Jaws 2 (Blu-ray) (1978)
Featurette-Making Of-The Making of Jaws 2
Featurette-Jaws 2: A Portrait By Actor Keith Gordan
Featurette-John Williams: The Music of Jaws 2
Featurette-The "French" Joke
|Year Of Production||1978|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Jeannot Szwarc|
Collin Wilcox Paxton
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 2.0
Spanish dts 2.0
French dts 2.0
Portuguese dts 2.0
German dts 2.0
Chinese dts 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
††† Unlike numerous other lucrative blockbusters of the 1970s (such as Star Wars, Superman, etc), Steven Spielbergís Jaws did not lend itself particularly well to a sequel. After all, the story was about a shark terrorising a small island community, and the shark was killed during the picture's climax. With the titular monster dead and the main story arc closed, not much room was left for a continuing saga. However, money is money, and with Jaws earning big at the box office (over $400 million worldwide from an estimated $8.5 million budget), the studio ordered a sequel. Shouldering the intimidating weight of its predecessor and burdened with high audience expectations, Jaws 2 could've been a slapdash catastrophe made for a fast buck all round, but it is instead surprisingly serviceable, suspenseful fun.
††† Jaws 2 takes place a few years after the events of Jaws, and the narrative unfolds in the same placid island community of Amity where Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) patrols with diligence. After a string of mysterious boating accidents and disappearances, Brody grows suspicious that another great white shark is lurking just offshore, but, once again, both the mayor (Murray Hamilton) and the city council refuse to listen. Unfortunately for the inhabitants of Amity, Brody is correct. The chief persists until he loses his job, and is eventually compelled into action when he finds out that his two sons and their friends are stuck in the middle of the ocean, being stalked by the monster white shark.
††† When placed against Spielberg's original masterpiece, Jaws 2 looks as pale as shark-eaten bodies. For those of you rolling your eyes in wonderment at the fact that another unnaturally huge white pointer swims to Amity to terrorise the same group of people... Your pain is shared. It's a long shot, and the plot device seems manufactured for the sake of a sequel. But once you suspend your disbelief and accept the film on its own merits (of which there are many), Jaws 2 is a lot of fun. For starters, the main characters are a bunch of teenagers, and, though it can be difficult keeping tabs on who's who, we do grow to care about them. The script posits these teens as resourceful, bright people who react realistically to the situation, and it's for this reason that tension is felt when they're placed in peril. However, at nearly two hours in length, Jaws 2 could've benefitted from a bit of trimming - there are uneventful stretches which lack both the economy and the zippiness of the original Jaws. Another sorely missed asset is Spielberg's brand of visual panache, as Jaws 2 is more on the aesthetically dull side. Added to this, the filmmakers continually attempt to up the ante, leading to scenes of pure absurdity, such a beat involving a shark attacking a helicopter and managing to drag it underwater.
††† As competent as he may be, director Jeannot Szwarc is still no Steven Spielberg. Szwarc and director of photography Michael Butler adopt a similar shooting style to original Jaws, but are unable to generate the same brand of unbearable tension. The shark is seen far too often this time, and, consequently, it's less terrifying. Like the original Jaws, the mechanical sharks here often look phoney, sometimes distractingly so. In actual fact, the shark effects here are often less convincing than those in the first film. It'd be unreasonable to expect perfect shark effects in a Ď70s production, but it's a tremendous problem that the mechanical sharks have declined in quality, rather than improved. That said, Szwarc nevertheless manages to orchestrate a number of chilling, tautly-edited shark attack sequences, and there is a degree of tension here, especially during the film's latter half when the teens are always vulnerable to an attack as they float on a jumbled mass of broken, half-sunk sailboats and catamarans. John Williams' score is terrific, and though it is reminiscent of the first film, there are some original compositions which lends gravitas to the production.
††† Unfortunately, there's no Richard Dreyfuss or Robert Shaw here, and none of the characters are as interesting as those played by the pair in the original film. What we're left with is an engaging Scheider as Chief Brody, a less interested Hamilton as the Mayor Vaughn (who rushed the filming of his scenes so he could be with his cancer-stricken wife, hence the dull performance), Jeffrey Kramer who reprises his role as Deputy Hendricks with endearing zeal, and Lorraine Gary who's perfectly adequate as Martin's wife Ellen. The kids also place forth convincing enough performances.
††† Jaws 2, naturally, will never be labelled as a masterpiece like its predecessor, and it's a step down from the landmark first film, but it's better than most of the knock-offs that plagued theatres in the post-Jaws era. Despite its flaws, it should prove worthwhile to those clamouring for a fun Jaws follow-up. It's unfortunate that the Jaws franchise is usually regarded as one good film followed by three abominations to mankind. Although a case can definitely be made against the catastrophic Jaws 3 and Jaws the Revenge, this second film gets too much of an unfair bad rap by association.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
† † Based on current info, all editions worldwide are identical. It seems that Universal is releasing the same disc in all territories.
|DVD||PlayStation 4, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 42LW6500. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||LG Tall Boy speakers, 5.1 set-up, 180W|