Jaws ★★★★½

Geoff T's Hoop-Tober 5.0 Challenge
Jaws Double Bill #1
Jaws (1975)

Deep Blue Sea, Sharknado, The Meg, all of those and any other cheesy shark film released in the last 20 years are amatuers compared to Spielberg's original thriller. Believe it or not, Jaws is more or less a first film viewing in full for me. I had seen parts of it over time and not really cared for it a whole much, but seeing it in it's entirity, it didn't dissapoint whatever.

Amity Island is the typical American beach town, and just the kind of place that’s perfect for a family visit during the summertime. That is until a horror emerges in the form of a great white shark that is slowly picking off unlucky swimmers. Local police officer Martin Brody (the late Roy Scheider) sees the threat and advises the town's mayor to close the beaches down, who refuses since the 4th of July is apporaching, and the town's tourist funds are apparently more important than the satefy of it's citizens.

That's when Brody he calls in calls in marine biologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), who more than knows what the actual threat is. Knowing that it's is far bigger than previously imagined, the pair with local shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw) and embark on a boat voyage so they can take out the man-eating beast once and for all. They all for the most part make for a likable trio, whose chemistry with each other feels all too real knowing what they're up against, though exchanging funny stories and injuries with each other (like Quint's time in WWII) helps to overcome their dangerous ordeal somewhat.

Having watched Spielberg's own Duel earlier this year, he always seemed to be like a director who knew his stuff early on, and here he proves it even further. What I feel makes Jaws so effective is taking a simple concept and turning it into a thoroughly intense and engaging thriller, right from it's opening attack on skinny-dipping Chrissie to it's climax on Quint's boat. I'll admit that the shark doesn't look too hot when it's out of water, but thankfully Spielberg makes the decision to keep it obscured underwater for most of the time.

So the cast is excellent, the cinematography (both in and out of water) is very well-done and the simple story is executed with near perfection, but what about the music? In honesty, there's very few themes out there in cinema that I feel induce more dread and unease than that of John Williams', his one of many with Spielberg. Seriously, when you hear that ominous music rising with intensity, you KNOW that you need to get the hell out the water as soon as possible.

Why it took me so long to see this bad boy in full during my years of being on this site? I honestly have no clue. Otherwise, this truly has to be one of the definite thrillers of the 70s. It's a tense, exciting and heart-pounding ride from start to finish. While I wouldn't consider it my absolute favourite of Spielberg's work, it's definitely in my top 5 at least.


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