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ROY SCHEIDER RETURNS SANS STEVEN SPIELBERG FOR 'JAWS 2'

Title: JAWS 2 Year: 1978 Rating: ***1/2

Grading on the dorsal curve of the Steven Spielberg classic, this sequel feels like a would-be pilot episode of a JAWS television series: Thus it's somewhat lacking, and to be fair, shouldn't be compared to its once-in-a-lifetime predecessor. But taken on its own value, JAWS 2 a decent monster movie with some beautiful shots and interesting characters, who sometimes matter enough to fret over...

Most of the possible body-count-victims are a group of sail-boating teenagers, merely teased at in the beginning and then becoming what Brody has to save at the end. These beach-loving teens include a few future cult actors such as ANGEL starlet Donna Wilkes, possessed CHRISTINE wimp Keith Gordon and an extremely sexy Ann Dusenberry along with two the sons of Chief Brody played by the returning lead Roy Scheider... 

Lorraine Gary and Roy Scheider in JAWS 2

Still protecting the (once again) safe and sound Amity Island backed again by his faithful wife played sweet and cozily by Lorraine Gary, one film away from starring in her own JAWS sequel and even starting here, returning writer Carl Gotlieb, without a Peter Benchley source novel, gave her a far more fleshed-out role than the first...

Also back on the isle is dim likable deputy Barney Fief-like Jeffrey Kramer also returns as does Murray Hamilton, whose politician-in-denial is limp and meaningless, replaced by the new "land villain", Joseph Mascolo as a shady contractor who, like Hamilton before, refuses to believe Brody's investigative theory...

Ann Dusenberry in JAWS 2

That there's a big hungry shark out for revenge, not only eating people but attacking a small boat and... get this... an actual helicopter so okay, admittedly, at times, JAWS 2 literally jumps the shark, but it does entertain. And for fans of Roy Scheider, the actor, two scenes stand out: one as he ventures into the water to gather possible evidence, all alone, and the other where, on the crowded beach, he fires a gun into the ocean, losing his mind and his job at the same time, so if anything else, part 2 is more an extended continuation of Chief Brody's frenzied, paranoid plight than a worthy encore of a formidable killer fish...

While there lacks the Spielberg magic, his fellow Rod Serling NIGHT GALLERY directing alumni, Jeannot Szwarc, teamed with returning production assistant Joe Alves, making it possible for more massive and successful "fake shark" shots, create a good enough sequel for both fans of the original and those who fear "going back in the water."

Ann Dusenberry in JAWS 2 with Roy Scheider
Autographed Jaws 2 soundtrack LP
Ann Dusenberry in JAWS 2
Donna Wilkes in JAWS 2
Murray Hamilton in JAWS 2
Roy Scheider in JAWS 2
Roy Scheider in JAWS 2
Ann Dusenberry in JAWS 2
Keith Gordon in JAWS 2

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