Stepping into Sharknado 2: The Second One, I anticipated an emotional rollercoaster ride flavored with a deep philosophical underpinning... Ha! This Syfy franchise sort of subverts things. Ideally, a great bad movie happens when the filmmakers are actually serious about their craft but proceed to wreck sh-- up, and so the laughs come unintentionally. Sharknado and its sequel are deliberately awful, which I suspect is kind of cheating. Somehow, the first Sharknado became a massively trending topic on Twitter. No flies on them unholy finks at Syfy who eyeballed the overnight cultural phenomenon and put in the order: "Quick, make another!"
After Los Angeles, it makes sense that the sequel be staged in the city so nice they named it twice. It wasn't ever gonna be set in, say, Peoria, Illinois. Panicked citizens of the Big Apple must take cover when freak twin waterspouts in the Manhattan and East Rivers threaten to merge into one g0ddamn sharknadocalypse. Good thing that Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) and April Wexler (Tara Reid), heroes of L.A.'s infamous sharknado, are enroute to New York (for a book signing of April's bestseller How to Survive a Sharknado). First, they must survive the deluge of airborne sharks that infests their Boeing 747. Right about now, a Samuel Jackson expletive is called for.
More or less safe on the ground, April and Fin make plans to combat the New York sharknados. Fin's got the added burden of safeguarding his sister (Kari Wuhrer) and his estranged brother-in-law (played by the guy from Sugar Ray) and their wussy son and out-of-shape daughter. And because unnecessary relationship drama goes hand in hand with disaster movies, Fin also runs into his high school flame Skye (Vivica A. Fox). Fin ends up in Skye's company more so than in April's, and this means less Tara Reid and we should be grateful.
I love how these movies embrace the absurdity of the premise. Even if you know nothing about these movies, you know sober reality's done a bunk when there's Kelly Osbourne cast as a flight attendant. There's no coherent plot or a need for one. We just want to see flying sharks munching on people as they run around helter skelter. Sharknado 2 was shot on site so there's the bonus of seeing iconic landmarks get the sharknado treatment. Skyscrapers, subways, sewers, ballparks - they become makeshift abattoirs; those dang sharks can seemingly get to anywhere, son! But because it's New York, we also get the denizens' show of bravado. Peep the mayor who brashly observes: "This is the Big Apple: when something bites us, we bite back." Oh, I really wanted that smug suit to bite it.
This isn't Jane Austen's Sharknado 2. But it IS a drive-in theater masterpiece. It's so goofy and campy and awful that it achieves a level of epic entertainment. Another title for this movie would've been Cameonado. Hollywood has-beens and z-listers dog the screen. Some of the cameos are a hoot: Robert Hays reprising his pilot role; Billy Ray Cyrus as a hillbilly doctor; and Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan taking out sharks that invade their studio. I have to laud the bravery and professionalism of Matt Lauer and Al Roker. As sharknageddon goes down, they keep The Today Show running and keep America updated. Roker's PhD in bu11sh-- movie meteorology comes handy as he explains the potency of the EF5 Sharknado; apparently it can do serious damage to steel-reinforced skyscrapers.
The CGI is crap. The acting is- hell, no one even bothers. Except maybe for Jared in his Subway product placement (yes, he's here). Anyway, it's as if the cast took a course at Tara Reid's acting school of stiffs. Trying to poke holes in the plot is like cheating on your blind, ugly wife. It's just too damn easy. The point is, you're not supposed to poke holes. Everyone is in on the joke, that this is purposely a crap film. And that's where the fun is. Sharknado 2 is to dumb excesses what Ash is to chainsaws. Which brings us to several moments in which it's pretty obvious Sharknado 2 is ripping off scenes from the Evil Dead flicks. Or as Sharknado 2's legal counsel would call it, "paying homage." Sharknado 2 is best watched in the company of intoxicated homies as you will laugh and laugh and mysteriously crave Subway footlongs.
Sharknado 2 also gives great shopping tips. I had no idea that napalm can be so conveniently purchased at the corner grocery store.
Biz Markie and Pepa have cameos, and I appreciate that this movie is doing its share to help 1980's hip hop artists stay off the streets. You, too, can make a donation at the "Keep Our Old-Ass Emcees Under a Roof" website.
It's Bigger! It's Better!
It's Even Sillier Than Before!
I don't think that the world was prepared for the original "Sharknado." Although it sounded like a bit of crazy fun, the experience swept the country as THE MOVIE EVENT of the television season and became a bona fide media sensation. The SyFy movie was so brilliantly bad, so riddled with continuity errors, and so filled with inane dialogue and situations that it was a Bad Movie Lover's delight! It was so spectacularly idiotic (I mean, genius), in fact, it qualified as Bad Movie Magic. To this day, I look at the more negative commentary on that film and have to ask the detractors: "What did you really expect? The movie was called Sharknado!" When approaching the sequel, however, I was a little skeptical that they could make lightning strike twice. But with "Sharknado 2: The Second One," the film makers and cast have upped the ante in every regard. And what makes the movie so fascinating is that everyone wanted a piece of the action this time! The movie is so loaded with celebrity (or pseudo-celebrity) cameos, catching them all is almost as much fun as the movie itself.
