124 min., 1975
Written by Peter Benchley/Carl Gottlieb
Directed by Steven Spielberg
My rating: ★★★★
Stands the test of time very well
* * *
Our movie begins with a couple on the beach. The girl goes into the water where she is attacked and killed by something underwater. We then meet Martin and his family who live on the beach. A shark starts attacking people and everyone is getting worried, so Martin and two other guys Sam Quint (Robert Shaw) and Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) head out to find and kill the ever shark.
The acting in the movie is top notch except in a few spots. All three of the main actors do an amazing job, but at the same time, in some spots all three over act to the extreme. Sometime taking their roles to over the top for it to be enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong they do a great job, but sometimes it was just too much. Everyone else is pretty good and plays their parts great.
The effects were extremely minor in the movie except for the shark. When it’s just the fin, it looks good, but when it surfaces, it can look awesome and then it can look painfully like a mechanical shark. Other than that, for the most part, there are almost no other effects.
One of the true stand out points of the movie is the rising tension. The movie movies along at a strange pace, with something happening then 20 minutes pass, then something else happens. It does this for almost the whole movie, and during those 20 minutes nothing is really going on. Yes, we are learning about some of the characters and learning a bit about the shark, but there is soooooo much filler that I tended to get bored. When something is happening, not just the shark attacks, it is done really well, but man those done times just bore me to death. This is another example of how too much tension building can lead to boredom. Now, most of the times where there is tension building it is done perfectly, literally having me on the edge of my seat, with the whole last ¼ of the movie being just a great piece of cinema.
This is another of the required viewing for horror fans. Is it as great as it was when it came out? Not really, but it’s pretty damn close. Go out and give it a peek. If you start to get bored, don’t turn it off, just wait till the last reel, it’s great!Have You Read...?