It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
“Jaws the Revenge” is not simply a bad movie, but also a stupid and incompetent one - a ripoff. And that’s a surprise, because the film is the fourth in a series that has served Universal Pictures long and well, and it stars Lorraine Gary, the wife of the studio’s chief executive officer. Wasn’t there someone in charge of assuring that the film was at least a passable thriller, however bad? I guess not.
The plot centers on the character of Ellen Brody, who, you may recall, was the wife of the Roy Scheider character in the first and second “Jaws” movies. Now she is a widow, and her son has his dad’s old job at the police department. The story opens at Christmas, as the son is eaten by a shark right off Martha’s Vineyard, while a children’s choir drowns out his screams with Christmas carols.
Mrs. Brody (Gary) flees in horror to the Bahamas, where her other son (Lance Guest) works as, you got it, a marine biologist. She pleads with him not to go into the water, but he argues that the great white shark has never been seen in warm waters. Not long after, the shark is seen, having made the trip from Martha’s Vineyard to the Bahamas in three days.
Mrs. Brody, meanwhile, falls in love with a local pilot (Michael Caine), and there is a subplot about how her son is jealous of this new man in his mother’s life. This jealousy, like every other plot device in the movie, is left unresolved at the end, but so what? The screenplay is simply a series of meaningless episodes of human behavior, punctuated by shark attacks.