31 Horror Movies in 31 Days-Jaws 2 (1978)

Jaws was the inception of the summer blockbuster when it depopulated beaches upon its release and frankly, it shouldn’t have been the advent of insatiable sequel cash-ins. However, Spielberg’s brainchild was rejiggered for the gradient of diminishing receipts as each sequel was more vanilla and prefabricated than the last. Allow me to be the voice of rationality in a sea of discourse when I decry that Jaws 2 might be the underrated runt of the litter.

The epicenter that another shark is stalking the residents of Amity is definitely far-fetched and a tad monotonous. However, the parapsychology around Chief Brody’s (Roy Scheider) post-traumatic stress is meticulous. When he shrieks in panic after leaping from a lifeguard tower and draws his gun in front of aghast citizens, Brody’s paranoid ostracism from the mayor and the community is an uniquely deglamorizing view of the previous film’s hero.

The shark mechanics are titivated this time around with a palm-sweating near-miss when a teenager is pulled aboard a schooner as the shark’s mouth is agape and brushing next to the boat. Director Jeannot Szwarc wisely doesn’t duplicate the cloak-and-dagger build-up of Spielberg’s paradigm and therefore he focuses on some keenly adrenaline-surging set pieces like the poster image of a jet-skiier who is narrowly outflanking the shark.

As before, Scheider is the tour-de-force anchor when the mayor’s stubborn resistance to him can be infuriatingly parochial. Jaws 3 exploited the 3D craze and henceforth was a bovine fiasco. Jaws: The Revenge bordered on mystifying self-parody. Yet Jaws 2 was the veritably rollicking cat-and-mouse follow-up.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5


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