Jaws: The Revenge
“Didin't the shark blow up?”
“If I can make out with Loraine Gary let the games begin!”
Jaws: The Revenge is the third sequel film in the Jaws franchise and considered by many to be the finest of the series. The return of Sheriff Brody and...um...well, Brody is killed off, but brothers Sean and Mike return. Actually Sean is killed off in the first few minutes and Mike doesn't appear until the last half of the film. Oh wait, there's Brody's wife! Man she was hot way back...oh yeah that was twenty years ago. Jesus, how old does that make her now?
...why don't we get off to the plot, which more then makes up for the slightly absent cast, I assure you.
As the film's title identifies, our legendary shark menace can hone in on blood from miles away- hundreds of miles in fact, notably alighting upon a particular target residing upon the shore. Did the Brody's simply leave a trail of chum from Martha's Vineyard to the Bahamas; perhaps Hoagie dropped it from his plane. Nevermind. Jaws in his ravenous hunger bore that vehicle to the seafloor.
Nevertheless, one can't help but gape at the sheer prowess of Spielberg's instrument of cinematic horror. Jaws defies the fallibility of such creatures as Dracula, slain by the heart-driven steak, the Wolfman, silenced by a silvered bullet, or even the impermeable blob, suspended in frosty animation. Not only can the sea's greatest killing machine withstand being blown up, electrocuted, and blown up yet again while striking fear into tourists at a local SeaWorld, he rises once more to exact revenge upon his land-based nemeses, the indefatigable Brodys. It's no wonder that he now exhibits a tendency to roar, lavish the warm Caribbean waters, an alien and inhospitable environment for a great white, as well as spontaneously explode after leaping twenty feet from a water depth of less than ten, having been impaled upon a wooden prow.
Yet, Jaws: The Revenge deserves as yet unaccounted-for credit. The extraordinarily large prehistoric beast fortunately lacks the imbued twenty-five cent arcade qualities of the shark of Dennis Quaid and Bess Armstrong. We, as an audience, are allowed to view retro Jaws in his classic fury, striking fear into beachgoers and boaters, young and old alike. Furthermore, we see genuine character development in the interactions between the adult Michael Brody and his young daughter.
Unfortunately, who lies out on the sofa to watch a Jaws film that depicts human character as opposed to human casualties? How can a horror/thriller genre sport sappy relationships and love-making welders? Therein lies the inherent flaw of Jaws: The Revenge. Take a hint from South Park- if you've got to kill the main character every installment, produce a comedy. Don't straddle a blunt line between frightening, fruity, and downright ridiculous.
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