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 12+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 19 reviews

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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. 


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. 


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


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." 


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

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bytheshapetalks April 12, 2020

not as good as the 1st, but worth it.

the movie has a lot more kissing then the 1st. this one takes place after the shark chief Brody killed in "JAWS" but it starts off with a off screen k... Continue reading
Parent of a 14-year-old Written byHeather K. February 22, 2020

First Jaws sequel is pretty good.

Jaws is a masterpiece! Jaws 2 is pretty good, but not nearly as good as the first one. Jaws 3 is disappointing, and Jaws 4 is just absolutely terrible! Jaws 2 i... Continue reading
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
Kid, 12 years old December 9, 2020

JAWS sequel remains the best sequel

JAWS 2 is the sequel to the 1975 movie "JAWS". Here is what parents should know:

Violence: 3/5 *SPOILER* There is a shark attack in the first scene.... 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love to be scared

Themes & Topics

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