Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Jaws: The Revenge

Cinema Monolith: 1/10 The Monolith
IMDb: 2.9/10
Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide: *½ out of 4

Released on July 17, 1987
Rated PG-13
89 minutes

Directed by Joseph Sargent

Written by Michael de Guzman

Cast: Lorraine Gary, Lance Guest, Michael Caine, Mario Van Peebles, Karen Young, Judith Barsi, Mitchell Anderson, Lynn Whitfield, Cedric Scott, Charles Bowleg, Lee Fierro, Fritzi Jane Courtney, Cyprian R. Dube

Just so we’re clear on this: I didn’t want to see Jaws: The Revenge when it was first released, I’ve never had a desire to watch it at any time since its release, and I never, ever wanted it sitting on my shelf at home, in any format. But duty eventually called, and when I decided to have a fourth and final Jaws Month here at the Monolith, I figured it was necessary for me to write a review for the fourth and final film in the Jaws franchise as well.

Lorraine Gary returns to the series as Ellen Brody, now the widow of Amity chief of police Martin Brody and still living on Amity Island, along with her grown son Sean. When Sean is killed by a great white shark, she flies to the Bahamas following the funeral to be with her oldest son, Mike, and soon discovers the same great white has followed her there, apparently intent on killing her and anyone connected to the Brody family. After several close calls with the shark, Ellen takes a sailboat to sea in an attempt to kill the beast herself, and save what’s left of her family.

Soooo, let me get this straight: the shark in Jaws was destroyed, the shark in Jaws 2 was electrocuted, and the sharks in Jaws 3-D were killed in ways I’ve already forgotten…but this time around, one of them wants revenge? They’re all dead! Is it the ghost of a shark, or a pissed-off friend or relative of a shark? Since none of the sharks were literally named ‘Jaws’, maybe the title isn’t exactly referencing its revenge. Maybe it’s the chief’s wife looking for vengeance, or the movie itself looking for vengeance against Jaws 3-D, which supposedly does not exist in this particular Jaws universe.

Well, at least we have an answer as to why I never bothered with this one: it’s bad. Really, really bad. In fact, it’s messed up in so many ways—both big and small—that it would take me three full reviews just to discuss it all. There were no signs of quality, enthusiasm, or creativity anywhere: the story was so far-fetched it was laughable, the editing was choppy and rendered shots incomprehensible, the shark looked like it was made of gray styrofoam, and worst of all, the story referenced so many moments from the original Jaws—and used actual shots and scenes from the original Jaws—that I’m surprised somebody didn’t sue somebody for plagiarism.

But enough of my griping; what did I like about it? Not much, I’m afraid. I enjoyed Lance Guest as Mike (I liked him in The Last Starfighter as well), and his character was the only one worth respecting or caring about…especially since Gary spent most of the film pushing Ellen far off the deep end. Location filming in the Bahamas made for some pleasant backdrops, and as ridiculous as it was to have a Jaws movie set during Christmas, I did like the small-town atmosphere of Amity at night, all warm and festive for the holidays. And special thanks should go to Michael Caine, for bringing some I-don’t-give-a-shit levity to the role of Hoagie, the pilot. Otherwise, that was it.

I was tempted to award this thing a 2-star rating, but I remembered I’d given Jaws 3-D two stars, and Jaws: The Revenge is no Jaws 3-D (especially with no Lea Thompson in sight), so it gets saddled with a 1/10, as well as seven Golden Raspberry nominations. But how about an honorary half-star for Caine, who to me delivered the greatest post-filming quote of all time, and summarized the end result perfectly: “I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.”  (1/10)

14 comments on “Jaws: The Revenge

  1. LOL. and again, LOL. Shocked you finally gave this thing a go. It’s absolutely one of the worst sequels on record and if I’m not mistaken, Caine never made it to the Oscars to pick up his Award for Hannah and Her Sisters cause he was stuck on location for this drivel. If I continue here, this comment will be longer than your post as I could continue a rant here for quite some time. Who knows, maybe I’ll write one up myself. But if I do I’ll have to also watch Jaws 3 and cover it having done the first two films. Then again as you point out, it’s a different Universe.

