Starring: Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw
Released: 15th June 2012 (re-release)
Reviewed By: Ben Harris
Remastered with beautiful picture and sound, this influential blockbuster swims back to the big screen for another toothy affair. Its animatronics may have dated, due to the fact it was released in 1975, but ‘Jaws’ still packs a bite with its adrenaline-fuelled tension.
Everyone knows the story – a massive great white shark begins to stalk the residents of Amity, where a police office (Roy Scheider) and a marine scientist (Richard Dreyfuss) are determined to hunt down the beast.
Many B-movies have followed this simplistic narrative but have used menacing creatures as an object of ridicule; this is not the case for Steven Spielberg’s classic. ‘Jaws’ uses the shark as a tension-building tool to generate unease and distress; it’s not placed in the waters to be laughed at.
‘Jaws’ certainly has it’s fun but a more stern tone is conveyed throughout, which is effectively built thanks to the concealment of the shark in the first hour. This mechanical shark free section benefits from Spielberg’s direction due to well-constructed set pieces and slick under water shots, which raises the bar in suspense. And let’s not forget the terrifying score from Oscar winner John Williams.
The second half consists of the protagonists on a boat ready to stop this man-eating fish. It gives the characters a chance to reflect (a rare occasion in this genre), yet this leaves the third act dragging along the water. The finale takes too damn long to rap up, despite that there are still enough thrills to take delight in.
‘Jaws’ you are a classic, there is no denying that. Superb direction, engaging performances (Richard Dreyfuss gives an extremely entertaining portrayal) and a memorable score stills makes you hesitate going into the open sea.
Worth the revisit? Definitely.