The third dimension is terror.
Year of Release: 1983
Running Time: 99 minutes (1:39)
Director: Joe Alves
Dennis Quaid ... Mike Brody
Bess Armstrong ... Kathryn Morgan
Simon MacCorkindale ... Philip FitzRoyce
Louis Gossett Jr. ... Calvin Bouchard
John Putch ... Sean Brody
Lea Thompson ... Kelly Ann Bukowski
P.H. Moriarty ... Jack Tate
Dan Blasko ... Dan
Liz Morris ... Liz
Lisa Maurer ... Ethel
Everyone at Florida's Sea World is thrilled with the new “Undersea Kingdom,” a maze of underwater plexiglass tunnels that permits visitors to get closer to marine life than ever before. The opening ceremonies include many important guests… and one uninvited baby shark who accidentally enters the park's lagoon through a faulty sea gate and subsequently dies. The young shark's 35-foot mother soon follows her offspring, creating the most horrifying tale of terror ever filmed in the water.
Jaws 3, the movie that reminds us that, some days, it's just not worth getting out of the submarine. I suppose you're all familiar with who hates this one, since it seems to encompass most everyone on Earth. That's why I've opted to tell you who loves it, and to remind you all that you're picky ingrates that have no idea how good you've got it. You could have been stuck in an era that showed nothing but Buck Rogers an anti-Communist propaganda serials. Bookmark that thought for later and consider this. Counting Jaws: The Revenge, the two Brody boys have been attacked by Great White sharks no less than 4 times in their lives. For those of you keeping score, that's a 1 in 11,500,000 chance of having that occur a single time, let alone 4 times. So with that statistic out in the open, it's no wonder that Ray Charles loved this movie so dearly. The Brody kids, they understood his situation. Cause you see, if it wasn't for bad luck, they'd have no luck at all. At least Ray wasn't eaten by a shark. Alrighty, well you're probably wondering what Jaws 3 can teach us that the first two didn't, beyond the reason why making 3-D movies is such a bad idea. You're practically palpitating with anticipation, I can tell. First, when the second smartest species on the planet is goin' ape shit tryin' to get your attention, there might be a good reason. Nobody would ignore a chimp this way. I think they're all just cetaceaphobes myself. Second, tour guides with no experience or training respond fantastically in an emergency situation involving a panicked crowd of people, locked exits, and a humongous killer shark. So let that be a lesson to those of you on minimum wage; take those jobs seriously, someone's life may depend on you one day.
An third, when a man loves a douchebag, he can't keep his mind on nothin' else. P.H. Moriarty was pretty much inconsolable when Jaws was havin' to floss Simon MacCorkindale outta its teeth. But I think the truly enlightening sequence in Jaws 3 didn't happen under water, nor did it even feature a shark. The really important sequence happened on land, in a bar. In this sequence John Putch is playing "stand off" with Lea Thompson. The idea of this game is to throw your opponent off balance an put them on their ass. Anyway, he mentions that his fly is open and would you believe... she LOOKS. This allows him to get her off balance with the distraction and win the game, but the game is not the relevant element of this sequence. What's relevant, is that Jaws 3 has proven women are every bit as perverted and sex driven as men are, they just HIDE it. They don't want us to know they want sex cause that takes away some of their leverage in the relationship. If they can make us believe that sex is just something they do for us when they're feeling charitable, they can get double dips. No pun intended. They can get sex, which they want but don't want us to know they want, and then, something else on top of it as a reward for doling out said sex. Crazy like a fox. And foxy like a fox, they are. So the next time your female counterpart starts actin' like you're real sexy an squirmin' around in your lap like a worm that's wandered away from its hole, right after mentioning something she'd really like to have or do, you just remind her that sex is its OWN reward. You may wanna buy yourself a RealDoll though, cause that's very likely to lead to several months of withholding to try to prove to you that she doesn't want it. But you'll know better. An if she cheats on you when she finds out about the doll, well, that just proves I'm right. She still wanted sex, just not with you.
