Jaws The Revenge

August 13, 2010 at 1:50 am Leave a comment

Jaws The Revenge, the fourth in the Jaws series and easily the worst. This is a special occasion as this movie isn’t on You Tube or Hulu.  But it’s such a notorious movie that I have had requests for it and thus here I am.

The movie starts out promising enough. We catch up with the Brody family who are for the most part still on Amity Island, the exception being Michael who is in the Bahamas.  Sean has taken up the family business of law enforcement. Everything seems to be going well for the family. Although it’s odd that the police station would have a giant picture of Roy Scheider’s character from the previous movies. Sean gets called out on the water for routine call when he is attacked by Jaws. THE Jaws. The odds of members of the same family being attacked by the same shark are pretty slim but its only going to get worse from here.

Ellen Brody, the families matriarch is taking everything pretty hard. But then the movie takes a hilarious turn for the worse. Michael shows up for his brothers funeral. Ma Brody proclaims that the shark that previous attacked Amity had hunted down and killed Sean. Not only that, the shark is plotting after the entire family. She doesn’t want any of her family anywhere near water ever again. She goes so far to say that Martin Brody’s heart attack was caused by fear of the shark. Funny how he never seemed that scared of the shark in the other movies. So Michael decides the perfect cure for her mom’s jangled nerves is a trip to the Bahama’s. Yes, take the woman who is scared to death of being attack by a shark and put her on an island. Seems like Iowa would be a more suitable vacation destination. However, if that were the case then Jaws would have probably swam up the Mississippi River and attacked the family there.  Perhaps the most insane thing, she agrees to this vacation. Never mind that Sean’s would be wife is catatonic and in need of comfort. Just head off to the tropics. She’ll be fine.

So they fly to the Bahama’s and somehow, the shark has beaten them there! Somehow a shark was able to swim from Cape Cod to the Bahamas faster than a jet airplane. That is so completely absurd. They flat out say that Great White Sharks don’t swim in tropical waters. So pretty much the movie tells you this is all ridiculous. Where this movie really falls apart is the premise. Jaws The Revenge is just a stupid idea for a movie and the movie admits it. Great White Sharks don’t go to the Bahama’s. Sharks don’t stalk specific people. They eat, they swim, and they make baby shark. That’s it.  So whatever else happens is almost pointless because the audience knows what they are seeing is implausible. If the audience can’t suspend its disbelief and buy the premise of a movie, then you have lost the audience. Nothing else matters.

Oh, don’t worry, there is a lot more to criticize about Jaws The Revenge.  You get the feeling that at some point in the production, the film makers just gave up. As the movie progresses, the shark looks less and less real until the end when it looks almost cartoonish. Since the basic foundation of the movie is flawed, the structure starts to fall apart. Best analogy I have is it’s like a baseball with the seams coming off thrown from the outfield. By the time it reaches home plates, its completely fallen apart. Actions taken by actors become questionable. Motivations and emotions begin the blur. Any sense of dramatic tension gets lost because the movie was written backwards. Continuity and common sense start to fall apart.

Example, we need to see Mrs. Brody square off with the shark. Well, how do we get there? The shark isn’t going to come on land and she isn’t going out on the ocean. Even if she wanted to go after the shark, there is no way her son or Michael Caine are going to let her. So how do we resolve this issue? When her granddaughter is nearly attacked by the shark, she hijacks a boat, all by herself, and goes after the shark. The only reasonable explanation for this is that she is hysterical. The movie seems to suggest that she is quite clear minded though. Where did she learn how to operate a boat by herself? I don’t know the technical term but its pretty much identical to Robert Shaw’s boat from the first movie. I’m pretty sure a boat like that takes some skill to operate. At the very least, it takes some time to get going. However, she starts it up like its a car and takes off, by herself, after the shark. There’s no reason for her to do this. She doesn’t have any kind of plan. We know she is terrified of the shark. Even if in a moment of bravery she wants to confront the shark, what exactly is she going to do to it? There is no evidence that she has any shark fighting expertise. There isn’t even evidence that she is capable of driving a boat until she hijacks one.  So this leads Michael and the phony Jamacian tracking down Michael Caine’s character to fly out to where she is and the movies stirring conclusion.

