Is ‘Jaws: The Revenge’ Really That Awful?

Chris Savage

For years I heard that Joseph Sargent’s Jaws: The Revenge is one of the worst movies ever made. It has made countless “Worst Of” lists, received a slew of negative reviews such as, “Jaws: The Revenge may very well be the dullest and most pointless sequel ever made.” [Common Sense Media] and “This film is one of the most egregious belly-flops in recent cinema.” [Empire]

And of course, I never watched it. Just wouldn’t. Every time I’d see it sitting on a shelf somewhere or more commonly in the ‘Bargain Bin,’ I’d pass it up. I mean, I was led to believe this was the biggest cinematic turd since the beginning of time. If I was to watch this my eyes would implode from the travesty displayed before me.

And guess what? I watched it.

Is it as awful as many say? Nope. I thought it was a fun movie, very much a B-movie, but a lot of fun all the same.

Sure, the plot is a little… Okay, quite a bit all over the place. We have a shark with a vendetta against an entire family. A shark that can not only swim into warm waters but one that can also swim over 1,000 miles in a couple of days. And then there are the slew of inconsistencies and the shark roaring like a lion.

Jaws the Revenge

But, I had fun. You have Ellen Brody personally seeking out this shark. She may or may not possess some kind of telepathy as she often stands there, motionless, staring into the great beyond as the shark makes an attack as well as seeing visions of the past that she wasn’t a witness too.

So, perhaps there is a little supernatural element to the film. Maybe Ellen and the shark are entwined somehow which would suggest why she could see into the past and why the shark made its arrival to the Bahamas in record time due to having some otherworldly abilities. Just look at Jason from the Friday the 13th movies, that sucker just keeps coming back even though the teens have fled half way across the mountainside, but there he is, just chillin’.

And of course there is the shark effects. I can’t believe that the effects in this were so heavily panned. Sure, you can occasionally see the mechanisms of the shark, but so what. Compared to some of the CGI-mess that we see in the slew of shark movies today, I’d much prefer to see the latter. And what if, what if it was intentional? Maybe the shark was really mechanical all this time and someone was pulling the strings. Perhaps they had a vendetta of their own against the Brody family and/or Amity Island? Highly unlikely but it could explain the speed of the shark.

So, back to the effects. The shark looked killer. It looked like it could eat an entire island and come back for seconds and what about the nightmarish Banana-boat scene. That scene alone looked terrifying with those kids left helpless as the shark leaped out of the ocean with its intent to devour them all. And what about the scene with Sean Brody? I thought that was awesome with his arm being ripped out from his socket like that. Didn’t expect it at all. Or maybe I’m just a little naive.

Jaws the Revenge Banana

And what about this. Michael freakin’ Caine. The dude that has starred in a slew of classic films, as well as being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II stars Jaws: The Revenge, and his character Hoagie is such a blast with such quotes as; “Maybe it [the shark] had a heart attack. Too much fatty food. Humans are full of cholesterol, you know!”

The ending, as I’m sure you are all aware of was changed from Ellen mortally wounding shark with Mike’s boat to the scene where the thing freakin’ explodes before our very eyes with Jake somehow still alive. Sure it’s far-fetched but so is the rest of the movie and that’s why I love it. It’s like a slasher movie but with a shark that sort of resembles a cross between Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers.Jaws the Revenge Ending

Look. I’m not here to tell anyone what to like or not like. I’m just suggesting that the film doesn’t deserve a lot of the negativity it receives and has received. There are far worse movies than this. But then again, who am I to say what’s watchable or unwatchable?

And I’ll just leave with this, a quote from Michael Caine; “I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.”


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      1. Mark August 7, 2018 at 6:40 pm

        I agree its a fun movie. If it didn’t have to live up to the Jaws name maybe people might have treated it a little different. Just like Halloween III with the Halloween franchise.

      2. Stanley Rutgers August 7, 2018 at 8:28 pm

        Oh, no no no no. Jaws 4 and Halloween III are not even in the same conversation. It’s okay to compare Jaws 4 to Halloween IV and all the tripe that came after it, but Halloween III is a fascinating attempt to do something unique with the franchise that the masses were just too dumb to understand.

      3. Dan Lacey September 29, 2018 at 7:19 am

        I think it’s better than Jaws 3D, Lance Guest’s beard alone deserves mention and it has major flaws but I’ve always enjoyed it for what it is. My main complaint was always that it could never be bettered by its opening scene with Sean, which is brilliant. I saw a TV edit a year or two ago where the shark didn’t explode and Mario Van Peebles stayed dead, much better for it.