The movie begins with a guy in a speed boat draggin' a bunch of water skiers playin' king of the mountain, only there's no mountain so they're just usin' each other's shoulders an heads to reach the summit. Only the girls are lookin' at some musclebound beefcake's jockey bulge an not payin' attention to what they're doin' an before long their legs start quakin' an the pyramid loses everything but its foundation. While this is happening they're being pursued by an F-117 Stealth Fighter that's got all but one wing submerged an just before it gets to the pile of drumsticks, the boat gets goin' an the poor Stealth Fighter isn't being served an in flight meal. The setting is "The Undersea Kingdom," a place where kids with nerdy parents end up goin' on their family vacation instead of Disney Land. So for normal children, it's the crappiest place on Earth, an tomorrow is the park's big opening day. So in preparation, you've got a faded Southern Belle tryin' to teach all the female employees how not to be sluts to the customers, a wormy guy providing exposition about how it's possible to survive in underwater structures so long as you've got oxygen, an Mr. Mike Brody, returning for a 3rd go 'round in the series even after the second movie had a very visible drop off in quality. He's a real trooper, and by this point has some serious identity issues, since Dennis Quaid is now the third actor to portray him. He's also the guy in charge of all the repair and maintenance for the park, so he spends a lot of time tellin' his crew of flunkies what to do an to be sure they come in under budget when they do it. He's like the Roger Corman of The Undersea Kingdom. So since he's got all this free time on his hands, he skis off to flirt with his girlfriend (Kathryn) for awhile once he can convince her to get off Shamu. He's been playin' second fiddle to Shamu for some time now an he's feelin' a little neglected. He's eventually able to get her to pay him some attention for a change an the pair leave the park, only to run into Lou Gossett Jr. an some douchebag photographer who's got about the most punchable face you'll ever see. The douchebag (Philip) is a big shot underwater photographer who likes to dangle his giblets in front of huge hungry things to get close-ups that nobody else wants to get. He's a lot like Tom Arnold. But anyway, about that time Mike's little brother Sean shows up an they sandwich Kathy for no apparent reason. Least I hope that was spontaneous. Meanwhile, one of Mike's flunkies is underwater at the park tryin' to attach a new bike lock to the front gate to keep all the plastic bottles that're floatin' around in the ocean from gettin' into the park, when out of nowhere an angry marine Cuisinart with a razor blade smile sneaks up on 'im an processes 'im into shark poop.
Elsewhere, Mike, Kathy, an Sean are at a bar when Sean spots some rubes at the other end playin' "stand off". Which, as I understand it, is a game belligerent people play until someone gets hurt so they can use the "stand your ground" defense at their trial. But Sean's the heavyweight Stand Off champion of the universe, so he has to go defend his title against all comers. Only his first challenger is Lea Thompson an he feels real bad for her cause he knows in 3 years she's gonna be in Howard the Duck. So instead of just knocking her flat an doin' his usual victory teabagging, he distracts her with his dick bulge an gives her just enough nudge to win, but make her think he's real cute at the same time. He had her at the dick bulge, but anyway, Mike an Kathy take off on their own, so Sean an Lea do the same. Elsewhere, a couple criminal masterminds dressed like the bandits in A Christmas Story are sneekin' into the park so they can dive in, step on a scorpion fish, an sue. Meanwhile, Mike tells Kathy all about Sean's traumatic childhood (by which I mean the shark attacks, not Roy Scheider's alcoholism), while Lea tries to cock tease Sean into the water. Sean's a real sap though, so it works, an after they rub against each other's fun parts for awhile Mike an Kathy show up an pretend to be from the EPA an threaten to lock the two of 'em up for peein' in the water. Not sure if that happened before or after Mike used the bull horn while they were gettin' familiar, but eventually Sean figures out he's bein' screwed with, an what's more, screwed out of a screwin', an wrestles with Mike on the shore til they've both got about three pounds of sand down their shorts. While this is goin' on, the cat burglars are out in the water with their raft, at least until Daggermouth shows up an eats all their choice cuts an pops their raft to hide the evidence. This shark's too clever for it's own good. The next morning, Sean tries to get Mike to quit cock blockin' him, only the conversation gets cut short when Lou calls up Mike an tells 'im to get his hiney to work cause that flunkie of his never got the bike lock on the gate an now there's Gatorade bottles an Wal Mart bags everywhere. Elsewhere, Kathy's dolphins are scared shitless an won't leave their pen an she can't seem to figure out why. The douchebag theorizes that it's cause she's not a very good trainer, but then he's not really a good judge of intelligence. Meanwhile, Mike's havin' to deal with his dead flunkie's girlfriend cause she's real insecure an thinks he ran off with a porpoise. He tries to reassure her that he's just a raging alcoholic an when he sobers up he'll come home but it don't do any good, so Mike an Kathy have to hop in the Yellow Submarine an look around for his corpse.
