The folks at SyFy Channel have always tried a tad too hard to come up with that one, cheesy, cult classic that they could milk for years to come. They had Dinosaurs, Tarantulas, Big Foot, Piranhas, and more. It took the old standby Sharks to give them their hearts desire. Who knew Sharknado would take the world by storm and become the movie everyone talked about at last year’s Comic Con? SyFy’s brilliant marketing campaign kept people talking about it months after it initially aired. Can the sequel Sharknado 2: The Second One bite again?
Director Anthony C. Ferrante brings back Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) and April Wexler (Tara Reid) for more bites at the apple. The bigger budget this time was spent bringing iconic New York locations to life. Using backdrops like The Statue of Liberty, Time Square, and City Field this movie feels like Ferrante’s love letter to the city and its people. Complete with one of the funniest, cheesiest, hero making ode to New York speeches delivered by Ziering ever.
The drinking game potential of this movie is off the charts – drink whenever you spot a d list guest star, drink whenever a celebrity guest gets eaten, drink whenever you see a SyFy actor, drink every time you spot an homage to the first film. Ferrante knows his audience and delivers with great glee. There’s literally a reference to jumping the shark in this.
I’m not a fan of guest stars in films like this, a few are fine, but Sharknado 2 is filled with them and the “Where have I’ve seen this cheesy D lister before?” game wears a bit thin after awhile. Not to mention its disappointing when they don’t get eaten spectacularly by a shark – there are a couple of obvious choices here and it becomes lame that they don’t die.
What is the point of having the Naked Cowboy if he doesn’t get eaten? How have I been to NYC as often as I have and never seen the Naked Cowboy? I love that the laws of physics don’t apparently stay the same from movie to movie. What worked the first time around, backfires on the gang in a spectacular fashion.
Some of the iconic moments from the first film are repeated here, including a quick shot of Fin, again, flying through the mouth of a shark with his trusty chainsaw. Fin holding working the chainsaw never gets old. There’s a fun moment with Reid, that I don’t want to spoil and at one point she’s convinced that a specific shark is after her, complete with a hysterically campy call back at the end.
Notice I haven’t talked about the plot or characters? They don’t matter, this movie is all about the Sharks. This time out there’s not 1 but 3 Tornados with teeth that are threatening to destroy NYC. Apparently he was a New Yorker all this time and is returning home, due to his current book tour for “How to Survive A Sharknado.” Immediately the tornado attacks and now his only thought is to get to his sister Ellen (Kari Wuhrer), her husband Martin (Mark McGrath) and their kid to safety. Along for the ride, literally, is Judd Hirsh as the stereotypical NYC Cabbie. Vivica A. Fox is Skye, Fin’s ex-high school love. Not sure why writer Thunder Levin felt a need to include some weird potential love triangle into the film and are black people not allowed to be in love with other black people on TV anymore?
I’m not going to waste your time talking about the acting, but why do New Yorkers just stand around and watch time square get destroyed? Most normal folks would be running for cover, not New Yorkers in action films.
Sharknado 2: The Second One is the same as the first and that’s all fans of the series should want and expect. It delivers. It’s a one of those movies that should be experienced with a crowd of people.
Final Grade B+