- "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.."
- —Jaws 2 tagline.
Jaws 2 is a 1978 Horror, Suspense, Adventure
Like the first film, the production of Jaws 2 was troubled. The original director, John D. Hancock, proved to be unsuitable for an action film and was replaced by Szwarc. Scheider, who only reprised his role to end a contractual issue with Universal, was also unhappy during production and had several heated exchanges with Szwarc.
Jaws 2 remained on Variety's list of top ten box office hits of all time until the mid-1990s, and was briefly the highest-grossing sequel in history until Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was released in 1980. The film's tagline, "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water..." has become one of the most famous in film history and has been parodied and homaged several times. It is widely regarded as being the best Jaws sequel.
Nearly three years after the initial Amity Island shark attacks by a Great White Shark, two scuba divers find the deceased shark hunter Quint's sunken boat, the Orca, on the seabed before they are suddenly attacked by a huge great white shark. Both divers are killed but, one of them takes a picture of the creature before getting killed. A few days later, the shark enters Amity Island's coastal waters, killing a water skier named Terri. Diane, the motorboat driver, is attacked by the shark and tries to defend herself with gasoline and a flare gun, but the fuel ignites and she perishes when the motorboat explodes. The shark survives, but is badly burned on the right side of its head.
In addition to these incidents, a dead 7 1/2-meter killer whale is beached at a nearby lighthouse with large wounds all over its body, which Police Chief Martin Brody, suggests were caused by a Great White Shark. Once again, Mayor Vaughn does not share Brody's belief that the town has another shark problem and warns him not to press the issue, afraid that it will cause mass hysteria. Later, Brody spots a section of a ruined speedboat bobbing in the surf just off the beach. When he goes to retrieve it, he encounters the burnt remains of Diane.
Brody bans his 17-year-old son Mike from going sailing, and finds him a summer job working at the beach. The following day, while Brody is in an observation tower, he sees a large shadow in the ocean moving towards the beach. Brody hastily orders everyone out of the water, and adds to the panic he causes by firing his revolver at the shadow, only to be told it is actually not a shark at all, but a harmless school of bluefish. Later that night, he receives a blurred photo of the shark's face, recovered from the camera of the attacked divers. Brody shows it to Vaughn and the town council, but they decline to accept the evidence put in front of them, being extremely reluctant to close the beaches during the tourist season. In Amity, the tourist season is big money. Len Peterson, an Amity official who has built a new resort in the town to attract tourists, has convinced the town council to fire Brody. Deputy Hendricks is promoted to Brody's position.
The next morning, Mike sneaks out and goes sailing with his friends, but has to take his young brother Sean along to stop him from telling his parents about the trip. Later, they go past a group of divers led by Tom Andrews. Andrews encounters the shark minutes after entering the water. He escapes, but suffers an embolism due to rushing to the surface too fast in order to get away (an embolism is where bubbles form in the blood). Teenagers Tina Wilcox and Eddie Marchand later encounter the shark when it hits their sailboat, killing Eddie and leaving Tina terrified and alone.
Brody and his wife Ellen find Andrews being put into an ambulance, and Brody suspects that something must have scared him to make him come up so fast. Hendricks informs Brody that Mike has gone out sailing to the lighthouse with his friends, so Brody insists on taking the police patrol boat to rescue them, with Ellen and Hendricks both joining him. They find Tina's boat and her hiding in the hull. She, in an obvious state of shock, keeps repeating “it’s still here” and “no no no”. Eventually, she starts sputtering “sh sh sh sh” and then yells “sh-shark!”, which confirms Brody's suspicions about the shark in the area. Then, Hendricks and Ellen take Tina ashore in a passing boat, while Brody continues to search for the teenagers using the police boat.
All seems well with the other teenagers until the shark appears and hits one of their sail boats, causing panic as their boats collide with each other. Mike is knocked unconscious and falls into the water. Two of his friends pull him out just as the shark approaches, and they take him back to the shore for medical help. The rest of the teens remain floating on the wreckage of tangled boats, helplessly drifting out toward the open sea. A harbor patrol marine helicopter arrives and a rope line is rigged to tow the boats to shore but, before the pilot can tow them, the shark attacks the chopper, causing it to capsize and sink and drowning the pilot. Sean also falls into the water, but he is quickly saved by Marge. As Marge tries to get back into the boat, her hands slip on the wet hull, and she falls back into the water. The shark approaches and devours Marge. Back at mainland, Tina is sent to the hospital, and Ellen berates Peterson for getting her husband fired and denying the shark's presence.
Brody finds Mike, who informs his father about the situation. His friends and Sean are drifting on the wreckage toward Cable Junction, a small rocky island housing an electrical relay station, with the open sea beyond it. Brody quickly finds the teenagers, but the shark attacks again, which causes Brody to run his boat aground on the rocks. Brody tries to tie a rope line and use the boat's motorized winch to pull the teens to safety, but he snags an underwater power cable instead. Most of the teenagers are tossed into the water during the shark's next attack, and they swim to safety on Cable Junction, though the shark grazes Lucy while Sean and Jackie are left marooned on one of the boats. Using an inflatable raft, Brody attracts the shark's attention by repeatedly hitting the power line with an oar; thus creating a rhythmic vibration under the water (which he learned from the expert, who examined the killer whale) and gets the shark to bite the power cable. The shark is electrocuted to death, and its charred remains sink to the bottom of the sea. Brody collects Sean and Jackie and paddles over to Cable Junction to await rescue with the other teenagers.
Roy Scheider as Chief Brody
Lorraine Gary as Reporter
Murray Hamilton as School
Jonathan Filley as Cassidy
- Susan Backlinie as Chrissie
- Steven Spielberg as Director
- Jack Angel as Additional Voices
- John Cygan as Additional Voices
- Bill Farmer as Additional Voices
- Jess Harnell as Additional Voices
- Sonoko Konishi as Additional Voices
- John Lasseter as Additional Voices
- Danny Mann as Additional Voices
Although it only made 45% of the original film's gross, Jaws 2 did extremely well at the box office, grossing £208 million worldwide ($102 million of which was in North America alone). It became the 7th highest grossing film of 1978 to be released in North America. It received mixed reviews from critics, but has been declared a "decent sequel" and has been called the best of the Jaws sequels.
- A deleted scene shows the pilot being attacked multiple times by the shark. Because of this, he couldn't get out of the helicopter and most likely drowned. However, if he did manage to get out, the shark would've most likely brought his demise.
- Brazil's TV stations and VHS distributors added a deleted scene of some diver's recovering the camera from the Orca wreckage. This scene has not appeared anywhere else.