    • Todd B
      7/15/18

      Yes, Caine was stuck doing re-shoots for the new international cut of the ending, and missed getting his Oscar in person. I’d like to see your take on the final two Jaws films, so my advice is: watch ’em and review ’em ASAP! And I agree: this was one of the worst – and most pointless – sequels ever.

  2. Dracula
    7/15/18

    This was on one of the cable channels the other night, glad I didn’t waste my time with it, plus Naked and Afraid was on!

    Are you going to the opening of The Meg on August 10th?

    • Todd B
      7/15/18

      See now, if you’d watched Jaws: The Revenge instead of some show about topless women, we could’ve had a fun, educational discussion about it. And I don’t know about opening night, but I am kinda interested in The Meg; I like Jason Statham, plus I’m curious to see how many parallels there are to the original Jaws.

  3. I can’t believe Joseph Sargent made two of my favorite movies, Colossus: The Forbin Project and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. How did the carnage of Jaws 4 get so bad from a guy who knew how to make a good suspenseful movie! I remember reading something along the lines of (I can’t recall the actual quote) that when Michael Caine was asked why he signed on he replied, “well it bought my second house.”

    Haha such a great post Todd, is this the first Cinema Monolith 1/10? I saw it such a long time ago. But after getting Doctor Zaius to perform one of his famous lobotomies, I luckily can’t recall the misery!

    • Doh! Should of read the whole post before commenting. You got the Caine quote right at the end. Perfect. “I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.”

      • Todd B
        7/16/18

        My first thought was, “Omigod, he’s not reading my reviews!” But thank heavens you clarified…I was ready to send my Monolith ninja squad to the UK to do some serious damage. (Well, since Zaius got to you first, I guess I’d have to say MORE serious damage!)

      • LOL Monolith Ninja Squad hehe… It would be an epic battle, I’ve started drinking heavy so to utilise my Jackie Chan Drunken Master fighting style. Well that’s what I’ve told the missus, drinking to defend the wolf lair. I think she’s on to me though as I use it on a daily basis! hic hic burp

      • Todd B
        7/18/18

        Indeed, the battle will be of epic proportions, and will be duly documented in an 18-part Ken Burns retrospective. And I, too, shall begin drinking heavily to prepare for this battle, to best utilize my Foster Brooks Drunken Entertainer style of combat.

      • Hilarious hehehe I just watched the Foster Brooks Brain Surgeon bar scene with Dean Martin. So funny. I didn’t know him, brilliant, I will be watching more 🙂

      • Todd B
        7/21/18

        Ha, I just watched it as well…I’d forgotten how well he played a drunk. I seem to remember he appeared on Johnny Carson quite a bit back then.

    • Todd B
      7/16/18

      I love The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, and I’ve always thought Sargent did such an awesome job directing that one. So, as you mentioned, how did he devolve into making something like Jaws: The Revenge? I don’t know, but it no doubt took its toll physically and mentally, because it was the last theatrical film he ever directed (and the last that Lorraine Gary ever acted in).

      And no, not the first CM 1/10…it was actually the twelfth, joining such greats as The Creeping Terror, Glen or Glenda, Hudson Hawk, Mac and Me, She-Devils on Wheels, and They Saved Hitler’s Brain. And as Charlton Heston once said to Zaius about you: “You cut up his brain, you bloody baboon!”

      • Next time I’m out drinking with the dwarves of the Iron Hills I will be sure to get them to forge you a grand badge as commendation to your bravery to services in film. Taking one for the team on 12 occasions. Sir I salute you.

      • Todd B
        7/18/18

        I am honored and am humbled by your commendation…I will wear the badge with pride. Please thank your drinking buddies for their hard work; I am now emboldened to watch more 1- and 0-rated films.

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