Here's the distinction between the two movies in my estimation:
Sharknado: A movie that was so bad, it was good.
Sharknado 2: A zany parody of disaster movie tropes. Yes, folks, this one is outright comedy.
What is remarkable about "Sharknado 2: The Second One," though, is how fully it rewards enthusiasts of the first movie. It is an effective sequel that is far more ambitious in raising the cool quotient and the laugh factor. It gave me what I expected, but so much more. If you're savvy in pop culture, the movie references so many in-jokes (both specifically and with casting) that it simply becomes shameless fun. For example, the movie opens up with Fin (Ian Ziering) and April (Tara Reid) headed to New York to promote her new book "How To Survive a Sharknado." The plane is piloted by Robert Hays (yes, of Airplane! fame), riffs on the famous William Shatner Twilight Zone (There's something on the wing!), and plays to all the airline disaster movie conventions that you love complete with famous or semi-famous cameos among the crew and passengers. This first segment, to me, is the absolute high point of the film--an exquisitely funny sequence that had us laughing out loud.
As our heroic couple head into the city, they must save Fin's sister (Kari Wuhrer) and her husband (Mark McGrath) and kids. That's no easy task when two deadly Sharknados are converging on the city creating the perfect man-eating storm. The movie is a race against the clock and across the city as the family try to reunite, each group meeting with unexpected obstacles. The movie utilizes landmarks to good effect, the Statue of Liberty isn't even safe. And with the help of a former flame (Vivica A. Fox), Ziering must once again embrace his chain-saw wielding persona. The plot, of course, is silly and even superfluous. You know you want to see the grisly deaths and the screenplay doesn't skimp on the cartoon carnage. Everything is bigger in this version and absolutely nutty. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
With the first movie, I proposed a drinking game to accompany the ever shifting continuity errors (one second a flood, the next dry). With this one, I'd suggest an equally intoxicating game called Spot the Cameo. I won't spoil all the surprises but a few of the larger roles include Judd Hirsch (a cab driver reminiscent of his Taxi days) as well as the invaluable news commentary from Matt Lauer and Al Roker. But just about every scene has plenty of recognizable faces in the background, so keep your eyes peeled. One of my favorites was entrepreneur Damond John from ABC's Shark Tank. But in this case, John isn't the biggest shark in the tank. The movie builds, has an epic finale, and is simply fun. It's not a great movie, to be sure, but it absolutely scores as a clever and entertaining parody. KGHarris, 8/14.
on August 4, 2014
How could you not like this movie and it's predecessor? I'll tell you how:by analyzing it to death like all the so-called reviews I read. Tragic. Why can't you just strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride? And believe me there was plenty to enjoy during Sharknado 2,the cameos,the carnage,the camaraderie,the comedy. Loved the tweetpeat! Will I preorder it? Oh hell yes! Keep up the awesomeness SyFy!
While the original "Sharknado" was one of SyFy's most patently ridiculous movies, it was largely played straight (or at least as straight as possible) as a disaster film of epic proportions. That it was an unexpected runaway cult hit surprised everyone, and quick to capitalize of the schlock value of the franchise, the sequel is played much more tongue in cheek. I probably don't even need to discuss the plot (there are sharks in tornadoes, this time in New York City,) and the acting is still painful, particularly from leading lady Tara Reid, but the film is a delight for all the deliciously wrong reasons.
The film opens strongly with Fin (Ian Ziering, looking as intense as ever) and April (Reid) on a plane to New York being flown by Captain Bob Wilson (Robert Hays, of "Airplane!" fame.) This starts the intense bout of cameos and pop culture references that make the film so fun. Just about everyone is in it: I bet you can't spot them all. My most obscure spot was Biz Markie as a deli owner, but there are many I missed (even after watching the credits!) Far and away the best part of the film was the cooperation extended from "The Today Show" and "The Weather Channel" (the weather graphics were especially entertaining.) My favorite cameos are the quarrelling duo from "The Today Show,” Matt Lauer and Al Roker, who give great insight into the Sharknado onslaught, and bring a bit of unexpected action to the set. Truly brilliant, and I am sure everyone involved had a blast making it.
