Jaws 3-D (1983)

jaws 3-d poster 1983 movie
2.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 2/10

Not much

Bad story, some really cheesy 3-D effects

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Jaws 3-D

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  July 22, 1983

MPAA Rating:  PG

jaws 3-d waterskiing scene

You know how many of these skiiers gets eaten? None…

SeaWorld is preparing to open its new underwater viewing tunnels at its popular Florida location.  Michael Brody (Dennis Quaid) has helped design the new attraction for Calvin Bouchard (Louis Gossett Jr.) while his girlfriend Kay (Bess Armstrong) works as an animal trainer for the park.  As Michael’s brother Sean (John Putch) stops by for a visit, the park finds itself rocked by the discovery of a murdered employee and a great white shark in the park enclosure.  Bouchard realizes a great white could mean money for SeaWorld, and catching the shark could mean a unique opportunity for Bess to study a shark in captivity…but something else might be lurking in the park that no one expected.

Directed by Joe Alves, Jaws 3-D (also called Jaws 3) is a horror man-vs-nature 3D movie.  The film is a sequel to Jaws 2 from 1978 and was released to negative reviews but a strong box-office.  It received Razzie nominations for Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor (Louis Gossett Jr.), Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst New Star (Cindy and Sandy the shrieking dolphins).

jaws 3-d baby shark dies seaworld

No guys…he’s not dying…he’s suppose to roll on his back like that…good job SeaWorld

There is no way to sugar coat it…Jaws 3-D is just bad.  The question that you can ask while viewing Jaws 3-D is if it is so-bad-it-is-good or if you should just skip the movie all together.  I’d argue that Jaw 3-D might be the worst movie in the Jaws series (which says something if you’ve seen Jaws:  The Revenge).

The movie moves at a snail’s pace and has some really questionable sponsorship.  Unlike a lot of movies where the park is a fake mock-up of something real like SeaWorld, Jaws 3-D takes place at SeaWorld and it doesn’t portray SeaWorld in the best light.  The company doesn’t care for the shark (which turns out to be a baby), and as a result, it doesn’t care for the customers who not only witness the shark die while on display but then are almost eaten when its bigger mother shows up.  All aspects of the relationships developed in Jaws and even Jaws 2 are trashed, and the characters mean very little to you by the end of the film.

jaws 3 d swallowed by shark scene

Maybe the only worth wild scene in the whole film. I’m being eaten by a shark and I don’t like it

In addition to not caring about the characters, there are too many of them.  Having Mike and Sean Brody (this time played by Dennis Quaid and John Putch) made sense as a means to tie in the first two films, but Schneider was the heart of the previous two movies.  You get Louis Gossett Jr. hedging his bets on if he’s a good guy or just a completely shady opportunist, and Lea Thompson in an early role as a one of the water-skiers who is romantically involved with Sean.  The movie gets really convoluted with characters by the addition of big game documentary maker Phillip FitzRoyce (Simon MacCorkindale) and his friend Jack Tate (P.H. Moriarty)…which feel like they are just more characters with the opportunity to be eaten.

jaws 3d shark breaks glass

Oh no…it’s coming right for us!!!

In addition to a big step down in storytelling, there is an even bigger step down in special effects.  It felt like Jaws 2 was starting to get a handle on the design and creation of the shark that Spielberg first developed in the original film.  As a result, there were some decent shots in Jaws 2 that felt at least up to the level of JawsJaws 3-D is hampered by the fact it is 3-D (or at least was if you don’t have a means to see it in 3-D now).  You get a lot of random crap being thrown at the camera, and it culminates in the shark “crashing the glass” in the final reel.  It isn’t scary and it doesn’t look good.

Jaws 3-D is a mess.  The movie is often eclipsed by the ridiculousness that is Jaws:  The Revenge (aka a shark that travels miles and miles to kill a specific person), but at least Jaws:  The Revenge is so-bad-it-is-good even if Jaws:  The Revenge might be technically worse.  Jaws 3-D is just like eating dull pasty filler that doesn’t fill you up.  Skip it (it is written out of context in Jaws:  The Revenge anyway).  Jaws 3-D was followed by Jaws:  The Revenge in 1987.

Related Links:

Jaws (1975)

Jaws 2 (1978)

Jaws:  The Revenge (1987)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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