Jaws 2 is a 1978 natural horror/thriller film and the first sequel to Jaws. It was directed Jeannot Szwarc and stars Roy Scheider, Lorrain Gary, and Murray Hamilton. It is widely recognized as the greatest Jaws sequel.
The film is set four years after the even of Jaws. Two divers explore and photograph the wreck of the Orca, Quint's boat from the previous film. As they do, they are both killed and devoured by another great white shark, and one of them takes a photo of it with the camera before he is killed. Police Chief Martin Brody(Roy Scheider) attends the opening ceremony of a new hotel on Amity Island, built as a new attraction by Len Peterson(Joseph Mascolo), Brody's wife Ellen(Lorrain Gary)'s boss. Brody begins investigating the missing divers when he and his deputy, Hendricks, are alerted about their boat being found alone. A few days later, the shark enters coastal waters and kills a water skier, before attacking the woman in the boat. The woman manages to fend it off by pouring some gasoline on the shark and igniting it, but also ignites herself, and she dies when the boat explodes. Brody starts to investigate the incident, but nothing is found.
Later, Brody's son, Mike, and his friends go sailing to the lighthouse and a beached killer whale is discovered with huge organic wounds. Brody has an oceanographer named Elkins called in to see the dead whale, and Brody suggests that a great white shark might have killed it, to which Elkins says it was either that or another killer whale. Taking his suspicions to mayor Larry Vaughn(Murray Hamilton), Brody is not believed and Vaughn warns him not to push the issue. Later Brody drags the body of the woman aboard the boat out of the ocean and is informed that his friend Matt Hooper, who had helped with the past shark problem, was on a seagoing vessel and wouldn't be available until spring. Brody grounds his son, Mike, and forces him to get a job working on the beach for the summer to learn responsibility. At the beach, while watching in an observation tower, Brody sees a school of bluefish, which he mistakes for a shark. In his haste, Brody causes a panic on the beach and empties his gun on the bluefish before realizing what it was. Later, Brody watches a film developer develope a photo of the shark in the area. Brody takes the photo to a town council meeting and shows it to them. Vaughn and the rest of the council refuse to believe it is a photo of a shark and the council fire Brody for causing the panic on the beach, with Vaughn being the only one to vote against dismissal. Hendricks is promoted to Brody's job and Mike goes sailing with his girlfriend and friends, being forced to bring his little brother, Sean, along to keep him quiet about the trip.
Tina Wilcox, a teenage girl, and her boyfriend, Eddie, are sailing behind and the shark attacks them and devoures Eddie, leaving Tina in a state of horror. Brody and Ellen find out that Mike went sailing and leave with Hendricks in the police launch. They find Tina trembling with fear and unable to speak clearly, and she confirms Brody's suspicions about the shark in the area. Brody signals a boat to take Hendricks and Ellen back to shore, and leaves to find the kids at the lighthouse. He alerts the harbor patrol when he doesn't find them, but is forced to continue his search alone. Meanwhile, back at port, Ellen angrily criticises Peterson for denying the shark's existence, saying it only caused people to die. Mike and his friends are sailing to another location besides the lighthouse and the shark appears and attacks them, causing all their boats to wreck into each other. They tie them all together and manage to drift towards Cable Junction. Mike is injured and the only boat still able to sail begins to go back to Amity. Later, Mike's friends are found by a pilot for the harbor patrol, who attempts to drag them to Cable Junction, but the shark attacks the chopper and causes it to sink, before devouring Marge, one of the kids, who manages to save Sean from death. Brody finds Mike, and his two friends with him, and Mike tells him that Sean and the others are still out at sea. Brody instructs them to the lighthouse and continues to Cable Junction, where he finds the kids stuck to the bottom by a tiller.
Brody tries to start loading the kids on board the police launch, but the shark appears again and causes him to run the boat aground on Cable Junction. He tries to toss a rope to the kids so he can use the anchor winch on the boat to pull them over, but the anchors get stuck on a power line, which Brody then pulls up as the shark appears again and injuries another one of the kids, but she survives with the aid of her boyfriend. With most of the kids swimming to Cable Junction, Brody starts pounding on the power line with a boat paddle, creating a rhythmic vibration uder the water that draws the shark under. When it reappears again, Brody pounds the line some more, causing the shark to charge him. When it gets close, Brody tricks it into bitting down on the power line, electrocuting it to death. Brody gets Mike's girlfriend and Sean, and rows to Cable Junction to await rescue.
- Jaws 2 is condsidered widely to be the best Jaws sequel.
- Roy Schieder only reprised his role to end contractual issues and almost didn't finish the film.
- The research vessel Aurora that Hooper is on in Jaws 2 was mentioned in Jaws, and Hooper was supposed to go on it then, but stayed behind to help out Amity with the shark.
- The Jaws 2 theme line "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water..." is one of the most famous in movie history and has been parodied many times.