After having avoided it for decades this past week I finally sat down and watched Jaws 2. The sad truth is that I have seen Jaws 3 several times because in my teenage years it was an HBO staple and therefore unavoidable. I still chuckle at the inanities in that third film but I feel no desire to revisit it. With Jaws 2 I stayed away completely because I just assumed that it was terrible. After all, Jaws was such an amazingly well done popcorn film - so entertaining, so energetic, so well-crafted, so well acted and just so good on every level that there was no way any sequel could possibly measure up. And now that I've seen the film I was right. Jaws 2 is nowhere near as good as the first film. But it's also not a terrible film. In fact, it's a pretty good film and that was a surprise. The director smartly chooses to ape Spielberg's style to match the look and feel of the previous film but I do think that the first hour could have been trimmed down a little to move things along. I enjoyed the last hour or so of the film and was impressed with the structuring of the suspense as well as the pacing. Jaws 2 isn't a great film but it's a solid thriller and I'm glad I finally caught it.
Oh! And as a bonus thrill I noticed from the advertising art that this is the film that put one of the great movie catchphrases into the vernacular - 'Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water'. That and a zillion half-assed humorous variations got worn out by people for years after the film was a dim memory.