Sharknado Review: Surfing the Sharkpocalypse of Doom!

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When I wrote about the Sharknado trailer this week, I said there was no was no way on earth I'd be watching this cinematic masterpiece.

Well, as I'm sure it will with plenty of others, curiosity got the best of me. Even though I've watched it and am writing about it, I'm still not quite sure if it was a good idea.

Sharknado Poster

Let's go ahead and tackle the incredibly deep, complex plot of Sharknado. See, there are sharks, and these sharks find themselves sucked up into a hurricane and the subsequent tornados the hurricane spawns.

And then... nope, that's it. That is the entire plot. 

Wait, there was an early scene in which we are party to an illegal shark fin poaching operation. Complete with man of presumable Asian descent there to purchase said shark fins.

At first I thought, oh, this might be a statement on the awfulness of shark fin harvesting. No. Apparently that was just the best way the writers could think of launching into this story.

How on earth can this be anything but spectacular?

Well for one, the acting. Ian Ziering tries so hard. So, so hard. It's like he has taken all the acting energy that he hasn't been using in the years since 90210 and put it into this film.

Amazingly enough, that doesn't equate to much. Granted he was playing Fin, a surfing bar owner whose ex-wife and children seem to hate who ends up being the rappelling hero of our shark tale. 

His ex-wife? Oh that's Tara Reid. The greatest thing she added was her first scene in which she stood on a staircase next to a framed picture of herself.

Who has framed pictures of just themselves? It wasn't her at some type of natural wonder, nope. It appears as if Tara Reid's character went to the Glamour Shots knock-off and got her a pretty picture. So weird. 

Then there's Fin's children. His daughter hates him. Like legit, hates him. While there is a shark swimming around the her living room eating her mother's boyfriend (who she apparently adores), she just scowls.

Call me crazy, I'd be freaking out, but then again I've never been in a situation in which there was a shark swimming around my living room eating people, so I guess I can't be too sure of my reaction.

Fin's son is apparently in the Coast Guard. In flight school I guess. No one has told his father this because the new boyfriend thinks it isn't any of his business anymore. Who does this new boyfriend think he is? Frankly, he deserved to be eaten by a living room shark. Good riddance. 

Of course there is also a best friend. Best friend was one of the first victims of the shark invasion but instead of being literally gulped by the shark like one of the poor shark poachers in the first scene (no, seriously - do sharks inhale their prey like that? It looked like Joey Chestnut taking down 69 hot dogs on July 4th) he was merely nibbled upon. When in the midst of a sharkpocalypse what self-respecting shark nibbles?

Come on, get it together shark. 

Rounding out this rag tag crew is the doe-eyed barmaid who for some reason feels it necessary to literally throw herself at her boss while standing behind the bar during business hours while the bar patrons look on. To say this love interest angle (I'm assuming that's what they were going for) fell flat is on understatement of epic proportions. 

One of those bar patrons is none other than the dad from Home Alone, John Heard. He is mainly a non-player until his shining moment as he is being actively consumed by a shark and he says, in a very even tone of voice, "Ow, no. Get off of me."

Again, I haven't been eaten by a shark so I can't assume to know my reaction but I'd hope there'd be at least a little bit of screaming. 

Some honorable mentions have to go out to the small roles in this delightful film. To just get an idea of their incredible contributions let's look at some of their inspired dialogue:

  • "That's Johnni with an 'i'." -- Weather reporter in the middle of the sharknado right before she meets her bloody end.
  • "$15K a year, no benefits, and screaming kids!" -- Bus driver as he is being hoisted from bus to higher ground.
  • "My mom always told me Hollywood would kill me." -- Same bus driver who just escaped a shark attack only to be drilled into the ground by flying pieces of the Hollywood sign. 
  • "The government knows when I pee and my favorite kind of cheese. Pepperjack." - Gas station attendant with a very topical concern of the government's knowledge of our private lives.
  • Not dialogue, but special shout out to the man being eaten by one shark only to have another fall from the sky and land on his head. 

For all the incredible performances given by actors, it would have meant nothing without the real stars, the sharks.

Oh, this group of sharks gave a performance of the ages. 

They are met at every turn by cars trying to drive over them as they swim by on seemingly dry land. They are just out for a leisurely flight through Southern California when all of a sudden there's Ian Ziering with a chainsaw. All they want is to take a nice cool dip in a pool, is it their fault that people have managed to ignore 'Johnni with an 'i'" and the people screaming, and the MASSIVE TORNADO FILLED WITH SHARKS and kept on swimming?

In the end, that is the truly amazing aspect of Sharknado. When there is a regular tornado, most people head indoors. Apparently the people of Los Angeles just laugh in the face of Mother Nature. Well, joke's on them because Mother Nature sent her sharks to put them in their place. See if they ignore her again! Ha!

Of course it would be some sort of crime if I didn't mention the visual effects. They were about as awful as one could imagine. There, I've mentioned them. No, that's not fair. This is a movie about flying sharks and frankly it could be Michael Bay (please god don't let Michael Bay make a flying shark movie) and it would still look like crap.

However, I would like to think someone like Michael Bay, or anyone else really, would give a second thought to the physics involved in a storm like this. It's like the makers of Sharknado have never, ever seen a body of water. Water does not just randomly, in the middle of a place with zero water one second create a monsoon type wave the next. It just doesn't happen! 

Nor does a car just spontaneously combust just because it's leaking a bit of gas. Out of everything wrong with this movie, this puzzled me the most.

For all it's faults, and there are many, I actually enjoyed Sharknado. I don't really know how as it quite possibly was the dumbest thing I have ever watched, but I did. The filmmakers obviously cared very little about actual story but when your story is about a tornado filled with sharks, does it really matter how much it builds on that idea?

Congrats to SyFy though. Because of their big ol' balls in putting it on air in the first place, they surely have a hit with Sharknado that people will talk and laugh about for at least a couple days.

Bravo, SyFy and Sharknado!

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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I haven't seen it, but it sounds like the crazy mess would make more sense if it ended with someone waking up and realizing that it was all a bad dream. :-)

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while i sort of feel bad for anyone tasked with writing this much about such a terrible sounding thing, i also sort of want to see it after reading this

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abe man you comment on every post. i know you've probably got a good thing going, but ms. amanda denton will think you're too clingy if you keep it up. as will free britney. and hilton hater. and jason dweeber (love is love). just letting you know you should work on your subtlety.

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@ abe go to work/sleep

Hey babe how ya doin'?

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only availible on DVD at "Knott's Berry Farm", folks!!

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