They Used Smaller Boats…

Jaws 2, without competition, is among the greatest killer shark movies ever made. Its issue(s) sit entirely with its predecessor being among the greatest movies ever made, sharks or otherwise.

As such, Jaws 2 finds itself left wandering, adrift, and too often ignored in such conversations. Doing so means ignoring all that Jaws 2 does not only right, but brilliantly. In his first scene, Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) is seen through the branches of a money tree, a flawless visual encapsulation of his character not only from Jaws, but in Jaws 2’s own retelling. Yes, it’s a recycled character arc – and with no genuine outcome since he was re-elected once already apparently – but a masterfully framed shot.

… it’s remarkable Jaws 2 is anything worth discussing at all

There’s Michael Brody’s (Mark Gruner) near-death escape from the shark’s maw, a precise and (truly) borderline bit of stunt/effects work, as scintillating as any such scene in Jaws. Same for Eddie (Gary Dubin) whose violent death is arguably the best in the series for sheer viciousness. For Chief Brody (Roy Scheider), he compellingly exhibits PTSD attempting to enter the water to retrieve debris, and later, as music swells, he waits for a photo to develop, the audience uncertain of the image’s context. For Brody, it’s all he needs to scream shark.

What Jaws 2 lacks is character. That’s it, actually. Without Hooper or (obviously) Quint to play off of, Brody is left idle, minus their engaging dynamics as a team. Instead, Jaws 2 is a story about island life, or a slice-of-life tale about teens who know nothing other than being on the water. Their own isolation is driven into Jaws 2’s narrative, central to the finale as they become trapped on the water, the shark circling.

A troubled production from the outset with a frustrated director replaced by a usual TV series director Jeannot Szwarc, it’s remarkable Jaws 2 is anything worth discussing at all. But it is, and at times, it’s worth reevaluating regularly for its ability to function on what is, essentially, the same story, but elicit equal thrills. That’s rare – even unheard of – but Jaws 2 contains grand scale in its action, generous, convincing practical shark footage, and sublime scares. Rather than Jaws, which no creative mind would attempt to replicate, the sub-genre’s formula was born here… and the hundreds of z-grade knock-offs that swarmed in cinematic waters after Jaws as well.


A monumental boost over Universal’s sagging Blu-ray, Jaws 2 earns the attention it deserves in 4K. This gorgeous, fresh, clean scan has remarkable zest. HDR sings, adding zip to various light sources and makes the intense island sun glisten from the water. Dominating black levels near crush, but just avoid the worst of it.

Also generous is color saturation, notable immediately as Brody enters the hotel opening. Lanterns, balloons, and decorations appear dazzling, while the underwater footage nails a dense, brilliant blue. Sails on boats carry a gorgeous variety of neon-like hues. Flesh tones, warmed from Martha’s Vineyard’s sun, display a fantastic but natural bronzing.

Gracious resolution scans the materials at full 4K and that’s obvious given the endless texture. Medium and close shots both impress equally. In wide angles, the town itself reveals every shingle on the roofs. Grain replication doesn’t show a single issue for the full runtime, even when grittier underwater.


A rare case where the audio appears to have earned restoration too, this DTS-HD mono track doesn’t vary wildly from the Blu-ray (which had the same format). While still lean in top-end fidelity based purely on age, Jaws 2 offers better balance than prior. John Williams’ score isn’t lost amid the action, and bass offers a passable, clean drop for a ’70s mono track. Likely, this is as strong as Jaws 2’s audio can (and will) get short of a full 5.1 upmix. But, this track sports enough purity and balance to stick around unchanged.


Everything on the Blu-ray transfers over to the UHD. This includes a wonderful making of (45:22) and four deleted scenes. Actor Keith Gordon recounts his role in an eight minute interview, while the John Williams score has a spotlight in another seven minute featurette. Director Jeannot Szwarc tells a funny story about the movie’s French title in a brief one minute clip, with some storyboards following.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Jaws 2
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Successful on its own terms but a drop-off from the original, Jaws 2 still finds a number of memorable images and scenes worth revisiting.

User Review
3 (2 votes)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 43 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

2 thoughts on "Jaws 2 4K UHD Review"

  1. Timothy Davis says:

    F. Murray Abraham didn’t play the mayor of Amity you dimwit. Murray Hamilton did. Did you actually watch either movie or did you get an AI too write this for you? All one has too do is too read the credits or do a Google search. Lazy as can be.

    1. Matt Paprocki says:

      Or, or – bear with me – my uncle is on his final days in hospice, I’m in the middle of a move, and I’m still trying to crank out reviews 20 hours a week for $175 a month and mixed up two guys named Murray. So yeah, thanks for the correction and have a better day since it obviously ruined yours.

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