Jaws: The Revenge (1987) – or a last dip in the water for livewithfilm

21 Feb

Indulge livewithfilm once more. After working through the franchise, livewithfilm would have been disappointed in itself if it did not round off the series with a write up of this late eighties instalment. Obviously the glaring omission (shark bite?) in this blogging sequence remains Jaws 3D (1983). Whilst livewithfilm was only able to catch the latter hour of the third chapter in this shark series, it remains vivid in the memory for all the wrong reasons; the exceptionally rubber sea beasts, growling sharks and all, were only outdone by a performance from Dennis Quaid so stilted it must have been carved from the rocky sea bed itself. A truly diabolical and inadvertently hilarious film, Jaws 3D infused little optimism in livewithfilm as this blogger took the plunge for Jaws: The Revenge. Nevertheless, the surprising presence of Michael Cane (sporting a perm and thick knitwear no less) reassured this film fan: if anything, the fourth Jaws will be just as memorable as its predecessor.

When Ellen Brody’s (Lorraine Gary) son Sean is killed by a great white shark in the seas surrounding Amity, she begins to suspect that the aggressive breed of sea life is out for revenge after her family have offed so many of their kind before. To escape the supposed vendetta, Ellen is taken by her son Michael (Lance Guest) to his home in theBahamas. Meeting on the flight, Ellen and Hoagie (Michael Cane) begin to grow close in the sunny islands. However, whilst working (ominously) as a marine biologist, Michael is attacked by the same shark from Amity. Vowing to keep his mother in the dark, Michael decides to put an end to this shark with a grudge.

The central failure of Jaws: The Revenge, and there are many, is that the film seems to actively renounce it’s roots as a shark shocker. Whilst Spielberg’s original extended the compelling events outside of the water into the waiting maw of the great white, the fourth instalment rests the full weight of the film upon shallow relationships and meaningless waffle. Even the shark attacks remain surprisingly uneventful, the under water point of view shot managing to drag a slither of tension across from earlier instalments. Such frights therefore only remain in light of the earlier films, Jaws: The Revenge bringing nothing new to the blood soaked table: Jaws II held it’s own with the progressive audacity of its shark attacks (on fire, on water skis…) and even Jaws 3D was able to collapse the safety associated with dry land as its shark proved to have a face tougher than protective glass walls. It is a feat that even the ludicrous final sequence in which Ellen Brody decides to defeat her monster and suddenly realises she has no means of doing so, sits fittingly alongside this mess of a film. The less mentioned about the offensiveHollywood racial stereotyping and a pitiable Michael Cane performance the better.


One Response to “Jaws: The Revenge (1987) – or a last dip in the water for livewithfilm”


  1. Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) or livewithfilm goes back to what it knows best… « livewithfilm - November 8, 2012

    […] wonders of the It’s Alive series or the ever diminishing rubber-toothed returns of Jaws II or IV: The Revenge? Whatever happened, livewithfilm could be safe in the knowledge that Michael Caine thankfully […]

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