Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

The premise behind Jaws: The Revenge is so lame, it should be put down for humanitarian reasons. It’s so lame, it should be called Jaws: Jump the Shark. It’s so lame, I don’t even want to make jokes about it anymore. It’s so ridiculous a concept that I could see some people getting a campy kick out of it, what with a shark who’s been killed, like, three times already suddenly reappearing with the acute ability to not only detect when members of the Brody family are around, but also with some sort of internal homing mechanism that allows it to track down the family from darn near another hemisphere. A shark with a vendetta? A shark with a selective appetite? A shark with a compass? It’s as if the writers knew the premise was so outrageous they just said “to hell with it” and threw in whatever nonsensical garbage they could come up with, including the crap-tastic climactic scene in which the shark rises onto his tail like a dolphin and, as God is my witness, roars. I think in another scene, it does long division and then orders some Chinese.

The film takes place in the Bahamas, meaning that there are scads of black people everywhere. Unfortunately, many of them are of the Van Peebles ilk. Mario (sporting a God-awful Caribbean accent that actually makes his hair seem natural by comparison) is the typical “black sidekick” who is prime fodder for the shark, especially when, for some reason, he’s always the one hanging off the bow of the boat, practically begging the thing to come eat him. But for once, I’ll give this film some credit. It tricks you into thinking that poor Mario gets chomped up good near the end, only to have him turn up alive. Of course, that robs him of a glorious, slo-mo death scene, and now, he probably has no legs or spleen.

At last, Frank’s meticulous recreation of Duran Duran’s “Rio” video had come to fruition.
“Do my shoulder pads threaten you?”
Jaws paused in mid-chomp. “Why must I hurt people?” he thought. “Am I a natural monster, or a product of my environment? Could life have turned out differently if only I’d had a father figure to mold me into — Ooh look, a fibula!”


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