Review of Jaws (1975)

Moving picture, 124 minutes

Fish eats people, air explodes.

Horror. The first of the summer blockbusters. Jaws, an atavism of the 1916 Jersey Shore shark-attack media panic, ushered in a new era. Massive advertising (especially on TV, breaking a long period of hostility between the media) and simultaneous release permitted hype to overcome criticism and word of mouth, whilst also raising the budgetary stakes in such a way that greater care is taken to adjust every major film to focus groups and other counter-creative influences. Hollywood never backed out of this bind.

The film has some nice incidental realism, but the poor special effects and horrendous portrayal of nature cannot be ignored. Still, it is less empty and less focused on style than The Italian Job (1969).

References here: King Kong (1976), Star Wars (1977), Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004), Transformers (2007), The Other Side of the Wind (2018), Voir (2021).

moving picture fiction