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Film / Jaws: The Revenge

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"This time, it's personal!"
— The tagline

This was the third, last, and least sequel to Jaws, released in 1987.

Ignoring the events of the third film, The Revenge follows Ellen Brody, who finds out that there's a shark attacking people, and shockingly, it seems to be specifically targeting the members of her family.

This time, it's tropable:

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: The novelization (which was closer to the original script than the film itself) implies Hoagie is involved in drug smuggling or the like. There's no hint of this in the film, however.
  • All There in the Manual: The novelization of the film based on Hank Searls' the original script included many scenes and subplots that ultimately got removed. Some of the excised material includes:
    • The discovery of Sean Brody's body by Amity PD
    • Thea being hypnotized and almost wandering into the water at night where the shark waits
    • The death of a wind surfer
    • A humorous scene involving a drunken retired newscaster and the shark
    • A drive-by shooting where the Brodys are nearly injured, and a foot pursuit.
    • Mike's secrecy of the shark takes a strain on his marriage, and he also retains a monitoring device in the bedroom. When Carla has her unveiling, Mike goes to a bar and he and Carla argue, she then mentions that she shut off the monitoring device (not knowing what it does) because she believed Mike needed sleep. It's only then they realize Thea may be in danger on the banana boat.
    • Deleted characters include an island gangster who befriends Ellen Brody who is ultimately killed by the shark, Hoagie's law enforcement partner, and Papa Jacques, a voodoo doctor.
      • In the novel, Papa Jacques is a local man from whom the islanders solicit advice and guidance. Mike Brody does not like him because he believes he exploits the islanders, including his assistants. After an altercation with Mike Brody, Papa Jacques summons the shark to do his bidding. He also has Thea's pail stolen so he can curse it, this is what leads to the Thea walking outside towards the water in a zombie-like trance.
    • Several segments also take place from the shark's point of view and it's revealed that the shark is an Unwitting Pawn and can't understand the force driving it where it needs to go.
    • This shark is the lone surviving offspring of the mating between the first and second films' sharks as was part of Jaws 2's novelization, being the only one of the female's pups born before she electrocuted herself biting the lighthouse power cable. Though how it grew to full size so quickly isn't explained.
  • And Starring: Michael Caine gets the "and..." credit.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The shark rips off Sean's arm before going for the killing strike. Though it's embarrassingly obvious that the actor is just hiding it under his jacket.
  • Artistic License – Biology: You have no idea.
    • Sharks. Don't. Roar. Why is that? Sharks do not have vocal chords, or even lungs, for that matter.note 
    • Also, sharks don't blow up if they're impaled, unless it has an explosive device inside of them.
    • Great whites don't like warm water? Yes they do. They're found all over the world.
    • At the end the shark helpfully sticks its torso way the hell out of the water so Ellen can impale it with the prow, the implication being it's standing on its tail like a dolphin. Even small sharks can't do that, let alone 25-foot great whites.
  • Ascended Extra: After playing a supporting role in the first and second movie, Ellen Brody takes over as the main character in the fourth film.
  • Attack of the Town Festival: Sean's death is set against the backdrop of the Christmas celebration.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Originally, when the shark is killed, but not before killing Jake as well, meaning that poor Mike has now lost his brother and his best friend to this thing within a few weeks. It takes forever for him to assure Ellen that he's going to be okay, and even then, it's obvious that his "Yes" isn't sincere.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: The shark-hunters use a device that overloads the great white's electroreceptive sense to disorient it.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The film essentially pretends Jaws 3-D doesn't exist. According to this article, Joseph Sargent made this decision during pre-production, partly because of 3-D's reputation (little did he or anybody else realize this movie would come to be regarded as even worse) but mostly because they didn't expect that film's stars to be available to reprise their roles.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Ellen and Michael, both about the shark.
  • Children Are Innocent: Thea asks if Sean will ever come back.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Thea mimicking her pondering father's gestures is a callback to a similar moment in the first film.
    • One of Brody's sons became a marine biologist while the other became Amity's chief of police.
    • Alex Kitner's mother is among those visiting Ellen after Sean's death. And the police secretary is the same from the first two films.
