Jaws 2 (1978)
“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…”
Jaws 2 (1978)
Director: Jeannot Szwarc
Cast: Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton
Synopsis: Police chief Brody must protect the citizens of Amity after a second monstrous shark begins terrorizing the waters.
As you’d expect, this sequel to Steven Spielberg’s trailblazing blockbuster is pretty much a remake of the original: a shark attacks some luckless souls without anyone but Chief Brody (Roy Scheider – Marathon Man, All That Jazz) realising what’s going on so that, once again, lives are put at stake for the sake of commerce at Amity Island – which surely must be the unluckiest place on earth.
There’s little to distinguish this from other 1970s monster, other than the fact that its production values are considerably higher. To be honest, the teenage fashions – and there are a lot of teens in peril in this one – and mad hairstyles are occasionally more frightening than that rubber shark they wheeled out from the first film. There was a reason Spielberg only gave us occasional glimpses of his monster in the first film – it wasn’t very realistic and looked exactly like what is was, a poorly constructed prop. In the original, one of the biggest frights came when a decapitated head bobbed out from a sunken boat; in this one we get a charred corpse washing over Roy Scheider. It’s diminished effect pretty much sums up the comparative qualities of the two films. Scheider’s character looks as if he’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown – so much so, in fact, that you can almost understand the greedy town councillors choosing not to believe his insistence that it’s all happening again.
Plus points are few, even though the film is reasonably entertaining, but there is one suspenseful moment when a girl anxiously waits to discover whether she is to be the shark’s next victim after it has munched down on her luckless boyfriend just as they were about to get down to a little grown-up business. Always remember, kids: sex equals death…
(Reviewed 2nd March 2012)