Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Jaws is the 1975 summer blockbuster film directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Roy Schieder, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss in this summer film, which is about taking down a giant shark that is killing people and terrorizing Amity Island. This was one of Spielberg’s first films before he would later go on to direct the Indiana Jones films and Jurassic Park. Jaws is the film that gave birth to the summer blockbuster. Without this film, we might not have ever gotten films like Jurassic Park and the superhero films we now get. This weekend, Jaws was back in theaters on IMAX screens for the first time and I got to experience it. Going into this, I saw Jaws many times on TV. Watching it in theaters on an IMAX screen was the best experience watching this classic!
The IMAX experience was a lot of fun and incredible to watch. The audience was engaged and never bored throughout the film. The way the sound came out felt real. The picture quality was perfect as well. The quality did not look like a film made in the 1970s. Of course, this is just a bonus to a film that is one of the best blockbusters ever made and one of Spielberg’s best films.
One of the best things about Jaws is the characters. For a film like Jaws, it’s important to have good characters to keep the audience interested in the film when the shark is not on screen. What makes the characters great are the performances. Roy Scheider as Chief Martin Brody is great. He’s trying to protect the beaches, but comes into conflict with the mayor, who wants to keep them open for business. Brody also has a fear of water, which makes his face-off with the shark more interesting.
Richard Dreyfuss as oceanographer Matt Hooper and Robert Shaw as crazy fisherman Quint are also great. One thing Spielberg does great with is having those character moments where the audience can learn more about the characters and the characters themselves get closer. The best scene is when Hooper and Quint are having drinks and sharing their battle scars and Quint shares more about his past. We learn Quint was a survivor of the USS Indianapolis.
Another great thing about Jaws is the suspense. Spielberg knows how to keep the audience in suspense, even when the shark is not on screen. For example, the shark could be in the water and the audience and characters can’t see it, but they see the barrels attached to it and they know the shark is moving. John William’s excellent score helps increase the suspense and tension, building up those moments when the shark can strike. Speaking of the shark, the animatronic for the shark looks great. During the filming of Jaws, the crew had problems operating the animatronic. Despite the issues during filming, it’s hard to tell when watching the film because when it’s on the screen, it does its job well.
Another thing great about Jaws is Spielberg has each act split up well. The first act is trying to figure out what is causing these attacks and establishing the characters. The second act is learning about the shark and figuring out how to stop it. The third act is Brody, Hooper, and Quint on a boat confronting the shark. The third act is set up perfectly. The setting is in the water on a small boat and Brody, Hooper, and Quint are doing everything they can to stop the shark. The filming process was stressful for Spielberg and the crew, but they managed to pull it off and deliver a great film.
All in all, Jaws is still a fantastic film forty-seven years later. The suspense is still thrilling. The cast’s performances hold up well, as well as the animatronic used for the shark. John William’s score is still iconic and one of his best works. Jaws never had a dull moment and managed to keep the audience invested, even when the shark is not on the screen. The IMAX quality made it my favorite experience watching Jaws and I hope you go experience Jaws in IMAX or on the big screen one day as well. I highly recommend the experience for everyone.
What are your thoughts on Jaws? Let us know in the comments down below.