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Jaws 2
2 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Jeannot Szwarc

Written By:
Carl Gottlieb, Howard Sackler

Cast:
Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Jeffrey Kramer, Collin Wilcox Paxton, Keith Gordon, Joseph Mascolo, Joseph Mascolo

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Jaws 2 (1978)
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Movie Review by Jarrod
December 18th, 2007

'Jaws 2' is a largely unnecessary sequel, released three years after the original Spielberg blockbuster, a thrilling and well-acted film about a killer shark terrorizing a small resort town called Amity. It duplicates the plot, and reuses many of the same locations, and even brings back some of the same characters, most importantly, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), who once again finds that he must slay another monstrous great white that enjoys feeding on hapless humans. Richard Dreyfus doesn't return, but you have Lorraine Gary as Brody's wife and Murray Hamilton as the mayor, who still stubbornly refuses to close the beaches. Brody is a bit paranoid and on edge, he watches the water closely, and overreacts when he spots a shadowy image that ends up being a school of fish. He waves a gun and fires some bullets, scaring the large crowd of onlookers. Eventually, he loses his job. His son, Mike (Mark Gruner), goes sailing with a group of friends, despite his father's cautionary advice, and Brody's youngest son, Sean, tags along. They all get stranded near an old lighthouse, as the shark pursues them and attacks them. This sends Brody out into the ocean to take down the beast and rescue his children. 'Jaws 2' is competently made, with a strong performance from Scheider, but the shark appears earlier and more often, kills more people, essentially it loses everything that made it scary in the first movie, where we wondered how big it was, and even what it looked like. Now we know all of these things, and the shark itself looks more or less the same.

The scenes that occur on land are much less interesting than those that take place at sea. The last 35 minutes or so are very well-done, as Brody searches for Mike and his friends, and as Mike and the others are tormented by the large, hungry predator that can tear their boats to pieces. Director Jeannot Szwarc is no substitute for Steven Spielberg, but he does the best he can, and the familiar John Williams music is still effective at generating suspense at critical moments. The movie did extremely well at the box office, and its tagline is one of the most famous in film history. Compared to what followed it, it is a masterpiece.

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