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Shark Vs Shark: Which Is The Best Jaws?

With the impending release of JAWS on Blu-ray, it seems only right that we review the JAWS saga as a whole and explore the most important and intricate nuances i.e. which shark is the best?

To best decipher this delicate Rubik’s cube, we must first establish some categories. First up we have a visibility score – how often do we see the shark? Next we have number of kills – just how many people does the big fellow eat? Then there’s best kill – which shark attack is the best? There’s also an ocular challenge – can the shark detect a giant electrical cable? Next we test its vocal chords  – can the shark roar? And finally, does the shark look shitty in 3D when compared to the background? Each category is scored out of five yellow barrels, as one might expect.

 

JAWS

The shark in the original film is barely seen. Whilst that doesn’t sound like a good thing on paper, in practice it’s a masterstroke. Spielberg utilised the limitations of his broken shark to his own advantage and made a film in which less is most definitely more – when we do see the shark it has major impact, and when we don’t it’s all the more suspenseful.

Visibility?

For the most part just a fin in the water. Brilliant. 

5/5

 

Kill Count?

Five (six including the dog).

 5/5

 

Best Kill?

Alex Kitner. The whole scene is a masterpiece of cinema and his death is as harrowing as it is memorable. Interesting fact: the boy who played Alex Kitner’s name is Jeffrey Vorhees. Jason’s brother? Will we be getting a Jaws vs. Freddy spin off? The answer is obviously no.

5/5

 

Ability To Recognise An Electrical Cable?

Good. No problems with this shark’s eyesight.

5/5

 

Roar?

A mild roar at the end when it explodes. This has always been attributed to Jaws having eaten a dinosaur before attacking the Orca.

2/5

 

Does The Shark Look Shitty In 3D When Compared To The Background?

No. Fine here.

5/5 

 

That’s a whopping 22 barrels out of a possible 25. Well done that shark. 

JAWS 2

The shark in JAWS 2 is essentially just an ASBO of the sea. Not only does it get itself a nice scar early on, it also beats up and kills a whale, downs a helicopter, attacks a load of kids on boats and generally makes a nuisance of itself.

Visibility?

A bit more visible, but still utilising the less is more approach.

3/5

 

Kill Count?

Seven (including the whale).

 5/5 (Extra barrel for murdering a whale)

 

Best Kill?

Downing the helicopter is quite spectacular. Well, as spectacular as it is silly.

3/5

 

Ability To Recognise An Electrical Cable?

Terrible. This leads to his doom as he bites down on a big one like an aquatic moron.

1/5

 

Roar?

No roar here, but he does fizz when he’s being electrocuted. Does that count? No? Sod you then.

0/5 (Must try harder)

Does The Shark Look Shitty In 3D When Compared To The Background?

No three-dimensional problems here.

5/5 

 

 A less impressive but still respectable 17 for JAWS 2. Light round of applause.

JAWS 3D

A shark film that manages the impossible and jumps itself. With 3D being the actual only selling point here, it’s a shame that the 3D is so unbelievably clunky and cumbersome. Still there are cute dolphins that can somehow hold their own against a giant bloody shark, which is the aquatic equivalent of a bunch of ballet dancers taking on the Hell’s Angels.

Visibility?

Seen far too much and in clunky early 80s 3D. Horrible.

1/5

 

Kill Count?

Five.

 3/5 

 

Best Kill?

The death of Jaws itself. The grenade on the severed arm in the mouth is quite a nice moment. Shame it’s immediately ruined by the horrible 3D shark jaws coming towards the screen. Get it? Jaws 3D? Get it? Get it?

2/5

 

Ability To Recognise An Electrical Cable?

Good. No such problems. 

5/5

 

Roar?

No roar here.

0/5

Does The Shark Look Shitty In 3D When Compared To The Background?

Yes. Bloody awful

0/5

A dismal 11 out of 25 barrels for JAWS’s third outing. You don’t need 3D glasses to spot it’s utter shit.

JAWS THE REVENGE

The shark in JAWS THE REVENGE is essentially half Mark Chapman, half warped criminal mastermind. He travels half way around the world to assassinate a family and to aid his plan he is able to impersonate calls from the coastguard (to trap Sean Brody), place driftwood in Amity harbour and get from the US to the Bahamas in record time. This is no shark; this is a Bond villain on a powerful jet ski.

Visibility?

Seen far too much in bright sunlight and you can literally see the joins.

0/5 

Kill Count

Three (including Martin Brody who died of a heart attack off screen which Ellen blames on the shark because she is bonkers).

3/5 

 

Best Kill?

None of them are any good.

0/5

Ability To Recognise An Electrical Cable?

Good. No problems here.

5/5

 

Roar?

The shark can roar alright. It roars like there’s no tomorrow. Well done shark.

5/5

 

Does The Shark Look Shitty In 3D When Compared To The Background?

No, but it still looks shitty.

0/5

Oh dear, Mr Revenge. With 13 barrels you’ve done slightly better than your predecessor, but it’s still piss-poor I’m afraid.

The winner is clearly the first and best shark from the original movie. It has the most class and clearly understands the benefit of subtlety and tension.

Well done, Mr. Jaws. A The Hollywood News pencil case is on it’s way to you.

JAWS is available on Blu-ray 3rd September.

  • http://cinetropolis.net/ @johnneyred

    Another fantastic, funny piece from m’colleague and fellow scribe over at Cinetropolis, John Rain.

  • Steven

    There’s a mistake with the death counts in both Jaws 2 and Jaws The Revenge. If you’re going to include the whale in 2, that makes 8 (excluding a deleted death to obtain a PG rating):-

    2 divers at the beginning.
    Terri – the waterskier.
    The woman driving the speedboat.
    The whale.
    Eddie.
    The helicopter pilot.
    Marge, who gets swallowed whole.
    Incidentally, Bob, as it was originally shot, also got killed at the end, before Bruce 2 bites the cable. But, as the scene never makes the film, it’s not important. There are pictures of this on the internet, though.

    Jaws The Revenge

    Sean Brody
    The banana boat lady
    Jake (in the original/tv cut).
    Martin Brody, as you seem to want to include him also.

  • Feargal Sharkey

    I enjoyed this. Apart from all the stuff about sharks, I think you overdid it with the shark stuff. Other than that, a first class piece of work. Four barrels out of a possible five.