Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Jaws 4: The Revenge (1987)

Director: Joseph Sargent

Writer: Michael De Guzman

Composer: Michael Small

Starring: Lorraine Gary, Lance Guest, Mario Van Peebles, Karen Young, Michael Caine, Judith Barsi, Mitchell Anderson, Lynn Whitfield, Cedric Scott, Charles Bowleg, Melvin Van Peebles, Mary Smith

More info: IMDb

Tagline: This time... It's personal.

Plot: The now-widowed Ellen Brody finds that the great whites seem to have a personal vendetta against her family, attacking her son and granddaughter...more than 1,000 miles away.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Noop.


Is the story retarded?  Yes.  Does that mean it's a terrible movie?  No.  Yes, that the shark somehow followed Ellen Brody (Gary) over a thousand miles from Martha's Vineyard to Nassau in The Bahamas is preposterous, but it sure makes for a check-your-brain-at-the-door decent way to spend 90 minutes.  It could be because much of the film takes place around a beautiful island with all-too-inviting beaches to swim in and it's nearly all during the day with a great looking widescreen DVD to pop the colors off the screen.  Either way, the story is ridiculous and laughable.  I'm sure Lorraine Gary burst out laughing when she read the scrip and again when she saw the paycheck.  The supporting cast does a fine job.  Do Jamaicans say, "mon", ALL the time or is it just Mario Van Peebles' way of reminding us that his character is from there?

There is a nice call back to the '75 film when Michael (Guest), Chief Brody's grown son, has a moment with his daughter at the kitchen table where she apes his movements.  That's a nice way of recalling an earlier film without exploiting it.  At least no one says, "We're gonna need a bigger boat." Speaking of paychecks, how about that Michael Caine?  He adds some fun to the picture just by being in it.  When his plane is taken underwater by the shark with him in it (in the plane, not the shark...we'll save that for Jake (Peebles)), he surprises everyone a couple of minutes later when Hoagie (Caine) surfaces to the boat.  Yeah, I know.  Anyway, when asked how was it possible that he survived, he replies, "It wasn't easy, believe me", and he's right. Minutes later Jake finds his one way ticket into the mouth of the shark only to reappear minutes later injured and very alive.  JAWS 4 isn't all that bad.  It doesn't deserve the current IMDb score of 2.8 but to watch it you're going to want to go into it knowing that it's an over the top, silly horror movie and it's the last in a franchise that began with one of the greatest movies of all time.  But what a great tagline, right?

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