Jaws 3 (1983)   2/52/52/52/52/5


Dennis Quaid and Bess Armstrong in Jaws 3

Lone Shark becomes Pool Shark

Quite often when a movie starts churning out sequels it can be the case that the second movie is worse than the original but by the time you get part 3 it improves again. That is most definitely not the case of "Jaws 3" or "Jaws 3-D" as it is also known because quite simply it is bad. Admittedly I never saw "Jaws 3" as originally intended in 3D but I doubt for one minute that it improved the movie in the slightest as the obvious 3D techniques which show themselves up in the 2D version look terrible. But it's not just the 3D techniques which ruin "Jaws 3" as the storyline is pretty terrible and the acting is nearly as bad.

Having moved on from the horror of Amity, Michael Brody (Dennis Quaid - Vantage Point) now works at Sea World in Florida where he is happy with girlfriend Dr. Kathryn Morgan (Bess Armstrong - Dream Lover) who helps with the Dolphins. With a brand new attraction opening, sea park owner Calvin Bouchard (Louis Gossett Jr. - An Officer and a Gentleman) is focussed solely on making the launch party a huge event and has little time for anything else. But when one of the parks divers disappears and Michael spots a shark everyone becomes a lot more concerned especially Michael who knows what destruction a shark can do from previous experiences.

Simon MacCorkindale and Louis Gossett Jr. in Jaws 3

Now to give who ever it was behind "Jaws 3" some credit, at least they didn't just take us back to Amity and another obvious recycling of "Jaws" or "Jaws 2". Instead we have Michael Brody working at Sea World in Florida where he helps run things and just for good measure his younger brother Sean turns up as well. In a way it works because it provides the link back to the original movies whilst delivering a slightly different storyline. Well I say slightly because in reality what we have is as you would expect a shark causing havoc having found it's way into Sea World. And to keep up the familiarity we have the owner of Sea World more worried about making money that anything else. So whilst a different location the same themes run through "Jaws 3" as they did in the first and expectedly culminate in a battle against the shark.

But whilst we have this different location and focus on different characters it doesn't disguise the fact that "Jaws 3" is a poor movie to the point that it is laughable. Before even getting into the 3D techniques the whole storyline itself is quite bad and once more lacks any real atmosphere. For the first 45 minutes it seems to drift around trying to establish Michael and Sean as well as various love interests but never really going anywhere. And at the same time we have this nature photographer/ hunter who happens to be at Sea World, quite handy for when the shark starts causing trouble. But it seems so boring, almost bordering on the juvenile antics of a teen movie as Sean hooks up with a water skier. Basically it's all surface story with out any depth, just filling the time till it gets to the main action of the shark attacking Sea World.

And sadly when all the shark action happens it's still not that exciting and borders on the daft. It just doesn't generate any atmosphere; it never draws you to the edge of your seat in anticipation of something terrible about to happen and never gets you cowering behind the cushions as to what you see. It boils down to being to in your face and almost too humorous as with cheesy dialogue and almost as cheesy performances you find yourself laughing far too often.

But the worst thing is the 3D techniques which when watching "Jaws 3" in 2D stick out like a sore thumb. From the disembodied fish head during the opening credits, through to severed limbs floating in the water and the cheesy sub which they use it's so forced and unnatural that it just makes you laugh. I dread to think how it actually looked in 3D because to me it is everything I dislike about the way 3D has been used un the past. Although saying that a scene where a heavily deteriorated body is identified on the slab is quite effective and disgusting at the same time if a little comically fake.

And basically to top it off the acting far too often borders on the cheesy with Louis Gossett Jr. going seriously over the top as the money grabbing owner of Sea World. But whilst there are several performances which ended up making me laugh in particular Simon MacCorkindale as photographer Philip FitzRoyce you sort of have to give Dennis Quaid as Michael Brody some credit for not cracking up when delivering so much cheesy dialogue. It may not be Quaid's greatest performance but at least he attacks his part and tries to lead things.

What this all boils down to is that "Jaws 3" is a bad movie and there is no disguising that fact. It may have moved location and changed the character focus but it doesn't disguise the poor storyline, less that thrilling action and that it is bereft of atmosphere. And as for those 3D elements well watching "Jaws 3" in 2D the 3D techniques stick out like a sore thumb, looking unnatural and laughable so I can only imagine how poor they looked in less than glorious 3D.

Tags: Shark Movies


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