“Jaws” is a masterpiece. I always wondered why the first film in the franchise focused on the three male leads and didn’t take time for us to get to know any of the other characters. “Jaws 2” answers that question. Hot off the heels of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 blockbuster, Universal saw a huge money grab: create a sequel but forget the story, the shark is all that matters. They couldn’t get Spielberg to do another film. They couldn’t get Richard Dreyfuss to sign on. Roy Scheider was only there due to a contractual obligation. And the end result is a bunch of sailing sequences and annoying teenage interactions that buy time until the next shark attack. By focusing the story on teenagers, the quality of acting is very low and you can tell that Scheider felt stifled by a film where everybody wants to see the shark instead of his lead character. Everything success that the original film had in building suspense, showing character transformation, creating memorable moments, and engaging the audience is completely lost on this sequel. Sadly, “Jaws 2” embodies the stereotype that we have built around this series.
[Pictured: "Jaws 2" is all about the shark and leaves every shred of quality behind]