws" had.i don't happen to agree with that point of view.when i say,i think "Jaws 2" is better than "Jaws"i am not minimizing "Jaws's impact. i think Jaws was a brilliant film,but for me,its sequel is slightly better.For me,"Jaws 2" is a very strong 9/10
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