The DVD comes with several extras, all of which are worth checking out, particularly the "Making of 'Sharknado 2'" short. For fans of cult cinema, bad movies, Al Roker, Judd Hirsch, Downtown Julie Brown, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jared "The Subway Guy" Fogle, Robert Hays, Robert Klein, Kelly Osbourne, Kelly Ripa (No...really!), circular saw limbs (don't ask), or fish-based weather phenomena in general, this movie really does have it all. Highly recommended for the cheese lover in you!
on August 6, 2014
Move over GONE WITH THE WIND and CITIZEN KANE, we have a new cinematic masterpiece on our hands and its name is SHARKNADO 2. This movie has it all, great story, great on location scenery (being a NYer, I love it), great acting, great dialogue...I can go on and on about the accolades of this movie. The story line is so believable that you get sucked into it from the beginning and can't wait till the next twist and turn. The amount of cameo performances by actors or television personalities staggers the imagination...never have so many people done so much to aid a movie. Plus, with the blu ray expanded edition..well,I am on pins and needles waiting to see all the goodies. I have thrown away such classics as GONE WITH THE WIND and CITIZEN KANE from my video library to place this masterpiece on prominent display when it arrives in October.
To those who have given this movie a one star review, you fail to see and sorely miss the satire. From its opening scene reminiscent of Twilight Zone's "Terror at 20,000 Feet", to its final credit shot familiar in "The Avengers" this movie is a cinematic masterpiece which steals from everything and does it so well.
Thank God I "tivo'd" it so I can watch over and over until my expanded copy arrives. I am counting down the days to this cinematic masterpiece arrives to my home.
on October 21, 2014
When I heard of the first Sharknado I admit I laughed out loud at the title. Then I got a chance to watch it. No it wasn't an Academy Award type movie, but it was a great B movie. Naturally, I did not hesitate to buy Sharknado2...and I was not disappointed.
Sit back with a big bowl of popcorn and a soda, relax, and don't take it too seriously....just enjoy the show.
on August 12, 2014
This was one of the stupidest, cheesiest, crappiest movies I have ever seen! I feel dumber having watched it. The acting was horrible. The story was ridiculous. The dialogue was horribly ridiculous. It's exactly what I expected! Five stars! Can't wait for "Sharknado 3: The Third One"!
on January 7, 2015
OK look if you are looking for some serious movie flick then this is not for you... If you are looking for a movie that will just allow you to laugh just for just how corny the movie is, then this movie is for you... There are a lot of famous actors in this film and there are even some good old fashion actors Such as Billy Ray Cyrus, and Many others. One fun fact if you can remember if Robert Hays, if you know this actor you will remember him from the movies "Airplane" and Airplane 2". They wonderfully slipped him into this film as a pilot and made sure that used as many quirky lines knocking his prior Airplane moves as well.. They also managed to include a lot of New York TV stars from "Good Morning" and new casts from New York.. I say it is a wonderful movie to have a good laugh at with out having to over think everything about the movie. It is worth the $.99 just for the chuckles you are going to get and the corny acting.
on July 25, 2015
This one is a somewhat superior movie than the first (which I liked) though like the first this is full of scientifically muddled science. But who really
cares after all they are not watching this for serious reasons. Being a NYC resident I found it even more interesting watching tornadoes meander
around many of the places where I worked. Facts about tornadoes did not seem to matter to the producers: note that tornadoes over water are NOT
called "water spouts" but in fact called "tornadoes", and error even tornado chasers sometimes make. Tornadoes are generated out of super cell
thunder storms whilst water spouts are caused by temperature irregularities on water. They are usually harmless (I saw a guy fly a small airplane
through one) though there are exceptions. Still, I believe this movie is very watchable, laughable and enjoyable for most of us who like sci fi movies,
even though the story here is absurd. Sharks could not live in a tornado, they would suffocate! Be sure to watch the impossible ending; it is terrific!
I just watched SHARKNADO 3 and I can not but wait to write a review on that even more remarkably silly, hilarious and very enjoyable sequel!
I give this one FOUR STARS; could have been Five but for the missing scientific factors (intentional I think and OK). Still worth time to watch. And
apparently there is going to be a FOURTH SHARKNADO movie! Excellent, as Mr. Burns would say. And no Dr. Sweets! Enjoy and laugh a lot!!
I got my SHARKNADO DVDs from AMAZON, yes!
on July 28, 2015
One part disaster movie, one part "so bad it's good' movie (but this is remarkably well made; it's the concept of shark tornadoes that fits into the "bad sci-fi" genre, not the execution), one part meta-movie, and one part testosterone-driven action movie, Sharknado 2 is now one of my favorite movies of all time. The set pieces (our surfer hero falling through the sky, catching a chainsaw and attacking sharks as they fall from the sky) are scenes you never saw before, and so outrageously inventive and full of surreal male warrior hyper-action imagery that this film rises far above a tongue-in-cheek sci-fi movie and becomes a brilliantly unique viewing experience. Yes, there are hilarious, jaw-dropping moments (lots of them! I replayed a few scenes several times for the laugh factor), but this is outrageousness on steroids and genetic re-editing, and it is so refreshingly original and clever that everything else the syfy channel ever attempted is left in the dust. Forget logic and reason; just enjoy this alternate universe action movie. At the center of it is the archetypal hero ("Fin" here) on the archetypal Odyssey all great heroes have traveled on since time immemorial. Instead of Homer's cyclops, he battles Sharknadoes. And I can't wait to get my hands on Sharknado 3!