'Sharknado 2: The Second One' Review: Double The Sharks, Double The Fun
Through the social media powers of Twitter and actor Wil Wheaton (Stand by Me), SyFy’s 2013 original movie Sharknado became something of a pop culture sensation. While plenty of movies have proven to be so bad they’re good, Sharknado supersedes all of them due to its massive Internet following and blatant absurdities. Where else can you find roaring sharks, chainsaw-wielding shark slayers, and tornado-exploding bombs? The movie was so well-received by fans that Sharknado 2: The Second One made its highly anticipated television premiere last night.
Written by the aptly named Thunder Levin, Sharknado 2 opens with a homage to The Twilight Zone’s 1963 classic episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” During a flight to New York to promote their book How to Survive a Sharknado, Fin (Ian Ziering), traveling with his ex-wife April (Tara Reid), has visions of sharks in the clouds below the plane. No one believes him until a shark slams into the wing and the plane heads straight into a deadly thunderstorm. As the plane falls apart around them, Fin dodges flying sharks and successfully lands in New York. April escapes maimed, but alive.
As a trifecta of sharknados spin towards Manhattan, Fin meets up with his estranged brother-in-law Martin (Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray), Martin’s family and Fin’s old friend Skye (Vivica A. Fox). What ensues is complete and utter ridiculousness. Sharks flood the city streets and subways, leaping onto taxis and chomping down on whatever is in their path. Interspersed with hilarious faux weather updates from The Weather Channel and news anchors Al Roker and Matt Lauer, Fin and his friends fight to survive and demolish the storms. The sharknados must be stopped before they converge at the Empire State Building and really do some damage. Luckily, Fin has been through this before, so he has the ultimate plan: to freeze the tornadoes and save the city.
Sharknado 2 is not meant to make sense. It is ridiculous and cheesy and bloody good fun. Anyone who questions the movie’s making, or why a flaming shark still has the ability to swish its way off a rooftop and down the stairs, is setting herself up for disappointment. I gave up trying to understand the logistics behind flying sharks or homemade bombs strong enough to decimate storms during the first movie.
Don’t question the stilted acting, outrageous stunts, or not-so special effects – you will laugh even less. I remember reading another review which described the movie as being “an experience.” That’s exactly what Sharknado is. It is far less enjoyable watching alone than it is in a room full of people. You can’t point out celebrity cameos (keep an eye out for a bunch, including Billy Ray Cyrus as a surgeon) alone and expect someone to laugh or share in your WTF-ery. I am so looking forward to the second viewing I’ll have this weekend with a bunch of family members.
Some critics (aka fans) doubted the continued success of the Sharknado series, as the first movie was an overnight surprise. I can attest to the fact that Sharknado 2 is as every bit enjoyable as the original. It lives up to all the hype, and will probably continue to do so in future installments.