Given that it’s deliberately crap-tacular should it get a glowing review, or a dud one?
Make no mistake, if you enjoyed the first in this B-grade franchise, you’ll be wetting your pants for more here. But if the hype went over your head and you missed the point entirely, then you can switch off now.
Sharknado 2: The Second One is more of the same.
There are more sharks, more bad “let’s get outta here” dialogue and more underwhelming acting scenes. So you’ll probably love it.
Aside from the location change there’s probably a bit more money thrown at this one but it hasn’t radically altered the dodgy FX nor the cheesy popcorn feel that made the first so successful. But there are a number of celebrity cameos and hundred upon hundreds of extras (all of whom are credited) that one can only assume joined in for the hell of it.
It begins aboard an airliner as Fin (Ian Ziering) and April (Tara Reid) are approaching New York. Can’t really remember why, but I don’t think it was crucial. The opening sequence that unfolded was so mental I expected Fin to wake up sweating from a dream. But no. It was the real deal. Suffice to say Snakes on a Plane is now just a distant blur.
In New York Fin is on a mission to warn the city against a perilous Sharknado that is about to hit (try not to let the timing and location of events fit logically with the plot or you could miss half the fun).
Today‘s Matt Lauer and Al Roker, playing themselves, regularly interject the action plot describing the impending Sharknado like an actual weather report. They’re so adept at this, it’s probably unscripted and it works better as a result. Roker has never seen anything like it. “Think of it as a Twister with teeth!” he suggests. Lauer warns of devastation the likes of which has never been seen in NYC before (apologies to 911 families).
Singer Mark McGrath aka Sugar Ray plays a father taking his son to a baseball game when disaster strikes. Female family members are visiting the Statue of Liberty -bad move, it’s surrounded by water.
In trying to reunite family members -and destroy the Sharknado with his first-hand LA experience- Fin venture across the city via subways, taxis and the Empire State Building. There are even sharks on Broadway, and not just the producers charging exorbitant ticket prices for crap musicals.
Judd Hirsch, an actor of much repute, plays a streetwise taxi driver out to help Fin. Billy Ray Cyrus plays a doctor, pretty terribly. There are cameos by Kelly Osbourne, Andy Dick, Judah Friedlander and morning TV hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan. And an hilarious appearance by Robert Hays from Flying High.
Director Anthony C. Ferrante creates an over-the-top ride that ticks the boxes so boldly set out by the original. There are gruesome, ludicrous death scenes, from these fish that miraculously manage to survive being out water.
What holds it all together is Ian Ziering’s commitment to the hero role. While other performers can’t help but keep one tongue in their cheek, Ziering suspends disbelief for 90 minutes. It makes all the difference.
Sharknado 2: The Second One is good schlock fun -with a truly terrible theme song. Check your brain at the door, your popcorn on the coffee table and your chainsaw to high-speed.
Sharknado 2: The Second One 11:30am / 9:30pm Thursday on Syfy.