Stop Eating While Swimming!: ‘Jaws 2’ Retrospective
Original Movie Poster
First time I saw this movie I had no idea what I was looking at. I was told that it was Jaws, but I saw the ending which was completely different than the first film. Years later I found that it was indeed Jaws, but the sequel. The film is called Jaws 2, which came out in 1978 and was directed by Jeannot Szwarc.
The film’s plot sees another large great white shark appear to stalk and terrorize the waters of Amity Island. Initially a mystery as to why people are being murdered, Chief Brody quickly realizes what the cause is. Eventually he prepares himself to deal with another shark situation.
The plot is somewhat obscured as it raises questions. Shouldn’t the people of Amity suspect shark attacks since they recently dealt with one? Where did this second shark come from? Was this shark related to the previous one? Is the shark seeking revenge for the first one?
A couple of other plots are in the film, such as the grand opening of a new hotel, along with shenanigans involving people out at sea. However, those plots go nowhere. The main plot that the film centers on is the teens out to sea attempting to survive the shark’s assault, and Brody attempting to convince the Amity council that another shark is here.
Roy Scheider reprises his role as Chief Martin Brody, as does Lorraine Gary as Brody's wife. Their sons, Mike and Sean, are played by Mark Gruner and Marc Gilpin respectively. Murray Hamilton also reprises his role as Mayor Larry Vaughn. There are other characters but they don’t really have lasting impacts.
The shark itself, which was nicknamed Brucette behind the scenes, was shown much more than Bruce from the first. The shark is also more malevolent that Bruce, actively hunting people in vicious ways. The original film states the shark is at Amity because it claimed the waters as its territory. The fact that a second shark of similar size appears is never addressed, except for a minor line that implies revenge for the first shark’s death.
Overall, I can honestly say that this is the best of the Jaws sequels. It doesn’t have as much as an impact as the original but it has some good moments with the shark. It really shines during the final act which follows the teens and ends with a spectacular finale. However, Jaws 2 does feel more like a teen slasher flick and isn’t as suspenseful as the original film. It’s worth checking out, even if it isn’t as memorable as its predecessor.
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