REVIEW: Jaws: The Revenge
Normally we don't review films that make it to the big screen, or ones that have Oscar winners in them, but Jaws:The Revenge is an exception that must clearly break that rule.
The fourth film in the Jaws franchise, Jaws: The Revenge personifies the Guttenberg Principle as none of the original cast except for Lorraine Gary has returned to reprise their roles. Unless you count a photo of Chief Brody hanging in the police station. Jaws: The Revenge also completely ignores the 1983 smash hit Jaws 3,(which was in 3-D. Remember our early 80's love affair with this state-of-the-art technology? Don't worry, we will remind you very soon!) which on paper was a brilliant on idea, however in execution it was so poor that if they ever make Jaws 5, they will have to ignore this one too.
Jaws: The Revenge starts off quickly as a young Sean Brody, who is following in his father's footsteps, and is now a deputy of the Amityville Sheriff's Department, has met his match as crisis strikes during this holiday season.... a channel buoy is hung up on a floating log! Who will rescue it? Deputy Brody is on the job, because a tangled channel bouy must be addressed immediately, even on Christmas night. As Deputy Brody frees the buoy a great white shark (hidden below the log, a clever trap setup up by this evil fish and one of the oldest tricks in the book...everyone knows the great white under the floating log gag....but this guys a New Englander so cut him some slack) frees Brody of his arm. Screaming and wailing like a pussy (not that I would be very cool in that situation), the shark eventually tips the boat, sends young Brody overboard and feasts upon him. Que the blood pumps.
Now I'm no Icthyologist but I'm pretty sure sharks are not fond of cold water, especialy Nantucket waters approaching near freezing temperatures during the holiday season. Suspend disbelief.
What follows is scene after scene of Ellen Brody breaking down and crying. Lorraine Gary does such a compelling job of portraying sadness that I can only assume that she was thinking about her movie career during these moments.
At this point, you'd think the Brody family would migrate to Wisconsin, but no, at the urging of her oldest son Michael Brody (brilliantly portrayed by Lance Guest of Superman and The Last Starfighter fame), she moves down to the Caribbean to join his wife and daugher. Smart move, no shark could ever get to you and your loved ones on a tropical island....and thus the plot begins to take shape. This shark that attacked Sean, was apparently related to the shark and or sharks from Jaws 3, oh sorry Jaws 2, since we are ignoring Jaws 3. The attack on Sean was just the first step in a revenge plot against the Brody family!
In the Caribbean, we see Michael Brody, back to work as a marine biologist (studying the migration of conches....could you find a less interesting sea creature to study?) along with his partner Jake (played by the star of Highlander 3, Mario Van Peebles....Van is for Vantastic!) when suddenly the shark surfaces and tries to attack Michael. Jake immediately dismisses his original field work (good move) to begin tagging and tracking the shark (this introduces for the first time, the shark cam, which involves technology that will probably be available in a decade or so).
Meanwhile, Ellen Brody is still crying. Inbetween her bouts of depression she meets the charismatic, drunk pilot Hoagie (played by 2 time Oscar winner Michael Caine...i know, i know...I'm sure he doesn't know why he was in this movie either) who expertly tries to romance her out of her clothing (but thankfully doesn't, no need to show these two raisins bumping uglies).
The turning point of the film, is when the shark (able to sniff out Brody DNA) attacks young Thea Brody (perhaps the most annoying young actress ever prior to the arrival of Dakota Fanning) daughther of Michael (son of Jor-El) and granddaughter of Ellen Brody. Fortnately she is ok and the shark just kills an extra. Suspend disbelief.
Realizing that this shark will never leave her family alone unless she faces it (or Hollywood stops funding this shit) Ellen Brody steals her son's research ship and heads out to sea to meet her nemesis. Her concerned family and friends, Michael, Jake, and Hoagie take to the air to find her. Locating the boat, and the shark in close pursuit they land / crash the plane in an attempt to save her. The shark is immediately on the crippled aircraft. Michael and Jake manage to escape to saftey, but Hoagie appears to be trapped in the plane by the shark. The plane explodes. Devestated by the passing of her friend Ellen cries. This is the "I am your father" moment of this movie, and proves that Michael Caine is indestructible. As his friends mourn their loss, Hoagie reappears on the side of the boat. Stunned by his remarkable survival skills, they ask how he made it, and he quickly and clearly explains his escape by saying "It wasn't easy!" Well done Mike!
The three form a plan to kill the shark while Ellen weeps, by tagging the shark with a unique strobe / tracker thing they stole from the set of Star Trek. Heroically depositing the tracker along with his entire body, Jake is taken under by the shark. Ellen cries. Now able to make the shark breach at will, they turn the ships bow towards the shark, hit the strobe button, blah blah blah, shark's midsection is impaled on the front of the boat. Suspend disbelief. Suspend disbelief.
Now just when you thought the surprises were over, this one lands across your face like the back of your drunk uncle's hand. Wimpering, grunting and floating along side the boat is Jake. Not to be outdone by Michael Caine's invinciblity, Mario Van Peeble's is equally shark proof. I can only imagine these two in the casting room...."you aren't killing my character!" "Well my character isn't gonna die either then!". Suspend disbelief.
This movie is no where near our Top 5 worst, but it does illustrate a terrific example of how to piss away millions of dollars. Perhaps I am just bitter, because I was one of 3 assholes who actually saw this mess on the big screen. Perhaps. But now, revenge is mine. By the way, if you don't want the ending of this movie spoiled, don't read the last 4 paragraphs of this review.
Hamlin Grade : 2
Somewhere, Ellen is still crying.
Timothy Dalton is the one true James Bond,