Jaws The Revenge (This time it’s personal!) is a fucking stupid film. When the youngest of the Brody brothers dies in a shark attack whilst trying to clear some debris in the Amity marina, the rest of the family decide to go the Bahamas and get off the island and hopefully put behind them the threat of any shark encounters and enjoy Christmas away from any danger. After all, Great Whites do not like the warm tropical waters. But this is the fourth part to a franchise that has declined in quality so badly since the second film, that they’ve become a joke. So yes, the shark somehow pursues the remaining Brody’s all the way from Long Island, to the Caribbean.
The film has a paltry running time, not even clocking 90 minutes, but in a film so short, about a killer shark, there is actual very little carcharodon carcharias action. A lot of the film following the opening shark attack is just a lot of moping, family drama and Michael Caine being a chirpy cockney pilot. The shark is easily the least convincing of all the Jaws films, with it being so obviously animatronic and on rails it’s silly. When the shark does attack, it doesn’t really do a lot. There are minimal fatalities, it bites a boat at some point, plays a cat and mouse game with the one remaining Brody son and with two characters near the end presumed as lunch, suddenly reappear out of nowhere. There are some bizarre flash backs, even from the sharks perspective(!?), as well as Ellen Brody, having flash backs of events not even witnessed by her, but of isolated incidents involving the late Martin Brody. Stupidity aside, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Jaws sequels. And while this is probably the worst film, not just in the series but in general, it’s a good laugh with plenty in there to keep the fans of rubbish shark films happy. With it being set in the Bahamas, it obviously doesn’t feel very festive, but the opening is Christmassy enough.
Then there’s the ending. It’s ridiculous. Word has it, that Universal weren’t fans of two things: Their big star, Mario Van Peebles becoming shark food, and the shark’s demise, which originally was through being impaled. Now this wasn’t exciting enough for the studio, so the ending was changed to the most common of shark deaths, explosion on impact with a boat. Quite. I have seen the original ending when watching the film on TV, which does work very well considering the film, but these days you will probably only come across the more high impact version – I’m sure youtube will provide a comparison between the two. The budget had pretty much run out by this point, so with the miraculous reappearance of Van Peebles at the end, it’s more than obvious that it was not shot at sea and very poorly finished miniatures were used. Overall it’s rubbish, but it’s fun rubbish.