Even the first Jaws couldn’t be accused of documentary levels of realism; sharks rarely grow to that size, aren’t that smart and don’t go up like an oil refinery when you shoot an air tank in it’s mouth; but compared to the humourless lunacy of Jaws: The Revenge you could slap a David Attenborough voice over on Spielberg’s opus and you’d be good to go.
The third (and thankfully final) of ever worsening sequels surely plumbs the depths deeper than any Jaws film before it by asking it’s audience to calmly accept that this latest in a line of ever aggressive Carcharodon carcharias can essentially put a hit out on the beleaguered Brody family like aquatic Max Cady. Jaws: The Revenge bites, but for all the wrong reasons.
After youngest son Sean is murder-eaten just of the shore of Amity on Christmas Eve (apparently sharks are big on irony too), Ellen Brody, mother and widow to the town’s former shark slayer, goes to the Bahamas to be with her eldest son, Michael, to grieve. Michael, no longer the Dennis Quaid shaped water park mechanic from Jaws 3 is now the Lance Guest shaped marine biologist who’s only defining traits are that he studies conch for a living and he regularly hangs out with Mario Van Peebles (desperately being consumed alive by his Jamaican accent). While there, Ellen bonds with her irritating granddaughter, is romanced by wiley pilot Hoagie (Michael Caine, obviously thinking about the house he’s gonna buy with his check) and attempts to work through her loss with some serious TV melodrama acting and shoulder pads that could choke a Megalodon, but unbeknownst to her the great white shark has somehow followed her there (maybe he tailed her at the airport) and has fixed it’s sights on using it’s digestive tract to drastically shortening her Christmas card list.
We’ll ignore the fact that great whites can’t actually survive in warm waters (the film certainly does) and simply focus on how stunningly idiotic and glaringly boring this film is. The dialogue is frequently awful (“I’ve always wanted to make love to an angry welder!” is just one such clanger) and nothing happens for long, LONG periods of time where we, the audience, have nothing else to do except ponder on how old Lorraine Grey looks, how nice Michael Caine’s new house is going to be and how phoney the shark looks. Appearing to be a rubber muppet armed with gummy fangs and a serious case of palsy, our undersea villain roars like a lion despite the fact that sharks have no vocal chords, hangs in the air – mid-Jump – like a drunk blimp and turns out to be really, really bad at eating people.
The absolute nadir of the Jaws franchise – which is saying a LOT considering the ridiculous Jaws 3 is also up for contention – Jaws: The Revenge quite possibly is one of the worse films ever made, it’s black eyes, lifeless eyes, like a doll’s eyes perfectly mirroring our own as the boredom sets in.
Oh yeah, quick tip: if your Jaws film sucks donkey balls, maybe don’t put clips from a better Jaws film into your Jaws film, because it’s only gonna show off exactly how sucky your Jaws film really is…
A great white shart.