Armchair Viewing: Jaws (1975)

By Cate McVeigh 

"You're gonna need a bigger boat."

What's it about?
A lovely summer resort town is eagerly awaiting the throng of fourth of July tourists to it's sunny shores. All is well on this idyllic little island until... da-dum ---- da-dum ---- da-dum-da-dum-da-dum-da-dum-da-da-da! (If you don't recognise this as the theme tune to Jaws then you're either deaf, an uncultured idiot or young... only the first of these is an excuse!). Amity Island suddenly finds itself haunted by a giant killer shark; the shark poses a threat to human life, but more importantly, a threat to the economy!!

Why watch it?
Best. Movie. EVER!

People always quiz me about why it's my favourite movie. Why do you find it so thrilling? Why is it one of your favourite scripts of all time? Why have you seen it about 50 times and still jump in all the right places? Why does Bruce the mechanical shark go down as one of your top ten favourite movie characters? If you will all shut up for a second, then I will tell you!

First of all - Jaws, our lovable little scamp of a killer great white shark, is completely indiscriminating. He doesn't care what age, race or gender you are; when he's hungry, he'll have a gnaw of anyone! He's more mysterious than Kaiser Soze, is more lifelike than Kristen Stewart and is funnier than Charlie Sheen (I mean in the way we laugh at him, not with him - unless he makes Hot Shots part trois, in that case all is forgiven). We barely see Jaws in the first half of the film, which is all the better because when he shows up later at the side of the boat beside Brody, it scares the living be-Jesus out of me! He builds up more suspense than a really good episode of Scooby Doo when you finally see the mask ripped off and the villain unveiled! One of the things I love most about watching Jaws is that I can shout at the idiots that go into the water knowing that there is a killer (yes, killer) shark on the loose. These characters have had more aggro from me than Darwin gets at a Sarah Palin rally.

Then we get to the three stooges; Quint, Hooper and of course Chief Brody. Let's start with Brody (Roy Scheider) who is terrified of the water, yet he is the chief of police on a seaside resort on an island - kind of setting yourself up for a fail there, buddy! Brody does have one of the most badass lines ever though, "Smile you son of a bitch!" Then we have Hooper (Richard Dreyfus), our rich kid who now works for the oceanographic institute and is our scientific shark expert. How many millionaires do we know that would give a crap about this kind of gubbins instead of driving pimped out escalades, sleeping with hoes and eating gold (the only millionaires that I know are rappers)? Quint (Robert Shaw) is the most baffling of them all... he was on the USS Indianapolis when it sank. If you don't know what that is, get the Discovery Channel, people! The sinking of the USS Indianapolis resulted in the largest number of shark attacks in history. So what does Quint do? Become a shark fisherman... idiot!

Despite my criticisms of the hapless trio and their mismatched motives; they are great and the movie is great. It's funny, sad, beautifully shot, has the most recognisable soundtrack known to man and is in my opinion Spielberg's best work to date. If the review hasn't made you want to watch this modern classic, then this 30 second re-enactment by cartoon bunnies is sure to swing your vote.

When’s it on?
Wednesday 2 March
11.05pm - 1.35am

Jaws at IMDb

Justin Bateman is a Screenjabber contributor

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