Jaws 4: The Revenge

Jaws: The Revenge (1987) Director: Joseph Sargent

“This time it’s personal…”

★☆☆☆☆

Jaws: The Revenge is hands down one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Cheap, campy, ridiculous, boring -the fourth installment of the Jaws series is renowned for being a wholly unadulterated waste of celluloid. It was once called one of the “fastest” productions ever released in cinema history. The only reason for watching this movie is to laugh with drinks and friends while marveling at its pathetic story-telling and utterly incompetent production.

At the outset we learn that Chief Brody (previously played by Roy Scheider) has died of a heart attack (which is later revealed to be death due to fear of sharks). His widow, Ellen Brody, decides to head to the Bahamas after one of the Brody sons is amusingly attacked by a shark (his arm is ripped off while he sits aboard a boat in the harbor of Amity). Somehow, the vengeful shark follows the family from New York to the Bahamas due to a vendetta against the Brody family. The film also features Michael Caine as a background character (apparently he came on board for a quick cash grab -he was paid $1.5M for one week of work, and he later said: “I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific”). He falls in love with Ellen Brody (presumably) which draws the ire of her son but their romance is ultimately left unresolved. Ellen Brody is revealed to have some sort of psychic connection with the shark, as well -a recurring trope at odd points throughout the movie.

Most of the story is boring, nonsensical family-related melodrama, and much of plot makes little sense, but the most amusing scene can be found during the last 15 minutes of the movie which is rife with discontinued shooting, sloppy set pieces and backdrops, and a tremendously frivolous, whimsical climax wherein the family rams a boat directly into the shark and it mysteriously explodes leaving them stranded on the open ocean (the production crew inexplicably re-used the scene of the dying shark from the original Jaws movie). Miraculously, the Brody family end up back on land with a plane again at the conclusion of the movie (the plane was previously sunk by the shark).

How or why this movie ever got the green light for production is beyond me.

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