I'm not exactly sure how a film crew would even GO ABOUT making a worse film than the three-dimensional abortion that was Jaws 3-D
, but lo and behold: Jaws the Revenge
, a film that would make perfect sense in every way...if sharks and humans had a telepathic link and could read each others minds at will, that is. Nah!! Even then, this movie would be the pinnacle of all things inane. It's sad to even see the WORD "Jaws" on films this inexcusably stupid.
Roy Scheider said "No, and get off my land!" to Part 3, and I'm guessing he was pretty damn grateful after all was said and done. The money-leech producers of Part 4 seemingly wanted to point the series back onto Amity island in some way. Once again, Roy Scheider laughed in their faces. Yeah, Roy! So someone found Lorraine Gary's phone number to see if she was busy. Gary had made a name for herself - somewhat - after appearing in the original Jaws
; prior to being cast in Jaws: The Revenge
, she hadn't worked in eight years. (Gary was also wife to the CEO of Universal Pictures; you do the math.) OK, so the script offers a sketchy explanation how our beloved Chief Brody was killed in a gelatin accident or some such nonsense, and we have a middle-aged single mother to anchor our thoroughly unwanted sequel to.
If you think back to the original masterpiece and its fairly enjoyable sequel, you'll remember that the Brodys have two sons. I say "have" in that there are two sons when this movie opens, and one promptly becomes shark food. Now the conveniently-dead Chief Brody and his irritating widow "had" two sons, the still-living one played by The Last Starfighter himself, Lance Guest. Lance pretends to be a marine biologist, and he's not particularly good at it. After Son #1 gets all chomped up (enjoy it; this early carnage represents precisely one HALF of the body count in this "killer man-eating shark" epic), Mama Brody hightails it from Martha's Vineyard to the warm beaches of the Bahamas. She's just SICK of killer sharks being in her LIFE already! OFF to the Bahamas with 'er! Wouldn't you know the goddam shark follows her? Seriously. And not only does the shark know how to get from New York to the Bahamas, but it's driven by revenge. That makes sense. A fish with a brain the size of a large apple is not only able to find specific countries, but seeks to avenge the sharks killed in prior movies. Either screenwriter Michael De Guzman had knowledge of some ultra-genius marine life, or he was just smoking crack when he came up with this concept. This crap wouldn't fly in a comic-book written by acid freaks, let alone a "major" motion picture! It's stunning and sad to see how far this series has fallen from the original Jaws to this worthless dreck. The suck of each successive film tripled with every new incarnation. Mario Van Peebles is in this movie. I point this out only as a public service, in case you somehow thought that Jaws: The Revenge was some lightweight entry into the Bad Movie Hall of Filthy Shame. What can be said for an actor who can't even be eaten by a shark convincingly? Nothing, so let's move on. I clearly remember watching the Oscars back when Michael Caine won for Hannah and Her Sisters. He was unable to accept one of the finest compliments an actor can ever receive ... because he wasn't there. He was in the Bahamas filming scenes with the last starfighter, his boss's wife, Mario freakin' Van Peebles, and a big cardboard shark that - more than anything - most resembles an insane artist's papier-mache rendition of Charle the Tuna giving birth. Caine's done miles and miles of great work in the movies, yet that wacky fruit will always get poked for parading his chubby gut in and out of Jaws: The Revenge. As long as I'm still alive, anyway. (All reports indicate that Michael Caine signs on for specific films based solely on the catering budget.) Hmmm, the shark. What a sharky shark we have in Jaws: The Revenge. I mentioned the homing beacons and telepathy and super-intelligence, but there's more. This shark can tread water on his back flippy thing. Yeah, like a dolphin. Imagine that. Also, the shark seems to have no problem capering about in the warm waters of the Bahamas, despite the fact that actual Great Whites could never survive such a climate. (My assumption is that this plot gape came courtesy of the "I'll be in it if you pay for my entire vacation including 24-hour buffet" clause in Mr. Caine's contract.) Plus there's an almost surreal fakeness to the shark that doesn't lend itself well to quality filmmaking. That old SNL bit with Chevy Chase as the land shark did a better job of approximating shark-like proportions. Shit, a yellow post-it note with the word SHARK written on it with some squiggly water lines would be more convincing than the submerged Halloween costume on display throughout this retarded movie. Joseph Sargent directed this movie. That's about all I can comment on the directorial "style" of Jaws: The Revenge. All I saw was a bunch of redundant dream sequences, random moments of slow-motion-for-no-reason, totally illogical flashbacks (to better movies), blurry footage of the world's rubberiest shark toy, and more than one scene featuring Michael Caine with no shirt on. I counted two actual shark victims...three if you pretend that Van Peebles doesn't pop up through the water's surface at the last minute. I like to pretend he didn't pop up. If this movie were a person, you'd pat him on the back and wish him luck in the Special Olympics. On the plus side, you can get the DVD for like 4 bucks, which is about what I'd pay for a round, plastic ass-scratcher. You've got your BAD movies, and that covers a whole lotta ground. But then you have those jaws-agape, eye-widening, hilariously bad "What the HELL were those greedy idiots thinkin'?" movies, and this screamingly inept flotsam ranks right near the top - or it is bottom? I'm not sure, but there's simply no reason why another living human should ever find themselves watching Jaws: The Revenge. Ever. Spielberg should have sued for 'breach of earth-shattering stupidity'.
(Review reprinted from eFilmCritic.com -- July 7, 2002)