Once they disembark, the dolphins show up an do everything they can to make the stupid superior species realize they're in danger, but it doesn't do any good an pretty quick Jabber Jaw shows up an plows right into their sunken prop of a ship an tries to chew off their poop decks. The more intelligent species springs into action an hauls their worthless butts outta there before Chomps can debone them an the dolphins are just able to get back into their pen as Bitey slams into the now closed gate. So then Mike an Kathy have to go tell Lou that there's a mugga fuggin' shark loose in his mugga fuggin' park. Philip suggests they kill it because it's been about half an hour since he had his picture on TV an he's startin' to get the shakes. Kathy, however, appeals to Lou's greed an convinces him that if they could capture it, they'd be the only place in the world that had a Great White in captivity an he'd make bank while cementing her status as a daft imbecile. Naturally, Lou goes for it, an Mike has to spend the next hour with a raw steak on his face to bring the swelling of his epic facepalm down enough that he can see again. So Kathy an Philip go below to try to get a tranquilizer into Murderface while Mike stays above on the boat to do the same, should it surface. But it's not long before Chewy shows up an puts the bite on Kathy an gives her Shaken Lady Syndrome til Philip's able to get her loose, after which it surfaces an Mike's able to stick a sleepy dart in it's back. So with Mr. Cranky safely takin' a little siesta, they're able to lift the big bastard into a holding tank where they have to walk 'em around in circles so he'll keep breathin' til he can shake off his hangover. It's not long before he wakes up wondering what the hell he did last night an how he got here, an Mike an Cathy have to haul butt outta there before he can chew it off of 'em. The following morning is the grand opening, an there's miserable performers and employees everywhere doin' their best to pretend they're not dead inside so all the tourists can have a good time. Unfortunately, Lou gets ambitious an moves The Bloodletter outta his holding tank an into one more accessible to the slack jawed gawkers. More unfortunately, he stuck Shreddy into the sewage holding pond, or something, cause within moments he's floatin' upside down an despite Kathy's best efforts, he will never again swallow hapless flunkies. Kathy's got real sad face now cause she felt like she an the Mangler really had a good rapport goin' ever since he tried to eat her.
Elsewhere, Lea's got Sean out in the water on some bumper boats to see if he likes her enough to piss his pants, due to what you'd have to consider a rational fear of the ocean at this point in the series. But down in the underwater touring area, things take a turn for the repulsive when one of the criminal masterminds from the earlier sequence pops up in front of a porthole an scares the bejezus outta the geeks in the tunnel. So Kathy an Mike have to head down to the morgue after the flunkies fish the corpse out with the pool skimmers to see if the cause of death is shark related evisceration. By now the dude looks like something Rocky would use in place of a punching bag to train for his fight with Apollo, so they're pretty sure the poor sucker fell victim to an unsolicited mauling session. A mauling session with something about 3x as big as their now belly-up attraction. So once Mike gets done pukin', he an Kathy run to tell Lou that he's gonna need a bigger insurance policy, cause the little shark's Mama's inside the park an she's got a bite radius about the size of a Buick LeSabre. An if you don't believe us, you can just take a look outta that wind... oh shit. That can't be good. An about that time Mama swims into the drive thru window an busts the glass all up. She wants her baby back. Baby back, baby back. So Lou gets on the horn an tells everyone not to panic... BUT THERE'S A HUGE FUGGIN' SHARK UP IN HERE AN IT'S GOT A TASTE FOR CRACKER ASS SO YA'LL BETTER GET THE FUCK OUTTA THE PARK LIKE FIVE MINUTES AGO. Too late though, cause while Mike runs around like a crazy person topside like Dad used to do in the good ole days, down below Big Nasty runs her face into one of the tunnels an reminds all the tourists that they're in Big Mama's House now, an it's startin' to look like The Undersea Kingdom's gonna turn into The Undersea Kingdome. Additionally, the damage to the structure causes the doors in the tunnels to seal themselves off, trapping all the hapless morsels inside with no hope of escape. And if things weren't sufficiently in the toilet, before Mike can warn Sean about Big Mama, she swims over an gives Lea a first hand look at why Sean can't even stand on the shoreline without shittin' himself an she has to be rushed to the hospital to get her femoral artery reattached. So now Mike has to get his flunkies to work welding a patch for the tunnel wall to get the tourists out, and it appears that the only way to give him enough time to weld it, is for Philip to dive in and attempt the biggest hot dogging session of his life as he tries to lure the shark into a filtration tube to trap it. So, once the patch is complete and everything is prepared, Philip dives in, rings the dinner bell, and the finale of Jaws 3 gets left off of the review, as is customary.
