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Film Review: Jaws the Revenge (1987)


Chief Brody’s widow believes that her family is deliberately being targeted by another shark in search of revenge.


I’m sure that you’ve heard people complain about movies having unnecessary sequels, and you may have made that same gripe yourself. I know I have. If there’s ever a poster child for that sentiment, look no further than Jaws. While the original was a fantastic film, it pretty much did everything a person can with the concept of a killer shark movie. Everything else that tried to capitalize on the concept pretty much came across as just pale imitations, and no set of films were as guilty of that were the Jaws sequels themselves. The second movie was a borderline carbon copy of the original, and the third movie was just taking the same concept and placing it in a water park/Sea World type place. However, the franchise wasn’t done torturing audiences after number 3. It had a new low to reach, a whole new level of stupidity to unleash on an unexpecting public. It gave us Jaws: The Revenge.

How stupid can it get, you ask? Well, how’s this: Ellen Brody, the widow of our hero from the first two movies, loses one of her sons (now a sheriff himself) to a shark attack. She decides to get away from the tragedy by visiting her other son, who is a marine biologist living in the Bahamas. However, the great white shark that killed Ellen’s other son isn’t done with her yet, apparently harboring a vendetta against the Brody family. It follows her to the Bahamas and soon begins a rampage there.

You read that right. The movie is about a great white shark targeting one family, an idea so preposterous that I’m surprised the people making it wasn’t laughed out of Hollywood completely. There isn’t a hint of believability to the plot whatsoever. Everyone involved in this mess actually expects you to believe that a great white shark, a creature not capable of the same kind of thinking as a human, is somehow capable of harboring a grudge, recognize members of a specific family, and then be able to track one of them all the way from New England to the Bahamas. We’re offered no explanations to how it’s able to accomplish such a feat, nor are we told why it’s seeking revenge on the Brody clan.  Is it because Sheriff Brody killed two great whites in the first couple of movies? Is the shark secretly named Inigo Montoya, the Brodies killed his father, so they must prepare to die?

Seriously, someone help me understand how anyone in their right minds thought this was a good idea for a movie. Please, because I’m at an utter loss for how a major studio truly thought this wasn’t an utter turd from the word “go”. Wait, this is an industry that still gives Adam Sandler work, once thought Tom Green was funny, and tried to make Sam Worthington a thing. I think “Jaws: The Revenge” being made actually makes a kind of sense when viewed from that lens.

The revenge-seeking shark is just the tip of the iceberg that this Titanic failure of a movie plows into. There’s more stupidity to be had. Do you believe characters can have flashbacks to events they weren’t present for? If not, then you’ll have the same problem anyone with a working brain will have when Ellen Brody starts dong that very thing. Speaking of working brains, it’s easy to believe that none of the characters in the movies have one because they’re dog determined to make the dumbest decisions possible at all time. I also hope you’re a big fan of unresolved plotlines because that’s pretty much the majority of what you’ll get. It’s like the scriptwriters and director lacked the talent or competence to follow through on any of the story elements they tried to introduce. They also don’t seem to understand physics, like when a person is underwater and then climbs aboard a boat, their clothes will be wet. Makes you wonder if the director has the same limited intellect as this film’s characters.

There’s nothing really positive to say about this movie beyond the fact that Michael Caine is in it to collect a paycheck. He at least gives a pretty good performance, which is pretty much natural for him. Sadly, that’s like the only good thing I can bring myself to say about Jaws: The Revenge. I’m sure I could say more positive things, but that would require wasting more words on a film that doesn’t deserve it. It’s a movie that’s so stupid that it’s insulting, so I definitely can’t, in good conscience, recommend checking it out.

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