Jaws 2

From Academic Kids

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Jaws 2 (1978) is the first sequel to Jaws. Sheriff Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) attempts to convince the local politicians that a recent rash of diver and skier disappearances are the victims of another great white shark attack on the small beach resort of Amity. He is later fired from his job, but then more a dozen teenagers, including his sons and the son of the reluctant mayor (Murray Hamilton), are attacked during a sailing regatta. Brody later encounters the shark face-to-face--but without a rifle and exploding scuba tank.

Lorraine Gary returns as Brody's wife, Ellen. Director Steven Spielberg opted out directing of the problem-plagued sequel, and after the firing of the original director, the task went to TV director, Jeannot Szwarc, best known for the TV movie Bug (movie). His action scenes are, nevertheless, quite suspenceful and creative--the opener is a nice teaser reminiscent of Spielberg's film, shown from the shark's POV; the skier sequence is more fast-paced than anything in Jaws; and the helicopter scene, followed by the swallowing whole of Sean Brody (Marc Gilpin)'s savior, Marge. (It almost resulted in an MPAA R-rating.) Most critics agree that the music, again conducting by John Williams, is even better than his score on the original film.

While the first film was actually filmed in New England, Jaws 2 was shot primarily on the Florida Gulfcoast in and around Fort Walton Beach in Okaloosa County. Many of the ocean scenes were filmed on the Choctawhatchee Bay. Cable Crossing Island was actually a floating set that was towed out from the Shalimar Yacht Basin when needed and could be seen from the Garniers Bayou Bridge tied up at night with its faux beacon still blinking. The interior shots of the teen hang-out where they play pinball were filmed in the original location of the Hog's Breath Saloon on Okaloosa Island. This restaurant has recently relocated to Destin, Florida as its original building was susceptible to hurricane damage. The original building was still vacant and derelict in January 2005. The production company had to seek dredge and fill permits from the the State of Florida's Department of Environmental Regulation to sink the sled that controlled Bruce the shark on the sea bottom.

Although the film was initially met with mixed reviews, many revisionist critics have since experienced a newfound appreciation for the film following its successful release on DVD. The film was the highest-grossing sequel in history in 1978 and an all-time top 25 box office champ for more than two decades. "Jaws 2" instituted the now common practice of sequels as a film franchise.

The film's tagline has become one of the most famous in film history: "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water..." It has been parodied in numerous films with the most notable being the one for the feature film adaptation of the television series, Flipper, "This summer it's finally safe to go back in the water."


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