When I first saw Jaws 2 I was 6 years old and I watched it when it was first shown on network TV. I loved it and I thought of it as a worthy sequel to the original. Would I feel the same as a 48-year-old?
Erm, no. Let’s get the obvious out of the way first (not that I really need to even write it)- Jaws 2 isn’t a patch on the original. When I’m asked what I think of as a perfect film, I instantly think of Jaws. And GoodFellas. And Bloodsucking Freaks.
Several of the original cast reappear and why wouldn’t they? They can now command top dollar for starring in a sequel to a film that was trouncing box office records at the time. Apparently lead star Scheider was unhappy about the film and was only cast so that he could get out of a three-picture deal he had at that time with the studio. Spielberg doesn’t direct but instead, Jeannot Szwarc takes over the mantle. Szwarc had directed the masterpiece Bug and would go on to direct another favourite of mine, Supergirl.
The plot- there’s another shark. That’s it. We have more opposition from Murray Hamilton’s mayor who still insists on placing dollars ahead of holidaymakers becoming potential shark chow. And Chief Brody still sounds deliriously paranoid when he tries to convince everyone that there’s now another shark.
It was like the filmmakers substituted the art and innovation of the original with even more extreme scenarios. Who would win if Jaws decided to take on a helicopter?! Guess the outcome.
But for all of its preposterous plot points, Jaws 2 is a solid hour and a half of entertainment. There’s a button in your head which has the words ‘Suspend Disbelief’ on it. Press that, grab the biggest bowl of popcorn and a few beers and Jaws 2 is a fun flick.
I love the fact that such a film should send the studios into overdrive regarding merchandise. There was even a Jaws 2 colouring book that was produced. Please try to colour within the lines of that severed arm.
2/5 stars out of 5