Jaws: The Revenge (also known as Jaws 4: The Revenge or Jaws 4) is a 1987 American horror thriller film produced and directed by Joseph Sargent, and starring Lorraine Gary, Lance Guest, Mario Van Peebles, and Michael Caine. It is a direct sequel to Jaws 2, ignoring the events of Jaws 3-D, and is the fourth and final installment in the Jaws franchise. This marks the last theatrical film directed by Sargent, as well as Gary's final acting role to date.
The film focuses on a now-widowed Ellen Brody (Lorraine Gary) and her conviction that a great white shark is seeking revenge on her family, particularly when it kills her son, and follows her to the Bahamas. Jaws: The Revenge was shot on location in New England and in the Bahamas, and completed on the Universal lot. Like the first two films, Martha's Vineyard was the location of the fictional Amity Island for the opening scenes.
While production of the other three films in the series took around two years each, Jaws: The Revenge was made in less than nine months. According to associate producer and production manager Frank Baur during the sequel's filming, "This (Revenge) will be the fastest I have ever seen a major film planned and executed in all of my 35 years as a production manager." The lowest grossing film of the franchise, it was widely panned by critics.
On Amity Island, Martin Brody, famous for his role as the police chief and his heroism, has died from a heart attack. Martin's widow, Ellen, still lives in Amity close to her younger son, Sean, and his fiancée, Tiffany. Sean works as a police deputy. When he is dispatched to clear a log from a buoy a few days before Christmas, a great white shark appears and tears his arm off. He screams for help, but the singing on land drowns out his cries. The shark sinks his boat and drags him underwater to his death.
Martin's older son, Michael, his wife, Carla, and their five-year-old daughter, Thea, come to Amity for the funeral. Michael is working in the Bahamas as a marine biologist and on his arrival, Ellen demands that he stop his work. Having just received his first grant, Michael is reluctant. Thea convinces Ellen to return to the Bahamas with them.
The pilot of their small plane, Hoagie, takes an interest in Ellen when he flies them back. Wanting to take her mind off her recent losses and finding herself attracted, she begins spending time with him. Michael introduces his mother to his colleague Jake and his wife, and they spend Christmas and New Year's together.
A few days later, Michael, Jake, and their crew encounter the shark, which followed the family from Amity. Jake is eager to research it because great white sharks have never been seen in the Bahamas due to the warm water. Michael asks him not to mention the shark to his family. During the day, Ellen can keep her mind off the shark, but at night she has nightmares of being attacked by it. She is also able to feel when the shark is about to attack one of her loved ones.
Jake decides to attach a device to the shark that can track it through its heartbeat. Using chum to attract it, Jake stabs the device's tracking pole into the shark's side. The next day, the shark ambushes and chases Michael through a sunken ship, and he narrowly escapes.
Thea goes on an inflatable banana boat with her friend Margaret and her mother. While Carla presents her new art sculpture, the shark attacks the back of the boat, killing a passenger. After Thea is safe, Ellen boards Jake's boat to track down the shark, intending to kill it to save her family. After hearing about what happened, Michael confesses he knew about the shark, infuriating Carla.
Michael and Jake are flown by Hoagie to search for Ellen, and find the shark in pursuit of their boat. During the search, Hoagie explains to Michael about Ellen's belief that the shark that killed Sean is hunting her family. When they find her, Hoagie lands the plane on the water, ordering Michael and Jake to swim to the boat as the shark drags the plane and Hoagie underwater.
Hoagie escapes from the shark, and Jake and Michael hastily put together a device that emits electrical impulses. As Jake moves to the front of the boat, the shark lunges, giving it the chance to pull Jake under and maul him. Jake manages to get the device into the shark's mouth before he is taken underwater. Michael begins blasting the shark with the impulses, which drive it mad; it repeatedly jumps out of the water, roaring in pain.
Michael continues blasting the shark with the impulses, causing it to leap out of the water again. Ellen steers the sailboat towards the shark while thinking back to the shark's attack on Thea, Sean's death, and Martin defeating the first shark (despite not having witnessed the latter two). The broken bowsprit impales the shark. In the original version of the film that was screened in the U.S., the shark simply bleeds out and dies after being impaled. In the revised ending to the international theater and DVD versions, the impaling somehow causes the shark to immediately explode. In this "explosion" version of the ending, as the shark's corpse sinks to the bottom of the ocean (with re-used footage of the shark's corpse from the first film), Michael hears Jake calling for help, seriously injured but alive (Jake dies in the original cut). The four safely make it back to land. Hoagie then flies Ellen back to Amity Island.