This will lead somewhere special shortly. You’ll understand when we get there.
Suffice it to say that it wasn’t just some wild whim that overtook me to watch Jaws 2 finally. There was a purpose to it. I chose this, though, and all that came with it.
I’ll spare you the usual preamble as this is really just an overture to a larger performance piece wherein I finally saw all of the sequels to Steven Spielberg’s genre-defining, summer-movie-changing masterpiece.
Do I need to bother telling you that this review was originally entered on my Letterboxd account? I feel like we know each other well enough now that you should realize that. You should also realize that sometimes I expand and correct things from there, but you’ll just have to read them both to discover if that’s true this time!
What I Thought of Jaws 2, the First Sequel to Jaws
I accepted an invitation from a friend to finally, after a lifetime of avoiding it, to watch Jaws 2. I had a faint memory of having seen the ending on TV when I was a kid, but I’d never consciously watched it.
I have now, and I’m prepared to give you my thoughts. I have no idea if these reviews are read by anyone, or if this will be another forgotten journal lost in the morass of digital noise.
It’s not good.
Jaws 2 completely misunderstands what made Jaws so special, and instead attempts to construct a horror movie with a thin plot, cheap characters, and questionable premise. It’s not about the characters this time, it’s about the scares and blood.
[Insert: My friend mentioned below, B-Shea, offers a spirited defense of this film as an unrecognized cornerstone to the Slasher genre. Usually Halloween is recognized as the trailblazer in this regard, but it’s an interesting point. It certainly is more of a straightforward horror flick, as I acknowledge above. However, that doesn’t make it good.]
And boy, oh boy, it is not enough. There are a few sparking moments when Roy Scheider tries to carry the whole thing. But you can only ask so much of an actor when you surround him with bad material.
As a final note, it’s delightful they didn’t learn from Spielberg’s decision not to show much of the shark because it looked fake and shattered the illusion. Because…it looks fake and shatters the illusion.
Steer clear of this. And pray for me, as I promised to watch not just this, but Jaws 3 and Jaws: The Revenge. My friend is lucky I keep my word.
(I know you’re reading this, B-Shea. Or you will. Let my continuing to watch this series be a testament to how much I care and enjoy your friendship.)
[Insert: That’s the original ending to the review, and I’m leaving it in here because B-Shea deserves the shout out. As does Zach, because he’s my friend, too, as well as an avid Superman/Smallville fan, and I got to talk to him about Jaws 3-D and Jaws: The Revenge, too.)