Jaws 2 (1978) – A worthy sequel

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Starring: Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Joseph Mascolo, Jeffrey C. Kramer, Collin Wilcox, Ann Dusenberry, Gary Rubin, Mark Gruner, Marc Gilpin, Herb Muller, and Barry Coe.

Directed By: Jeannot Szwarc.

Story: 

Four years after “Jaws”, a second great white shark emerges on the shores of Amity Island, leading to another series of death and disappearances. Police Chief Martin Brody returns and suspects that it’s another shark like before. But, also like last time, he has trouble once again convincing the town’s councilmen. But when a group of teenagers, including his two sons, encounter the shark during a sailing trip, Brody must act alone to save them.

Characters: 

*Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider): The protagonist who’s afraid to go in the water and knows nothing about sharks, well except this time he’s got some experience.

*Ellen Brody (Lorraine Gray): Martin’s wife.

*Mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton): The ignorant Mayor who ignored Martin’s warnings last time and hasn’t changed much since.

*Dr Elkins (Collin Wilcox): A marine biologist.

*Mike Brody (Mark Gruner): Martin’s older son who’s too lazy to find a summer job and would rather be out at sea.

*Sean Brody (Marc Gilpin): Martin’s younger son.

*Deputy Jeff Hendricks (Jeffrey C. Kramer): Martin’s partner in his shark investigations this time around.

Overall: 

“Jaws 2” became the highest-grossing sequel in the history of cinema back during its release in 1978, it even made the all-time top 25 box office list for over two decades. Not only is it one of the most financially successful sequels, it is the best “Jaws” sequel that you will come across. Following the success of the original “Jaws” in 1975, Steven Spielberg once said that making a sequel to anything is just a cheap carny trick, therefore he backed out of Part 2. Much like the original, the atmosphere was quite intense during filming, particularly between Roy Scheider and director Jeannot Szwarc, whom he often argued with.

While the casting of Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw are sorely missed here, the sequel does have many excellent things going for it that make it a worthwhile movie. However, I would have to say the most degrading thing about this film is the teenage cast of characters who get caught out in the ocean with the shark – Their irritating screams and archetypical personalities make for more than less sympathetic victims for those giant hungry teeth. I think the teenage cast was hugely influenced by the slasher film era of the late 70s which it was released in, but “Jaws” isn’t particularly in the same boat as “Halloween”, “Prom Night”, and “Friday The 13th”.

If you want a worthy and interesting follow-up to “Jaws”, see “Jaws 2”. Don’t pay attention to the sequels that follow after this – which just seem to do nothing but get worse and worse.

Rating: ***1/2

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