Coulda been Star Wars, but instead: Jaws 4

I intended to spend my Wednesday FINALLY finishing the Star Wars: A New Hope novelization so I could have that post ready today, May the Fourth. But then I learned my job’s going away next month, and even though I have really mixed feelings on this book, I love Star Wars as a franchise and didn’t want to associate with a day of bad news.

So instead, I went home and watched Jaws: The Revenge, which I’ve had out from Netflix since August of 2016. I’d apologize to the other would-be renters, but in all honesty, you’re probably few and most people would say I’ve done you a favor.

Jaws4Jaws 4 is not a good movie — and I liked Jaws 3, so that’s saying something. Ma Ellen Brody is visiting her son Michael (who transformed from Dennis Quaid to Lance Guest in the four years between films) in the Bahamas and is convinced that the family is being followed by a shark out for revenge. Which is an absolutely ridiculous idea, and everybody in the film says so.

Except the family is actually being followed by a shark out for revenge.

It’s not all bad though. In fact, I’d say the 20 minutes of setup were pretty good and even a little bit scary as little Sean Brody, now a deputy with the Amity police force, ventures into the water to fix a buoy. You remember Sean. The kid who got stranded on the ocean in the second movie, saw a girl who saved him get devoured, and didn’t go back into the water until he was a young man trying to woo Lea Thompson in the third.

His arc was part of why I liked Jaws 3 so much, and I feel like Jaws 4 was trying to create that same emotional turmoil for Ellen and Michael. But rather than go all-in on that, it instead wasted time with a burgeoning love story between Ellen and Hoagie (Michael Caine) and Michael’s sourpuss opinions about his widowed mother moving on. Revenge also tries to tie itself to Jaws via some sepia toned flashback scenes that sort of work, especially when a scene between Brody and child Sean is mirrored in a scene between Michael and his daughter Thea. But mostly it felt like the cheap ploy that it was, and — that scene excluded — I would not have minded one whit oif somebody had fed Thea to the shark. She was such an annoying child.

But it’s not the sort of movie you watch and then hate yourself for. Sure, the science is dumb and the story is unnecessarily padded, but most of the shark stuff is adequate for its time, and its always nice to revisit the Brody family. All in all, I don’t feel like I wasted 84 minutes of my life, and it was more than enough to take my mind off of a bad day.

Also, being a movie that prominently featured an animal, Jaws: The Revenge fulfilled an entry in the Leisure Time 2017 Movie Challenge, bringing my score to 2 of 26.

Spoiler talk here

I’ll tell you what: One thing I really liked here was just after Thea was rescued and Ellen’s on the beach. She gets this look on her face, turns around and stalks off like some sort of Terminator, and I half expected her to grab Carla’s new pointy sharp art installation, walk into the ocean and stab the shark in the heart. Instead she rammed it with a boat and it exploded. Because science!

Also, is it just me, or is Jake like the worst friend ever? “Hi, Mike, I know your brother just got eaten by a shark but what do you suppose we drop everything we’re doing to earn our doctoral degrees and go chasing after this shark! For science!”

Leisure Time is on Twitter! Follow @theLTtweet for post updates and smaller thoughts.

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