Jaws 2

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Jaws 2 Movie Poster Image
Unnecessary sequel has less plot, more peril and violence.
  • PG
  • 1978
  • 117 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No real positive messages in this movie. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

No characters emerge as positive role models. 

Violence

Unsurprisingly, there are shark attacks. The shark attacks a teen boy and a skier, and damages a boat and a helicopter. Teens are shown enduring tremendous peril and panic. A dead body is shown on shore. Gunfire. A beached whale, bloody with exposed entrails. A police chief shoots a gun into the ocean, thinking he is shooting at a great white shark but is actually only shooting at bluefish; this action causes a mass panic on the beach. 

Sex

References to sex, including "fooling around," and a girl being described as "having t-ts like a sparrow." 

Language

The expression "for Christ's sake" is used on numerous occasions. "Bulls--t." "Ass." "Damn." "Hell." A teen boy describes a teen girl as "having t-ts like a sparrow." 

Consumerism

A Holiday Inn is prominently featured. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teenage beer drinking. Adult characters drink cocktails at a party. Whiskey drinking. Cigarette smoking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jaws 2 is the 1978 follow-up to Jaws, which had once been the highest-grossing movie of all time. Just like the first Jaws, it almost goes without saying that there are shark attacks, only this one puts the teen characters as a whole in a lot more peril and panic than in the first one. There is some blood and gore in the attacks, and (spoiler alert) the shark is killed in dramatic fashion via electrocution. In terms of language, there is some mild profanity throughout, and it's worth mentioning that the phrase "for Christ's sake" is overused to the point where one can't help but notice the frequency in which it's used. There are also some teen shenanigans like drinking and sexual advances and boys talking about how a girl's breasts are comparable to a sparrow's. Chief Brody gets drunk after being relieved of duty. Cigarette smoking. Overall, this sequel doesn't really offer anything new, and whatever character development that was in the first one is forsaken in the interests of showing more scenes of a great white shark terrorizing teens.

User Reviews

Parent of a 10 and 13 year old Written bylisa s. November 10, 2017
Parent Written byMoviecriticdude101 January 22, 2018

no

bad and scarier then original rating PG-13 grade C-
Kid, 11 years old December 20, 2017

Eh

It’s kinda just boring and gets stupid. It’s practically people screaming and the ending is very underwhelming.
Kid, 11 years old December 28, 2017

Quite well, but more kids in peril

The Movie wasn't really as good, but it really keeps you on the edge of your toes. There were about 8 s**ts and besides that not much more profanity. But t... Continue reading

What's the story?

As Amity tries to recover from the fatal shark attacks of the recent past and bring back the tourists for the lucrative summer season, two scuba divers are attacked and killed by what would appear to be another great white shark in JAWS 2. This same shark attacks a water skier and causes the motorboat she was skiing behind to explode when the driver tries to defend herself from the shark with gasoline and a flare gun. And once again, the local authorities, with the exception of Chief Brody (Roy Scheider), refuse to believe that shark attacks are behind the fatalities in the water. They even go so far as to relieve Chief Brody of his duty when he causes a panic at the beach by shooting his gun at what he believes to be a shark but is actually a school of bluefish. Regardless, the shark attacks continue, and everything comes to a head when Brody's sons are trapped when they sneak off with their peers to float out into the water. They must find a way to fend off the killer shark as Brody tries to figure out a way to stop the shark and rescue all the trapped teens. 

Is it any good?

This sequel really brings nothing that the original Jaws didn't already have. The emphasis is far less on character development and far more on visual stimulation and horror movie violence, peril, and panic, especially among teens. JAWS 2 is an all-too-typical example of a sequel not being anywhere near as good as the original, something done more because it was a chance to continue the money-making of the first movie. 

The moments of story seem merely structured to either set up shark attacks, or to provide a temporary rest between said shark attacks. There's a sloppiness to the dialogue as well, the kind that would allow characters to use the phrase "for Christ's sake" so often, it's impossible to ignore. And with this relative lack of real story compared to the original Jaws, the cheesiness of the 1970s special effects -- especially with the shark itself -- come across much more than if the movie had been of a higher quality. It's an unnecessary sequel if there ever was one, and a harbinger of horrible Jaws sequels to come. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sequels like Jaws 2. Why are they made, and why are they almost always never as good as the original? 

  • How is the violence of a shark attack conveyed in the movie? Does the violence in these attacks seem necessary to the overall story, or does it seem forced in order to give the movie gratuitous scares? 

  • Compare the behavior of these 1970s teenagers who either live on Amity Island or are visiting for the summer compared to teenagers today. What are the similarities and differences in terms of behavior, fashion, interaction?

Movie details

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