You know what’s a terrible, terrible movie? Sharknado. But you know what’s an awesome movie? Sharknado. That’s right people, the movie you never knew you wanted has finally been unleashed as a Syfy channel original and it was as awful and glorious as the epic title may have indicated.
Now, here’s the deal with this review: you may notice a strange juxtaposition in my review score and the glowing comments I make about the film. The film receives a low score, regardless of my enjoyment, because frankly, the movie as a film is bloody awful. There’s nothing even remotely redeeming about anything in this movie from a filmmaking standpoint and I can’t, as a reviewer, feel good about giving it a high score when it’s so bad. On the other hand, I did enjoy every minute of it. It’s the classic “so bad it’s good” kind of self-unaware filmmaking that puts a smile on my face. I laughed the entire time at the ridiculous ineptitude that permeated every inch of this movie. It’s why channels like Syfy exist and the world is a better place for it.
As far as the movie itself goes, well, the title pretty much says it all: a bunch of shark infested bad weather. There are several tornadoes that begin sweeping across the ocean and making their way to dry land. Why did these tornadoes start? Well, global warming of course. Is this explained at all? Not remotely. Science be darned here. Global warming resulted in shark sucking ocean tornadoes and that’s all the explanation the filmmakers feel like giving. Fair enough, I suppose. For some reason, these tornadoes are picking up blood thirsty sharks on their way inland. There is absolutely no explanation given as to why sharks are the only animals being picked up. No other fish, no dolphins, turtles, sting ray, or anything else; just sharks; big, hungry, nasty sharks. These sharks are being flung into houses, buildings, rooftops, and city streets along with half the ocean as all of Los Angeles and even up to Beverly Hills are supposedly being flooded. The funny thing is that most of the shots of the cities will show no water whatsoever. We’re told that the streets are flooded and we’re shown close ups of sharks (stock footage from National Geographic no doubt) swimming underwater but we never see any shots of any actual flooding. I’m sure it was due to financial constraints but the end result is ridiculous, stupid, and hilarious. Suspension of belief is required from the get-go when it comes to watching a movie called Sharknado though, so it all seems to fit, strangely enough.
With the shark storm raging upon the west coast, surfer dude everyman Fin, played by Ian Ziering who you may remember from the original Beverly Hills 90210, races to rescue his estranged wife and kids. His wife is played by Tara Reid, who you may remember from….. oh who am I kidding, no one remembers Tara Reid. Anyway, Fin, along with his bikini-clad, shotgun expert waitress and his impossible to understand Australian buddy go to rescue Fin’s family which of course paves the way for plenty of ill-timed and horrendously written moments of family drama style dialogue which only helps to cement the fact that not one person alive cares a penny’s worth about these chum-bound characters. No one in this movie is even remotely likeable or identifiable, but that’s alright because it makes it all the more fun to watch them get turned into fish food, and fish food they do become. For some reason, these sharks, after being sucked out of the water and thrown miles through the air only to come crashing through living room windows and onto city streets, only have one thing on their minds: eating people. Now, I’m of the mind that if a shark gets flung miles from the ocean and into someone’s living room, eating people might not be foremost on its mind. These sharks however seem oblivious to the fact that they are now flopping around on some random rooftop; all it means to them is that the buffet line has been open. It’s inconceivably asinine and at the same time, remarkably funny to witness.
Ridiculous premise aside, the move fails in every technical aspect that it possibly can. The acting is par for the course when it comes to these Syfy originals, which is to say that it ranges from passable to dreadful. What’s great about the acting though is that everyone really attempts to convey a sense of earnestness. There’s no winking at the camera or tongue-in-cheek delivery and that is what makes it such a treat to watch. In the midst of the over-the-top silliness that is Sharknado, we have a cast of pretty much nobodies delivering their lines as if they were auditioning for Schindler’s List. It’s the actors seemingly obliviousness to the terrible source material that really sells the performances and it makes it even more hilarious when they are inevitably snatched or crushed by a shark that comes swinging by through the air.
There are really not enough great things I can say about Sharknado. As a film it fails on every single level, but I enjoyed every minute and watched the entire movie with an enormous smile splashed across my face. I learned all sorts of great things from it, such as the fact that sharks can in fact breathe out of water, one swipe of a chainsaw will slice a 20 foot great white in half….longways, and perhaps most useful: helicopters can easily fly into tornadoes and said tornado can be stopped by dropping in a co2 canister and a flare. I live in Oklahoma so this new info will really come in handy once tornado season comes back around.
Now, if my glowing review isn’t enough to start you salivating at the chance to catch this landmark film when it reruns over the next few day, let me say this: the last five minutes will make it worth it. If you can stand the ineptitude and juvenile filmmaking over the first hour and a half, you will be rewarded with what I now deem the finest five minutes in cinematic history. Watch it and tell me I’m wrong.
For your enjoyment, I have included the text message conversation I had with my friend Michael as we were both enjoying the film:
Michael: Oh my, this is awesome already
Michael: We all knew sharks swam in schools
Me: Happens everyday
Michael: True story, bro
Michael: I knew it! Global warming causes Sharknadoes!
Me: It causes everything
Michael: Is this some hippy liberal agenda?
Michael: How does the house have four feet of water in it, but the car isn’t under water?
Me: Why didn’t we think of dropping a bomb into the tornadoes a few months ago?
Michael: I know. Moore wouldn’t have been destroyed by sharks!
Michael: Brooke Hogan should have been in this
Michael: Oh, man. I wet myself when he was shooting at the sharks flying at him
Me: That chainsaw part
Michael: Never mind… that was the funniest scene. The kid in the red shirt
Me: Yeah, he had a rough go of it
Michael: Okay… you know what? This is the best scene
Me: Oh man! Did you see that crap!!!!???
Michael: I’m laughing so hard. Diving head first into a great white shark
Me: That was so great!
Michael: Oh man, I’m still crying
Me: That was the best ending!!!
Michael: I wasn’t expecting that
Me: No, me either. That’s my new favorite movie ending
Michael: LOL… it’s amazing how he dives in head first and manages not to chop that girl in half. True talent
Michael: How about a two headed sharknado attack?
Me: That would be the end of the world