A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 522 – Jaws 2

Jaws 2 – August 4th, 2011

After watching Jaws last year we decided we should perhaps buy the sequels for the next year’s Shark Week. And lo and behold, it’s the next year’s Shark Week now and so we’re watching the thoroughly pointless sequel to a movie that never really needed one (but ended up getting three). I admit, this is sort of my fault. I have some rather tame childhood memories of the third movie so we decided to get that but then it seemed silly not to get the second and fourth movies if we were getting the third. So now we’re watching this. And yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous.

I think my major issue with this movie isn’t really that it’s bad, it’s that it’s mediocre. There’s nothing revolutionary here. There’s no attempt to do anything different aside from have lots of teenagers involved. The plot is almost identical in shape to the first movie. Until the end, which is sadly lacking. You’ve got Chief Brody, again played by Roy Scheider, and you’ve got a great white shark snacking on people in the water just off the shores of Amity Island. You’ve got Brody warning the town’s authorities that there’s a shark and you’ve got the authorities deciding to err on the side of money and not warn the tourists. And you’ve got a climactic battle between man and shark. Without as much climax.

Honestly, I’m not sure what to say about this movie. The plot isn’t any more complicated than I just explained. Sure, there’s some drama because of the teens but ultimately the movie is a rehash. I don’t particularly mind the whole teenager subplot, it’s just not terribly engrossing. I’m certain it was added in order to try and attract a teenage audience. Whereas the first movie’s focus was on Chief Brody and Matt Hooper and the two of them being bound and determined to convince everyone of the danger, then to take out the shark. The people in danger weren’t the people we were paying attention to. So the introduction of Brody’s kids and the group of teens makes sense on two fronts. I just don’t think it did much in the end.

To make the movie’s shark attacks more personal, we spend a lot of time with elder son, Mike, who’s 17 and wants to go out sailing with his friends. When his father suspects there’s a shark in the area he grounds Mike, gets him a job and tells him to take his boat out of the water. Of course, being 17 and having a group of friends who’ve all grown up on an island, sailing and boating and whatnot, Mike eventually sneaks out, taking his little brother Sean with him. And it’s pretty obvious what’s going to happen there, isn’t it? After several attacks on other people and all that ominous music, it’s just a matter of time before the shark goes after the group of teens out enjoying their summers.

There’s nothing really unpredictable about this movie. It’s going through the motions of the first one with a few nods to the timeline and no real innovation. Brody gets fired when he won’t back down from his convictions about the supposed shark attacks but he ends up taking the police boat out anyhow. It doesn’t end up mattering. Nothing that’s supposed to matter in this movie ends up having much effect on anything. There’s a scientist who shows up when a killer whale is beached with lots of injuries and Brody talks at her about great white shark bite radii and then she leaves and nothing ever comes of the conversation. He tries to reach his old pal but his old pal was busy filming another movie so nothing ever comes of him either. It’s a movie full of loose ends and aborted plot points.

It just feels like a nothing of a movie. I’m struggling to find more to say about it because this feels so short to me after several reviews of crappier movies were so much longer. But the crappier movies at least had things to talk about. Like I said, this is mediocre. It wasn’t trying to be as good as the first and it wasn’t trying to break free of it either. It was trying to cash in on the same market and pull in some teens at the same time. I will say that I rather like the teens in this movie. They’re a little rebellious, sure, but they’re not obnoxious or rude or mean. They’re teens. And they’re fairly savvy when it comes to how to handle themselves after they get attacked by the shark. I was pleased to see a few of them remaining relatively cool headed and getting the others to help lash their damaged boats and catamarans together for more stability. But that’s about all I have to say about them. A few of them are doomed, of course, because this is a shark attack movie. But there’s just no real terror here. The ending is distinctly anticlimactic and I found myself hoping that Chief Brody decided to retire somewhere inland where all he has to worry about is land sharks posing as Candygrams.


August 4, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , ,

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