Alrighty, well, I think it just goes to show that while 3-D probably seemed like a really fun idea at the time, it really puts movies in the toilet, long term. Having been about 8 days short of birth at the time of its release, it's rather difficult to rate it in its natural theatrical environment. No doubt, it will have been superior to a home video viewing, but how much so? Lets get one thing straight, it's only about half as bad as people say it is, and this is no doubt one of those instances where people hold it to the high standards of the original. Something people really should stop doing, but aren't likely to. And sure, when compared with the original, which is one of the greatest movies ever, it's rather lackluster. But realistically, Jaws 3 gets as much hate as it does because of people's disappointment that it's not living up to the quality of the original, or even the first sequel. Not because it's terrible, only because it's comparably terrible. The 3-D aspect renders its special effects laughable when watched outside a theater, but to bludgeon them for looking as they do, I find unfair. Where the bludgeoning is deserved, is the fact that they made it in 3-D to begin with. This has always been a lousy idea, though there may be no better example of why in all of creation. Several horror series did this sort of thing if they met two important criteria; getting a third movie green lit, and having been produced in the 80s. Friday the 13th and The Amityville Horror did this as well, and while Amityville 3 is worse than Jaws 3, that's only because it's drier than a popcorn fart, not because it has inferior special effects. It was a hip thing to do at the time, as well as a financially lucrative one, and that's the key. Because while Jaws 3 is rated a pitiful 3.5 on IMDB.com and even worse on Rotten Tomatoes, it raked in over 42 million. The gimmick is mightier than the production values, at least the first go around. But then most people don't see the same movie in the theater more than once anyway. So, while the 3-D effects may be one of the bigger problems, that's not the only thing holding it under water. Besides, it could have been worse. You think it's difficult to suspend your disbelief over a mother shark caring for its offspring to the degree that it would follow it's young into a theme park? Universal originally wanted the writer to bring the shark that was electrocuted at the conclusion of part 2 back. Now, I'm pretty good at keeping my disbelief suspended, but I don't think even I could accept that. The original script also did not bring back any characters from the original, though Universal was able to force that one through. It's hard to say whether it was the right thing to do or not, doesn't seem all that pertinent one way or the other.
Well, lets slice this thing open from one end to the other an get it on film for the media. The plot, is really very interwoven with the setting. It's the same story as before, just with more potential victims and some added claustrophobia. Some. The first movie had a sizable share of it as well. So the story is okay if you're able to accept that the Brody boys have been attacked by Great White sharks, in two different locations, no less than three times throughout the course of their lives. Lets be fair, at least they didn't move Jaws into space. That counts for something, right? The acting is adequate, although with some actual named stars I suspect that many mainstream critics considered it to be "uninspired" and various other adjectives that make you sound authoritative. To be fair, your socks are in no danger of being knocked off, but in addition to the big three that really don't need their resumes posted (Louis Gossett Jr., Dennis Quaid, Lea Thompson) I'll list the relevant actors and the reasons for that designation. Simon MacCorkindale (The Sword and the Sorceror), John Putch (Skeeter), Rich Valliere (The Blood Waters of Dr. Z), Will Knickerbocker (Cape Fear 1991, Popcorn, Barracuda), Barbara Quinn (Squirm), Tony Shepherd (Scared Stiff), Jon Freda (Superstition 2). And most of those had tiny little irrelevant bit parts. Lou Gossett Jr. was easily the most entertaining as the greedy, if at least intelligent, owner of the park. Otherwise, just kinda "meh". The special effects... well, you know. Anything done in 3-D looks ridiculous if not being watched in their proper context. There really aren't all that many such effects, maybe a half a dozen, but they're impossible to take seriously. The rest of the special effects aren't all that bad, the shark looks okay, though not as good as either of the first two movies. The gnawed corpses aren't bad, and there's a little blood here an there, but really the 3-D stuff is the crux, an they've got an extremely shaky foundation. The shooting locations, well, it's SeaWorld. It's exactly what it has to be for the plot to function, so it's difficult to rate in that it's really neither good or bad, but required. Unless you'd like to go through the trouble of building all the sets for no good reason. So there's really no room to complain or cheer, in that regard. The soundtrack is probably a net positive, although there are a couple tracks I just didn't care for, there are more positives than negatives. Generally, the soundtrack aided in the success of the good scenes, and softened the blow of the bad ones. Not much else to say, it's a lesser son of greater fathers. A mediocre sequel that is frequently touted as a terrible sequel. But to be fair, most of the haters probably love Slumdog Millionaire. So whooptie shit.