Franchises

Soundtrack review: Jaws 3D (Alan Parker – 1982)

isc054Booklet.indd

The “Jaws” franchise has probably been unnecessarily extended on screen but this was a good thing for film music lovers. After the first two famous John Williams compositions we got two more scores, both of which got released in expanded form this year. So after Jaws 4 earlier in 2015, Intrada gifts us with the complete release of Alan Parker’s “Jaws 3D”. There’s been quite the scandal about this score before its release as someone apparently leaked it. This is a holy grail for many and I was very curious about it.

The composer takes his time to paint the world of the movie. If the previous two scores were more serious and dark, Alan Parker took a different approach for this sequel. The story takes place at a Sea World and we get to connect with that place with a lovely and joyful fanfare like theme. When I hear “Sean arrives” I can’t imagine anything bad happening. I get a feeling of vacation, of sun and water and I like that place. I am surprised to find myself impressed by the tender moments in the beginning of this score. We also get a beautiful love theme, something I wouldn’t have expected in a Jaws movie. I think this is the only Jaws movie to get a love theme. These opening cues cleverly make me care for what’s going on and they will make the impact of the darker pieces even greater.

Fans of John Williams’ scores will find a connection here as Alan Parker introduces the famous ominous notes of the Jaws theme throughout his score. At first they are the only shadows over a sunny and dreamy first section of “Jaws 3D”. “Kay meets Philipp” or “Underwater kingdom and shark case” somehow make me think of John Barry and his love themes from the Bond movies. I think Alan Parker must be a fan of the maestro, as I recognize the same suave and sweeping sound in these themes.

When the music gets menacing it’s just as exciting. There’s nothing exaggerated in this score. It flows very well and makes for a very enjoyable listening experience. It’s more fun that actually watching the movie. The shark cues are constructed in a way that suggests the depth of the water to me. There’s a constant undertone of a few notes pounding constantly, like a threat you know is there even if you can’t see it. As the score progresses the tone gets darker, more uncomfortable, but just as enjoyable. I can’t escape the feeling of listening to a James Bond score without the big band numbers, and this is a compliment to “Jaws 3D”.

A release like this provides us with lovely gifts such as the charming flute and harp version of the restaurant music. This is one of those extras that make the full version worth buying. This cue stood out for me because it was the purest and sweetest melody of a score that, safe for the beginning, relied on different kind of thrills. There’s also a feeling of release at the end as after all the tension, running and drama the “End credits” explode like the most beautiful rainbow after a heavy storm. This is my favorite cue from “Jaws 3D”.

Complex, varied and exciting “Jaws 3D” is yet another gem in the 2015 collection that Intrada put out. I am very happy to discover scores such as this one and to be able to listen to the full vision of the composer. I am sure that the original release relied more on the dramatic moments and I would have missed my favorite parts.

Cue rating: 81 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 38 / 109

Album excellence: 35%

Highlights:

05 Sean Arrives

07 Love Scene

08 Boys In The Raft

09 Kay Meets Phillip

12 Sub Search

14 Night Capture

20 Restaurant Source (Flute & Harp)

23 Shark Attacks Kelly

35 The Shark’s Gonna Hit Us

37 Jaws 3d End Titles

04 Kay And Mike’s Love Theme

06 Kay Meets Phillip

07 Shark Chase And Dolphin Rescue

11 Park Opening

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment