Review: SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE, A Silly Story In Which Every Moment Is Outlandish
Anthony C. Ferrante returns to direct and Thunder Levin returns to write another outrageous chapter of cult phenomenon Sharknado, with Sharknado 2: The Second One. Fans of the first one will be pleased to know they do not diverge much from the formula of the first one.
The film opens with Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) and April Wexler (Tara Reid) flying back to New York for a bit of them time, family time and an appearance on Live with Kelly and Michael. April wrote a book about their encounter with the Sharknado in Los Angeles - How to Survive a Sharknado. I do not know how you fill an entire book with helpful hints to avoid a watery shark filled apocalypse. You can only write down 'run away' or 'kill it with a chainsaw' so many ways.
Now a super-storm heads in from the north. Tornadoes coming from the south. Weather reporters say that residents should be "expecting sharks up to two inches an hour". This is freakish weather for the city during what should be summer. You make up whatever weather you want when you are pushing for a sequel as fast as this and you realize you have to film during the winter.
This is perfect because you have these species of sharks being dragged against their will North into a colder climate. Of course they are going to pissed. Out there in the cold. Their little shark nipples out for everyone to see because they did not have time to pack before this tornado came along and whipped them up in the air. A dizzy and cold shark is an angry shark.
At last count there are seventeen cameos and guest spots in this movie. During my first viewing I felt that this was a lot of time committed to the absence of sharks, tornadoes and the combination thereof. You start to get a feeling that there are more guest spots and cameos than sharks! The best bits are with Al Roker and Matt Lauer pretty much setting up bigger and badder situations as the two weather systems converge on Manhattan. Because they are seasoned professionals they really sell it.
So if you are going to set up a drinking game and you want to get blitzed early and often then play the cameo guest spot game. Here is the rub though. To get a good chunk of these you have to have been weaned on pop culture in the 80s and 90s. And I do not think that folks our age are the target market for this movie. Nor should our livers attempt to endure this kind of alcoholic onslaught.
What you folks really want to know though is, how is the shark action?
Sharknado 2 is book-ended by two outrageous action sequences. The opening sequence is easily the most creative and sets the tone and expectations! In it, there are nods to Airplane, Snakes on a Plane and the Shatner episode of The Twilight Zone. There is what I assume HAS to be an Army of Darkness nod in the finale. There is even a car chase scene involving the head of the Statue of Liberty. Nothing takes the corners like the head of Lady Liberty.
Otherwise, there is another rope scene, Fin gets his chainsaw and has two good moments with it. Lots of people get killed simply by standing under a shark when it comes to ground which is silly because they are pretty damn heavy. Of course it is not going to end well. Just get out of their way is all I am saying.
Everyone knows that mileage varies when it comes to these kind of movies. Levels of intoxication may heighten the moment but be realistic. This is airing on a Wednesday and you gotta go back to work the next morning. I say run through it dry and compare notes about those cameos and guest spots around the water cooler on Thursday.
The story is silly. The effects are acceptable. Every moment is outlandish. This is what the Asylum excels at. This time around they just have a few more friends to add to the frenzy.
Sharknado 2: The Second One airs on SyFy in the U.S. and Space in Canada on Wednesday, July 30. Check your local listings for showtimes.