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Movie Review: "Jaws: The Revenge" (1987)

Updated on January 20, 2012
The 'Jaws' shark enters the museum of shame in this sequel.
The 'Jaws' shark enters the museum of shame in this sequel. | Source

The fourth film in any franchise carries with it just as much of a curse as the third entry. While there are exceptions for "Part 3s" (i.e. "Die Hard With A Vengeance"), I can't say there are any exceptions for "Part 4s". And "Jaws: The Revenge" does nothing to change that fact of cinematic history. There's so much wrong with "Jaws: The Revenge" that the film might as well be a bad case of food poisoning.

Before this one came out, "Jaws 3D" used to be the least likable one, but this fourth film makes the third one seem far more likable. Let's be honest, "Jaws 3D" had its share of problems too, but at least that one tried to be different. It had the cool underwater aquarium setting, making way for some interesting action set pieces like huge-glass breaking and flood during the finale -- You know, the one that "Deep Blue Sea" copied from. But like I said, it had its own set of problems.

However, "Jaws: The Revenge" completely ignores the third film. In "Jaws 3D", Martin's son, Michael, is all grown up and working at an underwater aquarium. In "Jaws: The Revenge", he's a marine biologist. It's not pretty far-fetched to have his character quit the aquarium and enroll in marine biology, but that's not the angle they went for in this one.

1. The Revenge?

Why is this fourth "Jaws" movie subtitled "The Revenge"? What revenge? I don't think this applies to the protagonist, Ellen Brody, because her husband wasn't killed by a shark, he suffered from a heart attack. So that's out. Does the shark want revenge? Unfortunately, it appears that is the angle here in this movie.

Well, excuse me, I had no idea sharks could experience feelings of vengeance. What does this shark want revenge for? Is this shark the offspring of the sharks from the previous "Jaws" movies? I'm sure this shark knows the name "Brody" pretty well then. These must be some pretty intelligent sharks, did director Joseph Sargeant time travel to the future and read a draft of "Deep Blue Sea"? Speaking of intelligent sharks...

2. Super Shark

In "Jaws: The Revenge", it appears that the shark can now set traps, as we learn from the opening kill scene. It uses a log to block a buoy in order to lure Sean Brody out to sea in order to kill him. Then when the rest of the Brody family decides to go to the Bahamas, the stupid shark follows them. Really? I mean really? Yes, really, the same shark follows them all the way from New York to the Bahamas in less than three days. This is the biggest warning sign of this movie sucking, right off the bat.

3. Ellen Brody or Ellen Ripley?

Either it's me or Ellen Brody was cloned with shark DNA because she somehow can sense whenever the shark is around. At least in "Alien: Resurrection", they tried to explain Ripley 8's alien sense by having her cloned from when she had the Queen inside of her, not that it makes any sense but still, there is no attempt to explain Ellen's shark sense in "Jaws: The Revenge".

Following Sean's death in the beginning, Ellen tells Michael "It waited all this time and it came for him". Huh? What? So the shark waited 20 years or whatever for the boys to grow up so that it could attack them? Sounds pretty retarded, if you ask me. And then there's another scene where she's at her friend's art party on the beach, she senses the shark in the ocean right before it attacks. I don't think the screenwriter of this film can decide whether this woman is Ellen Brody or Ellen Ripley.

4. Random Things That Make No Sense

  • Ellen continuously has flashbacks of scenes from the original "Jaws" movie, scenes in which she was not involved in (i.e. Martin playing peek-a-boo at the dinner table with young Michael; the finale where Martin kills the shark).
  • Sharks cannot float or roar like in this movie. Once again, we're dealing with a 'super shark'.
  • So there's one scene where the shark appears out of nowhere in the water, then it dives right back in and there just happens to be blood surrounding it even though it didn't take a bite out of anybody.
  • Either Ellen is very stupid and naive or she's really looking for trouble. Why would she go to the Bahamas when it is so obvious that she is more than likely to run into more sharks there? It's akin to sleeping under a bee-hive in the woods when it's a definite that you're going to get stung eventually.
  • During the big dumb finale on the boat, one of the characters is hanging from the ship's bowsprit and gets snatched by the shark. After the shark is killed moments later, the character is found to be still alive with no teeth marks on his chest. Okay...

5. What Should Have Been Done

This is very simple. The solution to "Jaws: The Revenge" was either never making the film in the first place and leaving it at "Jaws 3-D" or adapting "Deep Blue Sea" into the fourth "Jaws" film (which wouldn't have been too hard to do anyway).


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    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 6 years ago

      Actually, you forgot about the fourth Star Trek movie, "Star Trek: The Voyage Home", as that's still hailed as arguably one of the best in the original series of movies, and I think it was the highest grossing one featuring the original cast. Therefore, that goes to show you that there has been an exception in the past when it came to fourth films in a franchise. :)

      As for this film, I tend to agree with Husky that I think they should of just better stopped after the first movie. Besides, how many sequels can you possibly make with a killer shark anyway, and still have it come out good? It's the same thing with the "Exorcist" too. It had a great first film, so why on Earth would you try to make a sequel to it? Ugh.

      Anyway, keep up the good work anyway.

      By the way, I want to see you review, "Star Wars: The Holiday Special", as I'd be very curious to see what you'll say about that abomination. Hell, even George Lucas admits to being personally ashamed of that one, and this is the guy that's still proud of such garbage creations like "Howard the Duck" and "Jar Jar Binks." lol.

    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 6 years ago from The Garden State

      I actually saw "Jaws: The Revenge" in a theatre back in '87. Judging from its famously meager box office take I think I am one of only a few dozen people who can make that claim. It was mostly awful, but I enjoyed it in a "so bad it's good" kind of way.

      I read somewhere years ago that even though he starred in it, Michael Caine claims to have never seen the finished movie...but he sez "I have seen the house that it paid for, and it's fabulous."

    • profile image

      Husky1970 6 years ago

      Jaws 1 was a classic and the very best. It should have been left at that with no sequel necessary. Being from Martha's Vineyard, I can still relate to the tremendous impact of Jaws 1. We have had recent events held that are a result of that movie. There is a tremendous following for the original movie. I agree completely with the conclusions you make in this hub. Voted up.