Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
Caine Jumps the Shark
Come and get me, you son of a bitch! - Ellen
When it comes to the "Jaws" movies I honestly thought that "Jaws 3" was bad but "Jaws: the Revenge" surpasses it in the ranks of being terrible. Although I have to say that thankfully the use of 3D which was major issue in "Jaws 3" has been binned and so we don't have to suffer the undeniable misery of fake 3D effects. But the storyline in "Jaws: the Revenge" is wrong in pretty much every way especially with Ellen Brody returning and believing that the shark is hunting her down and looking to kill off all her family, doesn't she remember that her husband killed the first two sharks. Anyway that is just one in a long list of major issues which also includes the action, special effects and the lack of suspense which makes "Jaws: the Revenge" so bad that I hope they never try and resuscitate the franchise with another movie.
Despite her husband Martin having died of a heart attack, Ellen Brody (Lorraine Gary) still lives on Amity where her youngest son has followed in his dad's footsteps and become part of the police force. But when he is killed in a shark attack it throws Ellen into a state of paranoia believing that the shark has some vendetta against her and her family. Agreeing to spend Christmas with her son Michael (Lance Guest) at his home in the Bahamas she still believes that the shark is after her. And it seems she isn't wrong because out of nowhere a Shark arrives causing major problems for Michael who now works as a marine biologist.
One of the biggest issue with "Jaws: the Revenge" is that it basically rewrites history or at least ignores it and at the same time ignores the laws of real life. So after an intro which sees Ellen's youngest son killed by a shark, his screams masked by a choir singing Christmas carols, she gets it into her head that the shark has a vendetta against her and her family. It gets even worse when she is talked into spending Christmas in the Bahamas with Michael and his family because she has this sixth sense feeling that the shark is on its way, hunting her down. There is no disguising the fact that it's totally preposterous and whilst I suppose imaginative you really have to suspend your belief to try and watch "Jaws: the Revenge" without laughing at just the story let alone anything else.
And to be frank that is just one of the major problems which blights "Jaws: the Revenge" because you also have Ellen suffering flashbacks to past events which include her late husband Martin killing a shark, but wait how can she have a flashback to that when she wasn't even there. Even more miserable is when the shark shows up and Michael comes face to face with it, here we have a guy whose teenage years were blighted by shark devastation, his job at Seaworld in Florida was also blighted by shark problems and you would think he would be wary of them. But nope what do you do when a shark comes up to your boat, carry on doing your job as a marine biologist and dive down to the sea bed to tag sea crustaceans despite the very evident danger. I'm sorry but it is all so very wrong as is the subplot surrounding Ellen falling for the flirtatious pilot Hoagie causing Michael to become jealous. It's a subplot which feels tagged on with no real purpose other than to fill time and Michael's jealousy issues as does this romantic subplot never come to closure as they should.
It doesn't get any better when it comes to the action, suspense and those shark effects because "Jaws: the Revenge" scores low in every area. Thankfully the dodgy 3D effects have been dumped but the fake-ness of the shark is terrible especially when it launches itself towards a boat, it makes the shark in the original "Jaws" look real. And the actual shark attacks are as ridiculous as the storyline going so far over the top that it goes beyond being laughable. It is so tempting to spoil a few surprises because they are so bad but let's just say that the writers must have been reading their bibles and taking special notice of Jonah and the Whale when they came up with certain action driven story elements.
As for the acting well lets just say that there is only one performance which manages to rise above the cheesiness of "Jaws: the Revenge" and it's most certainly not Michael Caine as Hoagie, nope it is Lorraine Gary who returns as Ellen Brody. Whilst the whole story surrounding her believing that the shark is after her, which leads to her expectedly going after the shark is terrible, Gary does manage to deliver the hysterical fear of a woman suffering from shark paranoia. There are a couple of nice scenes where it's just Ellen staring at the ocean and the fear she delivers is spot on, just a shame then that everything else about the movie is so bad.
What this all boils down to is that "Jaws: the Revenge" is the worst movie in the franchise which I didn't think was possible after "Jaws 3". The issue is that the storyline is simply ridiculous with the whole shark tracking Ellen down and the fact it ignores the laws of real life makes it even worse. I just hope that this truly has been the last "Jaws" movie we see because I would hate to think of another one, be it a sequel or remake, which would be even worse than this.
Tags: Shark Movies
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