I figured it would be appropriate to post this as a quick follow-up to my review of the original Sharknado. Was the sequel better than the first? No – but it certainly was crazier! In case you had no clue about the SyFy channel’s first Sharknado – congrats on being able to successfully live under that rock. It debuted in July of last year, and was instantly a huge internet hit. Mainly because it was so unapologetically terrible that it was fantastic.
Plans quickly went into place for SyFy to create a second one, with celebrities literally clamoring for the opportunity to pop in with cameos.
The plot of this one (does it matter? No, no it does not) begins with our hero Fin (yes, Fin) reconciled with his ex-wife April and flying to New York (where they are apparently from, even though that was never mentioned in the first movie) where she will be doing a book signing for her smash hit novel “How to Survive a Sharknado”. This is a real book – which you can purchase at Amazon by following this link: http://www.amazon.com/Survive-Sharknado-Other-Unnatural-Disasters/dp/0553418130/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406822969&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+survive+a+sharknado I have already ordered my copy.
While on the flight, the plane (which is being piloted by Robert Hayes – who probably picked a bad day to stop fearing sharks) flies into a sharknado that is making its way up the coast to New York City. Sharks slam into the plane, kill both pilot and co-pilot, and Fin is forced to land the plane (because in addition to being a champion surfer, he can also land planes). April loses a hand to a plane-shark. Wil Wheaton and Kelly Osborne both lose their heads.
After landing, Fin looks for his sister and their family, while warning the media of the impending doom. April goes to the hospital, Fin calls his sister and has to go to the Mets stadium to rescue his brother-in-law and his nephew, along with his high school buddy, and high school sweetheart. As they head back into Manhattan to meet up with Fin’s sister and her daughter, not one – but two Sharknados make landfall, and soon Manhattan is swarming with sharks.
- Once again, Ian Ziering wins this movie by overcommitting, and playing Fin way more serious than is necessary. He does jump chainsaw first into another shark in this one, but slices right through it in midair – because you have to amp everything up a notch in a sequel. He once again looks like he is having the absolute time of his life, and his enthusiasm spills out onto the audience. While he doesn't get the amazing finale in this one he had in the first, he does ride a shark through a Sharknado to impale it on the Empire State Building - so you know, victory.
- Tara Reid once again seems to play the entire movie as if she was half asleep. Although – in this one, after losing her hand, she does get to graft a weapon onto it – it’s not a chainsaw, but it is still pretty cool. Also - Ziering does say to her, "next time when I ask you to give me a hand, don't take it so literally." Genius. Also - the shark he rides in the conclusion? Still has her hand with the wedding ring on it inside. The science is sound.
- Vivica A. Fox plays Fin’s high school sweetie, Skye, who is thinking this is her second chance with Fin, because she didn’t know he and April have reconciled. She quickly sets that aside and sets out to help him take out as may sharks as possible. She’s sassy and entertaining, and I enjoyed watching her stomp through this nonsense.
- Mark McGrath plays Fin’s brother in law Martin Brody. Apparently, they used to be best buds in high school, but had a falling out when he married Fin’s sister. He is exactly what you expect of Mark McGrath in a movie – but he does get to say, after watching Fin bounce across sharks from one car to the next “You just jumped the shark.” Very clever.
- Kari Wuhrer plays Ellen Brody, Fin’s Sister. She gets to run from sharks in the harbor, then run from the tumbling head of the statue of Liberty as it careens down a street. You heard me right.
- Judah Friedlander played the other high school buddy, and since he wasn’t wearing his glasses, it took me a minute to recognize him. He goes after some sharks with a huge baseball bat.
- Kurt Angle play the NYC Fire Chief, oh, it’s true. He puts on an impressive New York City accent, and seems awfully comfortable with turning over the saving of the city duties to Fin, who really is just some random surfer. He helps Fin execute his totally crazy plan to freeze the sharknado.
- Sandra ‘Pepa’ Denton – yes, that Pepa (where was Salt? Surely they both could have been in this) plays another high school friend of Ellen. She doesn’t make it all the way through, but she’s pretty awesome for the amount she was in.
- There are literally too many celebrity cameos to mention, Kelly Osborne and Wil Wheaton on the plane were great, the fact that Robert Hayes was flying the plane was awesome – the fact that Matt Lauer and Al Roker gave weather updates every 15 to 20 minutes was fantastic.
- Apparently one of the Shark Tank guys was in it, and he ironically did not get eaten by a shark (crushed by Statue of Liberty head) – Perez Hilton gets eaten by a subway shark at a subway station that had a Subway Subs ad on the wall over a bench on which sat Jared from Subway eating a sub – Sharks rain down on the Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan show – Strahan tackles a shark – Judd Hirsch plays a taxi driver – Biz Markie plays a pizza shop owner – and Andy Dick plays a police officer.
If you liked the first one, you will love this one. It’s completely over-the-top bananas, and while the first one had some environmental messages (Global warming is causing superstorms! Shark Finning is a horrible, cruel practice!), this one is really just a pile of nonsense made exclusively for the fans. Check your brain at the door – you’ll love it.
Also, again, anyone who points out that it couldn’t happen, the appropriate response is “the science is sound”. If they complain that it’s poorly acted, poorly put together, or that the effects are poor – that is when you knunch them (remember, that’s a combo knee and punch at the same time). Everyone needs a little brain-free fun every once and awhile. SyFy will replay Sharknado and Sharknado 2 this Saturday – catch them.
10 out of 10 – The theme song – yes, there’s a theme song – will definitely get stuck in your head. Bonus points for all the celebrity cameos; big points for the subway alligator that attacks to DPW workers, but then extra points for that alligator getting eaten by a shark. Because yes.
Bonus Video 1: Don’t forget that Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda airs this coming Saturday.
Bonus Video 2: SDCC 2014 Sharknado panel