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Jaws: The Revenge
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Jaws: The Revenge is the fourth movie in the Jaws series, released in 1987. This is everything the original Jaws movie was not: boring, pointless, and astoundingly bad in every way. There are shark attacks -- a police officer loses an arm before being bitten to death by a shark, a woman sharing a flotation device with children is attacked and killed -- but these are few and far between, as the filmmakers would rather spend more time getting to know the characters (the only original character left from the original is the wife of Roy Scheider's character) as they adjust to their new lives living in the Bahamas rather than on the New England coast. Expect occasional mild profanity, including "s--t," and some drinking. Overall, this is yet another example of a movie franchise that wore out its welcome, as each subsequent movie was worse than the one before it.
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What's the story?
It's the Christmas season in Amity, and Sean Brody has filled his late father's shoes as an officer in the police department. But when he's called on a routine errand in the harbor, he's attacked and killed by a great white shark. In the aftermath of her son's funeral, Ellen Brody (Lorraine Gary), scarred by a lifetime of shark attacks, decides she can no longer live in Amity, and, along with her late son's wife and daughter, she leaves for the Bahamas, where her other son Michael works as a marine biologist researching snails. As Ellen tries to recover from her son's death, getting used to life in the Caribbean as a budding romance begins to develop with a charming pilot named Hoagie (Michael Caine), she goes to the beach and sees, much to her dismay, a great white shark attack. Ellen is convinced this is the same shark that killed her son and drove her husband to an early grave due to a heart attack, and she believes this shark wants to kill Ellen as well. It's up to Michael, with the help of his colleague Jake (Mario Van Peebles), to find, hunt, and kill this great white shark before it takes another life.
Is it any good?
Jaws: The Revenge may very well be the dullest and most pointless sequel ever made. It has none of the redeeming qualities that made the original Jaws such a classic movie. Instead, there is a ludicrous storyline filled with unnecessary scenes that attempt a slow build while you're getting to know the characters. The dialogue is hilariously bad, and the special effects are even worse. Even the shark attacks, for anyone with even a passing familiarity with the previous Jaws movies and horror movies in general, offer no suspense and not even the faintest tinge of a scare.
The action is tedious overall -- not even Michael Caine can make this a "so bad, it's good" type of B movie. Really, this is a textbook case of why most movie franchises should quit while they're ahead. There is really no reason for this movie to exist.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sequels. Why do you think movie studios release sequels of original movies that were successful at the box office, and why are these sequels often much worse than the original movies?
B movies tend to be poorly made, badly acted, and filled with cheesy special effects. What are some of the ways in which this movie meets the criteria of a B movie?
The original Jaws won Oscars and was, at the time of its release, the highest-grossing movie of all time. Contrast the original Jaws movie with this sequel. What are the ways in which the original Jaws is a classic movie, and how does this sequel fall way short of the mark?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.