Up From the Depths Redux (Jaws 2, 1978)
When you beget the first summer blockbuster, the studio will want to get back to that gold mine. Of course, Steven Spielberg did not return…reports include production conflicts as he was working on Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Others report that he thought sequels were a joke. Close Encounters also prevented Dreyfuss from Returning.
However, much of the central cast did return. Set a few years after the first film, Brody is still the Chief of police. He is struggling with his teenage son Mike. And when there are some mysterious deaths, Brody jumps to his default…a big shark. Unsurprisingly, everyone tells him he is crazy…I mean, ANOTHER shark? Who is this guy? John McClane?!
Of course, it is a shark, another great white to be exact…and it falls on Brody to put an end to it.
Jaws 2 is not really terrible. It can be downright suspenseful in fact. There are moments of high drama. But in this film, there is no Quint or Matt Hooper for Martin to play off of. He gets support from his wife, but in the end, it is all on Brody’s shoulders to kill the shark.
The film skips the hiding of the shark as the director felt there was no way to duplicate the original film’s big reveal. And he is correct. But the shark in this film seems even more rubbery, especially noticeable in a scene where the shark barely misses Mike Brody and slides against the boat.
Jaws 2 is a decent attempt to follow up the original, but in the end, it more imitates it, with only limited success.
I do have one question…after the events of the first film…who the heck voted to keep Mayor Vaughn in charge of things????