Amity Island is again terrorized by an enormous shark, which
Chief Brody desperately tries to stop before more people die.
Jaws 2 (1978)
Directed by Jeannot Szwarc
Written by Carl Gottlieb and Howard Sackler
Starring Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton,
Joseph Mascolo, Jeffrey Kramer, Mark Gruner, Gary Springer,
Ann Dusenberry, Donna Wilkes, David Elliott, Marc Gilpin
Sequel to 1975's Jaws
Based on characters created by Peter Benchley
Jaws is a benchmark in the horror genre. For over forty years, the film has made people afraid to go to the beach and it continues to terrify new generations of horror fans to this day. Its three sequels, however, are a different story. Having not yet seen Jaws 3 and Jaws: The Revenge, I can't make assumptions, though I've heard they're both absolute garbage. I'd heard the same about Jaws 2, so I figured it was time to finally check these bad sequels out for myself. I found Jaws 2 to be an enjoyable continuation of the franchise and a fairly decent movie, much to my surprise.
When a second monstrous great white shark attacks Amity Island, Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) is the only one trying to stop it. A lot of this film's conflict is copied from the first one, with the mayor refusing to close the beaches yet again and Brody going overboard in the name of safety. What helps this film venture into unfamiliar territory is its third act, which sees a group of teens (including Brody's sons) trapped at sea with the shark circling their capsized sailboats. This entire scene would later inspire films like The Shallows and Open Water, as it's tense as hell and features some impressive practical effects. I mean, for crying out loud, the shark brings down a helicopter. Who doesn't enjoy seeing that?
Jaws 2 never comes close to replicating the lightning in a bottle that was the first film. Its characters are bland and forgettable and its plot is more or less recycled from the original. But John Williams returns to score it and the shark effects still look pretty damn scary. As its own film, Jaws 2 isn't half bad and deserves another look.