But before we get to that, we have to talk about Michael Brody’s sidekick, Jake. Mario Van Peebles character has a phoney Jamaican accent, although he is playing a character from the Bahamas. I half expect him to say “Hooray Beer!” at any given moment. You could replace half his dialog with “Hooray Beer!” and it would make as much sense. The bad accent is really distracting. I think his role in the movie is to be Michael’s anchor to his life before the shark showed up. The problem is, whatever he says or does is negated by the fake accent.

What a lot of people remember is the absolutely absurd ending. It starts with Michael Caine crashing his plane into the water so the group can reconnect with Ellen Brody. Jaws attacks the plane and it looks like Michael Caine is done for. He is under the water for at least five minutes.  He was under the water with the remains of his busted plane and a bloodthirsty shark. Many minutes later he arrives back at the boat, without a scratch on him, and bone dry. For a guy who was just under the water for five minutes, he is completely dry. From there, Michael and Jake make a plan to use some kind of camera flashes to do something to the shark. It’s not exactly clear. So Jake gets out in front of the boat, just waiting for the shark to pop up. Once he does it looks hilariously bad. The sharks stands on his fin, as if he were Flipper, and nearly shallows Jake whole. Then it gets really trippy. The shark swims off to snack on Jake while Michael tries to use the flash device to give the shark epilepsy. Ellen starts flashing back to the previous part of the movie were Sean was eaten. Flashing back to something she wasn’t there to see, mind you. It gets better, she starts flashing back to Jaws 1, where Roy Schiender’s character is taking aim and Jaw and blowing him up with the rifle. Again, something she wasn’t there to see. But somehow she is flashing back to it. This inspires her to ram the boat into Jaws which causes the shark to explore. Did the shark eat a torpedo at some point while swimming down to the Bahama’s? There is no reason for the shark to explore. Jake’s flashing device could not have caused that. It was a flash bulb in a plastic tube. At best, it would have annoyed the shark. Ramming the boat into it couldn’t have caused the explosion. Perhaps it could have caused the shark to get skewered. But blow up? Maybe, just maybe she rammed it with the failing engines and that caused the explosion. But thats not what happens. The boat tips over and capsizes. And if you think that is ridiculous, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Everyone is swimming to boat pieces for safety, similar to Jaws 1. Jake swims up to the surface with hardly a scratch on him. Mind you, we saw him get bitten in half by the shark, more or less, and pulled underwater. He has been beneath the water for longer than Michael Caine was. But somehow he survived with hardly a scratch on him. He was pretty bloody but the blood washed off a lot in the water and it hardly looked like the shark did anything to him. He should be as good as dead but no, he is fine. This would been like if Quint were to swim to the surface after being devoured in the first Jaws. Not only would it have been unrealistic, it would have been stupid. And that’s what this ending was.  They simply threw their hands up and said ” We’re done! We quit! Whatever!” This ending is so hilariously bad.  It is a complete and utter failure.

There is so much wrong with this movie, I could write a book about it. I have seen far worse movies. But in terms of big budget, mainstream, Hollywood movies, this is incredibly poorly done. Mostly, it seems to be a problem with the writing. This couldn’t have been more phoned in. So many moments are lifted from the original Jaws that you will never catch all of them in one sitting. I hate when sequels do that. Its never done well. At best, referencing the previous movie only makes me wish I were watching that movie instead. They wanted to make another Jaws movie so they just slopped together a script that was somewhat reminiscent of the original Jaws, featuring whatever characters would agree to be in the movie, and somehow tried to make it all fit. For the film makers, this must have just been a good excuse for a Bahama’s vacation. This movie killed any chance for any more Jaws sequels, which is probably for the best.  Jaws The Revenge ends up being a laugh riot.  The ending alone is comedic gold for all the wrong reasons. I’d definately recommend this movie, just to see the ending and get a good laugh.


Entry filed under: Comedy, Horror. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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