Jaws: The Revenge is commonly considered the fourth and last installment in the Jaws franchise. Interestingly, Universal largely ignored Jaws 3D in press releases, citing "Jaws: The revenge" as the third film in a trilogy. However, in its DVD release, the film was later marketed by Universal as "Jaws 4: The revenge".
Like two of the previous installments in the franchise, this film also begins on the island of Amity. Sheriff Martin Brody, has died from a heart attack and his wife, Ellen Brody (Lorraine Gary) is left to govern the family. Ellen now lives with Sean (Mitchell Anderson) and his fiancee Tiffany (Mary Smith) while Sean works as a police deputy with the APD. During Christmas celebrations, Sean is dispatched to clear a stray log from a buoy in the main harbor. As he does so, a massive great white shark unexpectedly bursts out of the water, rips off his arm, and then violently pulls him under the surface.
Ellen is convinced that the shark targeted Sean with a vengeance possibly resulting from incidents portrayed in the previous two films. Not taking any chances, Ellen decides to go to The Bahamas to spend time with her older son Michael (Lance Guest), his wife Carla (Karen Young), and their five year old daughter, Thea (Judith Barsi). More so then to escape the shark, Ellen likely uses the trip to clear her fears believing the shark cannot possibly follow her to the Caribbean. There Ellen meets a carefree English airplane pilot named Hoagie (Michael Caine). Michael and his friends Jake (Mario Van Peebles), William and Clarence work as marine biologists. During research, the same shark that had attacked Sean in Amity just weeks before, unexpectedly appears causing havoc and alarm. Michael and Jake decide to keep quiet about the shark’s presence to protect Michael’s credibility and to hide the risk factor due to Ellen’s insistence that Michael get a job on land.
During a second appearance of the same large shark now clearly bent on revenge, Jake stabs a sonar tracking pole into the shark’s side. Michael is then chased by the shark and narrowly manages to escape. The following day, Thea goes out on an inflatable banana boat with her friend Margaret and her mom, while Carla speaks about her city commissioned art work to rapt crowd gathered on the beach. Without warning, the shark again appears, taking Margaret’s mother, and severely shocking Thea. Believing the shark has gone too far, Ellen takes Michael and Jake’s boat and goes after it with revenge in mind.
Michael returns home and lets the truth slip about the shark. Michael and Jake are then flown by Hoagie to look for Ellen, eventually locating her. Hoagie force lands the plane on the water, allowing Michael and Jake to swim to Ellen’s boat (Neptune’s Folly) while the shark, which senses its pursuers are tracking it, violently turns and attacks the floating plane. Hoagie survives, and Jake uses a device to agitate the shark. Jake then goes to the end of the prow and the shark unexpectedly leaps up taking Jake underwater before he can implement an effective attack. Michael then uses a spare bowsprit to gain the sharks attention, which causes it to again leap out of the water and growl in contempt.
Taking advantage of the shark’s diversion, Ellen steers the boat into it and stabs the beast with the broken bowsprit creating an explosive result and the sharks’ apparent demise. The shark is then seen sinking with the ship. Later Jake surfaces and appears mauled but alive. At the end of the film Ellen is flown back to Amity Island by Hoagie then waves goodbye to Michael, Carla and Thea who return to the Bahamas.
Although supported by a powerful studio marketing campaign, Jaws: The Revenge was unfortunately a box-office disappointment, and received largely negative reviews from critics. Currently it holds a rare 0% rating at Rotten Tomatoes. And though being labeled "the worst film ever made", the film has surprisingly become something of a cult favorite amongst its few admirers, and the brunt of often hilarious parodies. In fact many now consider the resulting humor to be slightly more entertaining than than the actual film. Cable television shows like 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' have used it as voice over fodder to great effect. The film is considered the worst sequel in the franchise amongst most serious fans of the franchise.