When I was a very little kid my parents took me to see Jaws 3, which was in 3-D. I remember loving the film. It wasn’t too violent; just enough to satiate any white American kid’s blood lust. Lately HBO has been showing Jaws 3 almost every day and I’ve caught it in installments here and there when working around the house. First off, it’s not in 3-D on television so the special effects look terrible. They don’t translate to 2-D well at all. Second, when I was a child I didn’t realize that it’s an unrealistic advertisement for a spectacular Sea World adventure. I know I’m complaining about product placement and integration all the time nowadays, but it’s nothing new – I’m just old enough to notice it now. Jaws 3-D was a very aggressive marketing strategy aimed at children. I wonder if Sea World’s attendance went up any after the release of the film?
According to Wikipedia, Jaws 3-D cost $18 million dollars to make and Box Office Mojo states that it made $45 million domestically and a total of $85 million worldwide. That’s a pretty strong take for such a horrible movie and was probably what studio executives were looking at when they approved of Jaws 4: The Revenge, which is one of the worst movies ever made. A vengeful, intelligent, growling shark isn’t what I call a landmark in film history and I’m sure Michael Caine is embarrassed of this cinematic atrocity. Back to Jaws 3, which is horrible in its own right, it looks to be a highly profitable advertisement (I saw it as a child). Today it’s a joke, filled with decent actors walking their way through a terrible script, with cheesy dialogue and inconsistencies that are blatantly obvious. It takes place in Florida, yet the Sea World located in the Sunshine State is landlocked. How could a great white shark make its way from the coast into the dead center of the state? I-4 is constantly congested and many of the beautiful lakes that were a staple of the former swamp called Orlando have dried up. It’s really just moronic and doesn’t care about one’s geographic knowledge of Florida. At least the shark isn’t talking.
I have to admit the marketing for the film is pretty clever. It really doesn’t give you anything and is a teaser trailer. I remember this from when I was little and recall that it made me want to see this film. Here it is:
Here is my review of Jaws 3 that I posted on Netflix a little while ago. Nobody noticed.
Jaws 3 (1983)
As a kid I loved this film, especially since it was in 3-D. I watched it recently on HBO and find it to be completely terrible. That does not mean it is unwatchable, it just means that it is a bad film, open to severe ridicule. Jaws 3 follows the Brody children from the first two films; one is a redneck cowboy and the other is an engineer for Sea World. For some reason Orlando’s Sea World is on a coast (even though the town is landlocked) and a great white shark sneaks into the theme park, wreaking havoc at every turn. In essence, this film is a gigantic advertisement for Sea World, trying to lure children in with the promise of a marvelous underwater adventure, complete with big sharks and safely contained danger at every turn. Aside from the small amount of violence, it is like Full House’s Disney adventures in terms of blatant advertising. There is a little gore and since the film was originally in 3-D, the effects are still in place but modified for your home television. It actually makes the effects really cheesy and comical. The acting is not terrible since the cast is filled with decent actors, but the script is lacking in both character development and a decent plot. Since I live in the Central Florida area, I have a hard time dealing with the filmmakers’ lack of geographic knowledge by setting their fictitious Sea World on a coast when the real destination for tourists is really the swamp that became Orlando. If you are able to overlook this and the horrible directing, plot, and dialogue, Jaws 3 is a funny adventure that is only succeeded by Jaws 4: The Revenge.