    • Ellen is seen leaving a real estate office, a job she was in during the second film.
  • Continuity Porn: Revenge is laden with none-too-subtle references to the original Jaws:
    • Most egregiously, Ellen has sepia-toned flashbacks of events from Jaws, including one of Brody killing the first shark (which she did not even witness). While at the dinner table, Michael's daughter Thea playfully mimics his hand gestures, identical to a scene between Martin and Sean in the original movie, complete with a flashback to said scene.
    • Brody's elder son grew up to become a marine biologist. Brody's younger son became Amity's chief of police. There is a picture of Martin Brody on the wall of Sean's office and he even has a secretary called Polly.
    • Sean's death in the opening scene of Revenge is reminiscent of Chrissie's in the opening scene of Jaws.
    • Lee Fierro (Mrs Kintner) and Fritzi Jane Courtney (Mrs. Taft) make cameo appearances. In the original script, Hooper made an appearance too.
    • Hoagie, Ellen, Michael and Jake paddle back to shore on a piece of wreckage, à la Brody and Hooper.
    • Revenge even borrows a shot of Bruce the shark's dismembered body sinking after his demise.
  • December–December Romance: Ellen and Hoagie.
  • Did I Mention It's Christmas?: The story begins around Christmas, with Christmas carolers on Amity Island on the night that Ellen Brody's son Sean goes out on a boat to clear away a log and gets killed.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Sean Brody. Though it could have been worse, as the original script had Martin dying to serve as a launchpad for his wife's sunny Caribbean adventure, with even her burgeoning romance with Hoagie intact. Thankfully, Roy Scheider refused to desecrate his character so much.
    • Though they still did it anyway—when Michael reminds Ellen that Martin died of a heart attack, she claims that "the fear of it killed him!", implying that the repeated encounters with sharks led to Martin's death.
      • At least in that case, a viewer can chalk up Ellen's words as a product of her growing paranoia about the shark. Unfortunately that paranoia turns out to be justified, so it's a small comfort at best.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The shark eats part of Hoagie's plane.
  • Flashback: While battling the shark, Ellen Brody has flashbacks of events of the first movie that she did not even witness, And events of this movie she wasn't present at (Sean's death), or viewed from another angle (the attack on Thea). Furthermore, these can't just be Hand Waved as saying the shark was sending her psychic visions or something, as THIS SHARK wasn't there to witness the end of the first film either!
  • Grand Finale: Of the the entire quadrilogy.
  • Hand Wave: After Hoagie's plane is attacked by the shark and pulled under, he appears climbing up into the heroes' boat. When they ask how he got away:
    "It wasn't easy!"
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The shark's quest for revenge takes place around Christmas.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • A great white shows up in the Bahamas and Michael (A) doesn't report it to the proper authorities, thus endangering God knows how many people, including his own daughter and (B) doesn't even consider that his mother's crazy theory might actually be true, especially considering that great whites are very rare in the Bahamas, and thus think to keep himself safe by staying out of the water?
    • Jake decides to take the research money they've been given to study snails to drop that completely so he can study the shark instead. What's more he also goads Michael into going into this with him, despite the fact that Michael is still grieving for his younger brother, who was just killed by a shark.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A ship's bow impales the shark. In the original theatrical version it bleeds to death. In the International version, as they didn't have time or budget to remake the scene in a proper way, the shark instead explodes.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: We're in the Bahamas, so of course, Hoagie takes Ellen to a Junkanoo festival. As it turns out, this trope is justified as it is the time of the year—Christmas/New Year's—when this festival is held.
  • It's Personal: The Trope Namerinvoked is attributed to the tagline.
  • It Wasn't Easy: After Hoagie's plane is attacked by the shark and pulled under, he appears climbing up into the heroes' boat. When Hoagie is asked how he managed to escape from the shark, his only answer is "It wasn't easy!"
  • Just Eat Gilligan: The whole conflict could have been avoided if, after all the Brody family's been through due to sharks, they did the sensible thing of moving/staying inland. It isn't helped by the Brody family's decision to vacation in the Bahamas so soon after Sean's death.
  • Made of Explodium: The shark is hit with the bowsprit of a sailboat and blows up for no reason whatsoever. For good measure, the resulting explosion is somehow powerful enough to blow the boat apart, and yet not instantly tear its occupants to shreds with the resulting shrapnel. The original ending had the shark mortally wounded by the impalement and simply destroying the boat with its death throes, and can be seen here.
