Before Sharknado, we had Jaws.
Jaws. Best movie ever.
That should be the review. But, I doubt that I can get away with that. If you haven’t seen it, what is wrong with you? Stop reading this now, and sit down and watch it. And if you haven’t seen it in awhile, uninterrupted and without commercials, do yourself a favor, watch it again. Jaws is the very definition of a summer movie, or what summer movies use to be; big, engrossing, and explosive….literally. Part horror (for me it is my worst nightmare), part drama, and part action, this movie has it all; a riveting plot, great acting, and absolutely fantastic directing. Jaws continues to captive audiences and transcend generations even after 40 years. It is iconic and simply put, contains some of the best scenes in a movie… ever.
Based on a novel by Peter Benchley and directed by Steven Spielberg, Jaws tells a story of a giant man eating shark reeking havoc on Amity Island off New England’s coast. Local water fearing police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) along with oceanographer Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw), make it their mission to make the beaches safe again. Brody spends half the movie just convincing the mayor that action needs to be taken; Brody is worried about the towns welfare, the mayor is worried about tourism and money. A few dead and bloody bodies later, the three men are off on a shark hunt.
Scheider, Dreyfuss and Shaw are amazing. Their onscreen chemistry is so completely real and honest, I felt like I was on the boat drinking with them. They bring drama to each and every scene as well as sarcasm and humor. The scenes they have together feel true and unscripted. The dialogue, while minimal, is full of life. And don’t even get me started on the directing….come on, it’s Spielberg, need I say more! Right off the bat, the first scene is extraordinary. A young beautiful girl is skinny dipping in the ocean as the sun is setting, cue the music and BAM an unseen monster attacks and beautiful girl disappears. It is mesmerizing and terrifying all at the same time. This movie is chalked full of those scenes. Spielberg is a master at lining the camera up for just the right shot.
Jaws is one of those movies that will stick with you forever. It is unnerving and fantastic, with just the right amount of blood. I will forever never ever EVER be able to go into the ocean farther than my ankles. I will NEVER get over the Jaws ride at Universal Studios that my parents tricked me to go on. That music…well, now I use it to scare my own kids. Spielberg is Spielberg at his best with this one. I find it completely mind blowing that this was one of his first films, it is movie magic at its finest. You will be on the edge of your seat from start to finish waiting for this monster shark to pick off his next victim. Just remember that no one is safe.