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As what is commonly claimed to be the first ever "summer blockbuster" it would be easy (and understandable) if Jaws fell victim to Hype Backlash. However, this is rarely the case which speaks to just how well the film is made.
The primary reason for the films success is not the (slightly shonky) shark - its the humans. Pretty much every main character and a large number of the secondary ones gets fleshed out. Our main trio is the best example (the rightly legendary Indianapolis speech for instance) but even our prototypical "stupid mayor" type does actually have a good reason for wanting the beach open and a serious Heel Realisation when he realises how badly he's screwed the pooch.
Of course, you can't talk about Jaws without discussing the shark - who especially by today's standards looks rather unconvincing when he finally appears but such is the effectiveness of his earlier half-seen attacks that he remains horrifying. But even the shark gets a modicum of character when our heroes realise this shark is doing things they never even heard of before...
Having watched a cinematic re-release I can honestly say that the film still holds up on the big screen several decades later. And frankly, I think that speaks for itself.
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