Jaws 3


‘…Jaws 3 jumps the shark and makes a laughing stock of what was scary just once upon a time….’

I’m still trying to get my head around the definition of a ‘re-quel’ as offered up in the new Scream (2022) film; a ‘revisiting’ of the original story, featuring a new cast but with some legacy characters….Sure, there’s nothing new under the sun, and while re-defining our terms as we go may stave off accusations of staleness, but isn’t a re-quel just what Jaws 3 did so very badly back in 1983? We’ve got an all-new cast, but with some reference to the Brody family in the first two films, and the original story is revisited, but in a way that diminishes absolutely everything that happened in the first two films.

We’re back in the water, but no longer on the happy hunting ground of the beach; Joe Alves’ film takes place at SeaWorld Orlando, and sees the killer shark swimming upstream to cause havoc amongst formation water-skiers. Mike Brody (Dennis Quaid, high AF in every scene by his own admission), is amongst those who discover that people are going missing, but of course, the park can’t be closed in the busy summer season. Fears are put aside when a shark is captured, and dies in captivity, but it turns out that this one is just a baby shark, and mummy Jaws isn’t too happy about the way things are panning out…

Shot in 3D, Jaws 3 looks like utter muck even in HD today; something about the 3D process seems to have worsened the grain. But such technical questions are minor compared to the sheer idiocy of the whole enterprise; originally planned as an Airplane-style parody called Jaws 3 People 0, the result couldn’t be sillier, and the final sequence, in which Jaws smashes through a protective screen and attacks our protagonists in their offices, must be one of the poorest, most laughable scenes ever filmed.

At least Jaws 4, with a voodoo shark picking off victims on dry land and Michael Caine enjoying a free holiday, was a laugh to watch; Jaws 3 is a genuinely awful film, padded out with dolphin shows, Simon MacCorkindale as a big game hunter, water-ski stunts, slumming Louis Gossett Jr and all kinds of other resistable ephemera. In this light, the much maligned Jaws 2 is at least a semi-competent retread of the first; somewhere along the line, Jaws 3 jumps the shark and makes a laughing stock of what was scary just once upon a time. You have to be higher than Dennis Quaid was to get anything out of this canned shark stew…


Leave a Reply
  1. Dennis Quaid is always good, be it channelling Deputy Dog in Great Balls of Fire or doing the dad bit in The Day After Tomorrow. I switched off before Simon McCorkindale turned up.. this so should have been a Manimal episode.

  2. I thought all shark movies have the shark breaking through whatever to get to the cast, I seem to remember Samuel LJ being eaten in one, and Statham fighting off the Meg. But I’m not known for remembering movie plots. So there’s that.

  3. Requels are a thing now?

    The climactic scene of the shark breaking through the glass is one of those moments that made the movies. Once seen, never forgotten. And how many scenes can you say that about? It’s right up there in terms of drama with Kane tearing apart Susan’s room and finding the glass globe . . .

Leave a Reply