It’s sad that I look back at the heyday of Syfy low-budget movies with a bit of nostalgia, back when they at least tried to make decent movies on a shoestring, movies that at least tried to have a plot and make sense, but those days are gone, now with the whole <fill-in-the-blank> shark movie stupidity, they purposely make stupid movies with people who can’t act for people to laugh at. These things belong on Comedy Central, not a channel that pretends to be about science fiction.
They just put out the sequel to 2013’s Sharknado and seriously, they have jumped the shark, even the movie itself thinks so, and given up any credibility whatsoever that Syfy might have ever had. So here’s my look at Sharknado 2: The Second One.
Plot? You seriously think there’s a plot in this movie? Okay, I’ll try. Flying back to New York City, hero of the previous movie Fin Shepard and his ex-wife April Wexler, author of the book that Syfy is now pushing on how to survive a sharknado, Fin sees sharks swirling around in the storm the plane is flying through. At first, he thinks he’s seeing things, a little PTSD from his adventure in Los Angeles, but when a shark gets sucked into the plane’s engine, things start going downhill. April gets her hand chomped off by a shark and Fin has to land the plane after the pilot and co-pilot are taken out. When they arrive in New York City, things go from bad to worse as freak weather patterns cause tornadoes to spring up across the city, threatening to converge in a massive category 5 sharknado! Only Fin can save the day!
We started off great, they had Robert Hays playing the captain of the plane and there were constant Airplane! references. As our hero, Fin Shepard is looking out the window of the plane, he does the “there’s something on the wing” thing, a clear nod to Twilight Zone. The movie was packed full of celebrity cameos, including Wil Wheaton and his wife Anne, who is a pretty good scream queen when Wil gets his head bitten off by a shark. There are a lot of quick references to classic science fiction and comedy films, but it’s quickly clear that they’re not taking this movie seriously. I know, I know, how can you. Sharknado, right?
Unfortunately, there’s a difference between a spoof and a movie that just throws self-referential jokes at the screen and hopes they stick and this was the latter. As an example, there were the Scary Movie films. The first one was fine but the studio wanted another and it really sucked. Sorry to the Wayans Brothers but it just did. It was only when the Zuckers took over the franchise that it became a real spoof, for the same reason that the Airplane, Hot Shots and Naked Gun films were such classic comedies. Clearly, the writer and director of Sharknado 2 figured that they could just put the same old tired cliches and bad special effects on the screen and everyone would watch and unfortunately, they were right. Sharknado 2 broke no new ground, it wasn’t clever, in fact it was pretty downright stupid. There were some good moments here and there, but nothing that made me say “this movie is fantastic!” By the time I got to the end, I didn’t even remember most of what happened at the beginning and I didn’t care either.
And seriously, what the fuck is wrong with Tara Reid anyhow?
Of course, Syfy has already greenlit Sharknado 3 and it’s sure to be just as stupid as this one.
You know, there’s probably a place for movies like this, after all, you had the B-movies of the 50s, but at least their directors tried to make good movies. Roger Corman, for all of his faults, did his best with what he had to make the best movies he possibly could. He failed most of the time but at least he tried. These directors aren’t even trying. They’re making the stupidest, worst-acted pieces of crap they can and unfortunately, they’re making money. Sharknado 2 is the biggest blockbuster Syfy has ever had. That’s sad. There are some movies that are so bad, they’re good. This wasn’t one of them, but then again, I’m not a fan of the genre. I didn’t like the first Sharknado. I don’t like Sharktopus. I don’t like Megashark. This was movie-making by stealing wholesale from other films and TV shows and sticking in moments designed to appeal to the built-in audience. That’s not how you make a good movie and Sharknado 2 is not a good movie. It’s pandering. It’s unfortunately very successful pandering.
For a few chuckles and a lot of eye-rolling, it gets a little credit, but not much. Avoid unless you enjoy stupidity for stupidity’s sake.