  • Mood-Swinger: Ellen goes through this after her son's death, swinging wildly through emotions from intense angry paranoia to giddiness, to uncontrollable sobbing to distant depression. She even displays emotions in odd settings, such as laughing happily at Sean's funeral, then bawling when her granddaughter wants her to play with her. Truth in Television, as all of this, including the unusual timing, isn't uncommon when coping with grief.
    • Plus, the laughing at the funeral is due to the happy flashback she's having.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Ellen has a nightmare where she is attacked by a shark while swimming.
  • Not Quite Dead: When Jake is taken by the shark, it seems safe to assume he's a goner, only for him to literally resurface after the climax. This was another change based on the test audiences, who complained about his death in the original script.
  • Novelization: The novelization was written by Hank Searls, who also adapted Jaws 2. While that novelization was based on an earlier draft and was significantly different from the finished film, this sticks fairly close to the final film, although it does contain some extra subplots. The novel contains a subplot in which Hoagie is a government agent and he transports laundered money. The only reference to this in the film is when Michael Brody asks "What do you do when you're not flying people?" to which Hoagie replies, "I deliver laundry." In Searls' novel, the character of Jake is ultimately killed by the shark; Jake was originally supposed to die in the film, but the script was changed to allow him to survive.
    • The novelization suggests that the shark may be acting under the influence of a vengeful voodoo witch doctor (who has a feud with the Brody family), and the shark's apparent revenge has magical implications. Taken from the earlier drafts of the screenplay, the shark is directed by a voodoo curse laid by Papa Jacques, a Haitian witch doctor. Scholar I.Q. Hunter explains, "The revenge of the title is, therefore, Papa Jacques’ and not the shark’s, which entirely changes the story’s meaning: the shark, impelled by ‘stranger forces man could never understand,’ is an instrument of postcolonial revenge." This also explains the strange psychic connection Ellen and the shark have with each other. The plot was deleted as it strayed too far away from the plot of the killer shark. However, at one point in the theatrical version, Michael Brody says, "Come on, sharks don't commit murder. Tell me you don't believe in that voodoo.
    • The novelization includes additional scenes that were not included in the final cut of the film, including chapters from the shark's point of view where it is explained that it doesn't understand why it is acting the way it is, as well as an attack on a preppy windsurfer, a drunken newscaster seeing the shark off the side of his yacht and a relationship between Ellen Brody and a gangster who later meets his demise in the sea with the shark.
  • Numbered Sequels: Averted here, after Jaws 2 and Jaws 3D.
  • Plot Hole: A doozy, as described in Roger Ebert's no-star review:
    "I believe that the shark wants revenge against Mrs. Brody. I do. I really do believe it. After all, her husband was one of the men who hunted this shark and killed it, blowing it to bits. And what shark wouldn’t want revenge against the survivors of the men who killed it?"
  • Revised Ending: The original ending showed the shark simply being impaled on the boat and sinking into the water dying. Test audiences disliked this, so the filmmakers reshot the finale with the shark exploding as he's impaled; Jake, who dies in the original version, also somehow survived in the retakes. Television cuts typically use the original ending, while the revised version's available on DVD and video releases.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Revenge makes it perfectly clear that the shark is out for — well — revenge. Extra points for fulfilling the roaring part despite being a shark.
  • Say My Name: As Jake is seemingly eaten by the shark, Michael screams his name.
  • Shout-Out: Sean's death is deliberately reminiscent of Chrissie's in the first movie.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Children are singing Christmas songs in the background as Sean is eaten.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The shark somehow follows Ellen from New England to the Bahamas — in a matter of days. It also stalks Michael, almost getting him, and when that doesn't work, it goes after Thea.
  • Tyop on the Cover: According to the official title card and posters, the film is actually named "Jaws The Revenge" with no colon. Whether this was a typo on someone's part or just Creator's Apathyinvoked is unknown.
  • Voodoo Shark: The novelization of the film is the trope namer, due to it explaining that shark's attacks are caused by a voodoo priest, who has a score to settle with Michael. This raises questions as to why the priest has a score to settle and on the existence of magic in the Jaws universe.
  • Water Is Dry: When Hoagie gets out of the water in the climax, his clothes are completely dry.
  • A Wizard Did It: Just replace "wizard" with "voodoo priest," and you'll have the gist of what the whole idea behind the aforementioned Voodoo Shark was all about.