Jaws Re-Release Review

The Plot

When a gigantic Great White shark begins to menace the quiet waters of the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and a grizzled shark hunter set out to stop it.

The Good

Jaws is arguably the finest work of one of the greatest directors in the age of modern cinema, Steven Spielberg. It’s also the film that has single handily given generations of people around the world a terrified lifelong phobia of open water.  It’s difficult to overstate the timeless power of this film to entertain and traumatise audiences.

Jaws owe much of its memorable magic to the menacing soundtrack of John Williams. It’s iconic, thrilling, effective and utterly unforgettable. The same is true of the entire film.

Roy Schneider does a great job of standing in for the audiences as Brody, the Police Chief who’s reluctant to go near the water even before the 25ft killing machine starts devouring people. Richard Dreyfuss is the enthusiastic marine biologist Hooper, there to remind us that a 3 ton Shark is bot terrifying and amazing. While Robert Shaw is perfect as Quint, the ill-tempered harpoon wielding sea captain with a personal grudge against the man-eating aquatic monsters.

The magnificent chemistry between our three heroes and the thrill of the hunt ensures that Jaws remains not only horrific but also one of the very best action adventure films ever made. Often imitated but never equalled, not even a string of worsening sequels could tarnish the legacy of this undisputed masterpiece.

Jaws has permeated  almost every aspect of popular culture and boasts some of the most often quoted and best remembered lines in movie history. “You’re going to need a bigger boat!” remains the most eloquent expressions of feeling overwhelmed by a situation ever uttered on screen. It’s all testament to the fact that Jaws is so much more than just a ‘monster’ film reliant on a barely functioning animatronic shark.

The Bad

Among all those who have already re-watched Jaws endlessly on VHS, DVD and Christmas holiday TV; there will be some that question the value of paying for admission to see it once again. Hollywood is certainly guilty of cashing in on fans loyalty in recent years, with pointless big screen re-imaginings and re-releases for countless classic franchises. But if any film deserves to have a second bite at the big screen surely it’s Jaws. After all it’s the film that absolutely invented the concept of the ‘summer blockbuster’.

The Ugly Truth

Whether or not it’s entitled to another box office run or you think it’s worth seeing a film for the 100th time,  the fact remains this represents a wonderful and welcome opportunity for generations of fans to re-live Jaws on the big screen or see it for the first time in the ultimate format.  The only valid excuse not to go see Jaws in cinemas is if you’ve just booked an expensive summer beach holiday.

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