THE BLACK SHEEP is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATH. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Dig in!
Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
Directed by Joseph Sargent
“With that said, somehow the fourth Jaws isn’t unwatchable. In fact, I dare say it’s enjoyable.”
Not that anyone cares, but I just got hitched out on Martha’s Vineyard (where some of Jaws, Jaws 2 and Jaws 4 were filmed). If you’ve never been the place was damn nice, a bit fancy, and interesting as it’s old as hell and unlike anywhere else in the country. Before I went, I really didn't know much about the area minus that Kennedy's live there and Jaws was filmed there. I realize now the place has more to offer than that, but what can I say…I'm a movie loser and kept thinking about Jaws. While everyone admired the beauty of the area, I kept glancing out at the sea. Hell, when I swam at the beach, I was fine when my feet could touch, but as soon as I floated, I only thought of one thing: f*ucking Jaws. I didn’t wanna get eaten and I sure as hell wasn’t going to get on a banana boat.
So with my return column, it's time to salute the forgotten entry, the franchise killer Jaws: The Revenge. Like other forgotten part fours like Superman: Quest for Peace and Godfather: Looking for Fredo (ok, made that one up), the movie flopped so bad it derailed the great shark forever. It's really amazing. Jaws was the first true summer blockbuster, and every time it comes on TV it feels like summer. Yet, they can't find a way to release the creature back into wild. All because of Jaws: The Revenge. Was it that bad?
Allow me to make a few things clear. No one with a brain can claim Jaws: The Revenge is a great movie. It's an insult to the original as for some reason the producers felt the need to tie it to the events of part one and two, which makes no sense considering the cast was all, more or less, dead. More so, why pretend that the shark is like Mike Myers or one of his friends as it hunts down the Brody family? Is the shark really gonna chomp down an entire family when there’s an entire world of dumb swimmers just waiting to be devoured? Ehhh, doubt it. In fact, nothing in this film makes sense. Even the late comic Richard Jeni had an entire routine dedicated to the shitness.
With that said, somehow the fourth Jaws isn’t unwatchable. In fact, I dare say it’s enjoyable. Terrible, yes, but its got a giant shark that takes a bite out of Mario Van Peeples, who sports one of the most hilarious Jamaican accents ever. Speaking of hilarious, Michael Cain in this. I enjoy the rumor that he admits he's never seen the film and heard it was terrible, but claims the role built a wonderful house. Nevertheless, Cain was worth the money as he brings a sense of professionalism that gives even flops a reason to watch it. He’s calming, cool, and can fly a plane. However, it's the shark who s the star. It makes plenty of appearances as it flips out of water from time to time to eat someone. It still looks effective, though I wonder if CGI has advanced enough to truly make it frightening. Whenever Spielberg or whoever decides to reboot, hopefully they can show restraint in the CGI and allow fear to be the most frightening thing. Jaws did it. And thankfully, Jaws: The Revenge did too. We get the shark, but not too much. Enough to still scare the piss out of us and forever fear the water.
To enjoy Jaws: The Revenge, just dig it. Allow the movie to play and you’ll find entertainment. Part of that come from the dumbness within, but part of it comes from a formula we love. It’s a spawn of Jaws…there’s plenty to dig. Dig it for the big shark that eats a hot blonde off a banana boat. Dig it for attempting to carry on a story that all film lovers, well, love. Dig it for taking us back into the most frightening place of all…the water, a place Hollywood doesn't travel to often enough. Here’s hoping they don’t remake Jaws, but find a way to let it eat once again.