Time: 116 mins.
SYNOPSIS: Police chief Brody must protect the citizens of Amity after a second monstrous shark begins terrorizing the waters.
BOTTOM LINE: I'm not really sure why I sat through this movie. I guess there's nothing that makes you feel better than a mindless popcorn flick. I have to admit I was expecting this sequel to be much worse. It doesn't have much of a story shark returns, kills several locals, town bigwigs try to sweep the deaths under the rug despite evidence to the contrary.
What makes it at all watchable is Roy Scheider, as Chief Brody, back on the case, fighting for his community. Fear and resignation ooze from his weary bones, as the only person willing to face the danger...again. Since the shark actually works in this version, the killings are more plentiful and gruesome, though much is still left to the imagination. You don't really have to know the people and the film doesn't bother to extrapolate to feel horrified at their becoming lunch. This film is all about the maximum damage in the shortest amount of time. That Brody's kids are in danger gives the film a bit of poignancy, but not enough to truly grab at your heartstrings.
The final sequence, where the shark snacks on a group of silly teens as they sail the open sea, is initially exciting and frightening, but it goes on so long it loses it's effectiveness. It doesn't really feel like the finale, so it's a bit jarring when the film drops off suddenly with a quick resolution. Ah, the days when dead meant dead. What this version lacks in suspense and mystery, it more than makes up for in body count. Scheider gives the film heart and depth, but the talent of Shaw, Dreyfuss and Spielberg is sorely missed. So, is an interesting plot, but apparently they thought a killer shark would be enough. Scheider must have been contractually obligated to be in this movie, because it's sorely beneath his talent. Though without him this movie would be abyssmal.