Well I wasn’t expecting much, and save from the surprising depiction of Brody’s paranoia, there really wasn’t much worth celebrating here. It surprised me that this otherwise empty B movie included this element of characterisation. That aside, the film lacks the energy, suspense and warmth that the original had and all though it was great that it kept most of the old cast back, I was missing Richard Dreyfuss all the way through this film. No new dynamic has been established between Brody and anyone else to replace the trio in Jaws, hell the focus really lies on a bunch of annoying and badly acted teenagers. And it was that replacement which was perhaps the film’s greatest mistake, no one wanted Jaws to be turned back to its B movie roots and have Quint and Hooper replaced with giggling/screaming teenage girls. It’s just not the same.
The shark often felt rather absent during large chunks of the film, and I don’t mean that I wanted to see more of the physical shark – hell there is way too much too on show already. I mean that in the first film, even during all the scenes where the shark didn’t show up, you could still feel his presence – a general unease, which was largely thanks to the power of that opening scene. You know I think I can feel a good movie in here somewhere, if it actually went with the depth that it flirts with we could have had a poignant tale about Brody struggling on and truly dealing with his mental scars. Or just deal with the past quickly and efficiently as Aliens does with Ripley’s introductory scene and then give us a more developed Brody, with some sort of alternative twist on his goal. Basically just use Aliens as your template for any sequel.
It’s not a terrible B movie horror flick due to the more serious tone that it takes and it’s therefore not really one of those films with a ‘it’s so bad it’s good’ title either. Really it’s only worth seeing for Jaws fan’s who, for curiosity’s sake want to see the movie Jaws may have been, if we hadn’t of been so lucky the first time around.
Pretty great tag line though wasn’t it: ‘Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…’