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Why the Jaws sequels are worth your time.

Adam O'Brien's takes a look at the Jaws sequels in his first post for The Bearded Trio and explains why he thinks they are worthy sequels.

What makes a good sequel? We've all seen one before, whether or not it's Empire Strikes Back, Terminator 2 you name it, they're both more of the same yet pushing the characters you know further into new hurdles, and new adventures that define and redefine who they are.

Sequels are comfort food for movie goers who have enjoyed a film prior, realised the characters are special, and want to spend another few 90 plus minutes with the world of that film.

I think it's great that since the advent of franchises like George Lucas' Star Wars they've become more common place, but now every film is being beaten into shape as a franchise starter to build the tent pole, however it wasn't always so.

Jaws is one example, and the franchise I'm writing about today. I was a late starter to Jaws, seeing it in my teens. I loved the characters, the locations and best of all, not knowing who was gonna make it out alive.

Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw were brilliant, but it's the cast in the other films which always intrigued me. Like, why did Michael Caine feel the need to do a shark horror film? Dennis Quaid, Lance Guest - hot off the heels of the science fiction film The Last Starfighter, all of these talents on the way to stardom but I find interesting and fun in the films.

A personal fave is P.H. Moriarty, in Jaws 3. He's a wonderful actor, and starred in Patriot Games, and the Frank Herbert's Dune miniseries in 2000 as Gurney Halleck.

P.H. Moriarty
Either way the characters have driven me to all four of the films, as well as the character of the locations itself, which in some ways remind me of beachside towns in Queensland Australia. I've spent my teen years in family vacations all up and down the south east coast of Australia, and sharks are a very big problem here, and that threat is much an evident one as in the films.

Spielberg's film works so well as we are invested in those characters, and in their plight. We are drawn in to a world that isn't far from our own, a heightened one. This world is the most theatrical I felt in the first film, but as we get into the second, and beyond I think theatricality is a part and parcel of the franchise.

We have the townspeople too who are a major element in all four of the films. They factor into the story well, and from a council dynamic we get to see how the local politics comes into play, and how crisis like these, a threat like a shark can have when the bodies start piling up. No one believes Martin Brody, nor heed his warnings.

Amity politics
The Brody family are the 'Skywalker' family of the saga. As we follow on from Martin Brody, to his son Michael over the films as a main protagonist. With Roy Scheider playing the role of Martin, and Dennis Quaid and Lance Guest both playing Michael in the sequel.

I was drawn to the sequels as Dennis was a great actor, from films like Inner Space and Enemy Mine. He is like a younger, rougher Harrison Ford, except I like the earthiness he gives to his performances, and his craziness which we saw in Enemy Mine. Same can be said for Lance Guest who took each role very seriously, but you can see him loosen up a little in his role as Michael in the Revenge. I found the Michael in both films interesting, as he lives with the legacy of his family and the times of what has happened in the Martha's Vineyard location.

Lance Guest in Jaws: The Revenge
Let's start with the sequel Jaws 2: we follow Martin some years after the original film. Taking place four years later, the story takes us back to Amity Island, and another humongous great white shark terrorises the town. I loved the extension that the story gives to Brody's story, as he killed the same kind of shark before, but this time he has to save a group of teens who are being hunted at sea by the shark. This time he doesn't have a Quint to help him, that mentor like character to help intercept the danger, and he has to rely on his own strength of character.

Jaws 3 or as known when it was released Jaws 3-D is a film about a marine water park. We've all seen theme parks, like Sea World out here on the Gold Coast of Australia but what if a great white was able to sneak in and cause trouble? This is what happens in Dennis Quaid's time in the franchise. Amity Island isn't the main location this time instead Florida's SeaWorld where it's setup as a huge water park, like those of reality, and the sharks in the film also as there's a baby shark captured but the characters then face the mother.

Michael Caine as Hoagie
The fourth: Jaws The Revenge is meant to be a direct sequel to Jaws 2 not taking into account the events set in place by Jaws 3 instead it's about an avenging shark, focused on killing the Brody family, and intent on revenge with Sean Brody its first victim. We have Lorraine Gary's Ellen return and in some ways takeover from Martin as the driving force for reason as she tries to save her other son Michael from the shark. Mario Van Peebles is great in the film as Michael's coworker and of course we get Michael Caine as the crazy pilot Hoagie, what more could you want?

The sequels may never have the terror, or the thrills of an original film, one that setup the idea of Hollywood blockbusters, but they build upon that original and give us their own slice of cinematic brilliance.

Adam O'Brien
A lifelong Star Wars fan, Adam has been captivated by the tales of Luke Skywalker and Star Wars from childhood. Hailing from Australia his two loves Star Wars and Mad Max have followed him into adulthood. A Restaurant Manager by day, fan by night, host Of The Fantha From Down Under podcast. He was also the creator, and host of two long running podcasts: Jogcast Radio Network, and then Ausfans Radio Network. He enjoys role playing games, especially all of the Star Wars releases from West End Games all the way up to the Fantasy Flight Games material. A big fan of Star Wars literature, he's followed all of it with great enthusiasm. He's a musician, playing in everything from Australian death metal outfits to Latin rock, and beyond, playing guitar for thirty years. When it comes to Star Wars he likes looking deeply into the legendary tales George Lucas was inspired by. He's also a huge fan of Quinlan Vos - the coolest Jedi ever.

The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams and a whole lot more.


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