Sometimes, there are characters in genre pictures that are so darned bad-ass, that you can’t stop thinking about them or their amazing feats long after the movie is over. This column is dedicated to those cinematic heroes that keep us coming back for more. And who better to launch this column with than the one and only Chief Martin Brody as portrayed by the late great Roy Scheider in JAWS 1 and 2.
Most people celebrate their July 4th by revisiting Steven Spielberg’s classic JAWS. But this year, the 40th anniversary of the release of JAWS fell on June 20th and so that’s the day I revisited that landmark blockbuster. For July 4th, I decided to revisit one of my favorite underrated sequels instead. That’s right. JAWS 2.
I love JAWS 2 for a variety of reasons. The first being that awesome tag line, “just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.” The second being that it’s in actuality a mean-spirited “slasher” movie disguised as a summer blockbuster. I mean, the epic conclusion sees a scarred emotionless killer stalking a group of trapped teenagers. But most importantly, because if the original JAWS left any doubt, the sequel solidifies the fact that Chief Brody is a national treasure and all American bad-ass.
The fact that he totally took down TWO Great White sharks in a row is a thing to marvel over. Seriously, think about it. He’s on a sinking boat at the end of the first movie having watched Quint (Robert Shaw) be eaten by a goddamned giant shark. And with a few quick misses, he finally lands one shot, utters the line “smile you son of a bitch,” and blows that sucker’s head off!
By the end of the second one, Brody’s improvised plan is a little bit more intricate. He’s banking on using an active power line and shoving it into the shark’s mouth in the hopes of electrocuting it. To do so, he plays chicken. With a damned scary looking giant Great White shark! The entire time, he’s shouting out things like “atta boy!” And “Got a snack for ya!”
And it freakin’ works.
The only thing missing from the end of JAWS 2 is an epilogue where Chief Brody is sipping on some fancy whiskey while dining on a giant steak filet made of shark meat.
For taking down two Great White sharks, Mister Brody, you’ve earned this hashtag.