Jaws the Revenge has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. Only a handful of films share this distinction. We’re talking about films like; Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser, Look Who’s Talking Now, etc. Is Jaws the Revenge as bad as those films? The answer is no. Jaws the Revenge isn’t even the worst Jaws movie. That distinction goes to the laughably cheesy Jaws 3-D. Though Jaws the Revenge is the most depressing. It’s depressing because it’s a desperate attempt to squeeze whatever’s left from the wrinkled teat of a once promising cash cow. It’s not as bad as everyone says, but that doesn’t justify its existence.
I remember seeing the opening scene of Jaws the Revenge as a boy on the USA Network. The film begins with the classic underwater POV shot with the Jaws theme (oddly absent from the third film) and we realize we are back on Amity Island. It’s Christmastime and we catch up with the Brody clan. This family has been in three severe shark-related incidents. Why don’t they move to the midwest?
Chief Brody is now dead from a heart attack leaving Ellen (Lorraine Gray) to live with her son Sean (Mitchell Anderson). Sean is a police officer on Amity and is sent to clear a log from a buoy. Is that really a job for the police? Anyways, he does and what happens? He gets Jawsed. This scene scared the hell out of me as a kid. Particularly, how they intercut it with a scene of a children’s chorus singing Christmas songs. That alone should boost the film above a 0%.
Ellen’s ocean biologist son Mike visits (formerly Dennis Quaid now Lance Guest) and decides to soothe her nerves with a trip to guess where? THE BAHAMAS! YEAH, LET’S GO TO SOMEWHERE THAT COULD ALSO HAVE SHARKS! Why not go somewhere SAFE for Christmas? What about Aspen or Whistler or anywhere without water? But they go and guess what? The shark follows. Naturally, through his research Mike deducts this is the same shark. Why a shark would travel thousands of miles to kill someone he’s never even met is beyond me.
But do you want to hear something else insane? Ellen has a psychic connection with the shark… Yeah, she can see what the shark sees. Like she has some kind of “shark sense.” Ridiculous, but without this, the movie would be 90 minutes of old people hanging out. Yeah, for most of the film’s runtime it’s just Ellen hanging out with her hunky pilot friend Hoagie (Michael Caine). Don’t ask me why his name is Hoagie because I don’t know. Did you know Michael Caine didn’t leave the set of Jaws the Revenge when he won his first oscar? It was because he was afraid if he left he wouldn’t have motivation to go back.
As we progress, we do see the shark near the end, almost too much. It looks crappy. A big rubber mess. The shark wages war against Ellen, Mike, Hoagie and Mike’s friend Jake (Mario Van Peebles) and they stab it and the film flashes to when Roy Scheider killed the first shark. It’s weird because they also do a remake with Mike and his daughter of the scene from the original film where Brody makes funny faces with his son. This film really wants you to remember how good the original film is, but it’s too far gone.
In conclusion, Jaws the Revenge isn’t all bad. The movie is mostly well made–albeit the shark. The music is good, the acting is fine, hell, there are a few good scares. The problem is all of the experimental stuff they threw in sucks. I don’t understand why they thought this would make money. Jaws 3-D had a gimmick and hot, young stars. This has old people going to luaus and shark telepathy. What were they thinking? Thank god they never went back in the water.