Friday, December 4, 2015

Sharknado Film Review


Director: Thunder Levin
Cast: Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo, Jason Simmons, John Heard, Ian Ziering
Series: Sharknado
MPAA Rating: R
Length: 85 Minutes

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Sharknado plunges head first into the world of making intentionally terrible movies.  The trade off for making these types of crappy movies is that you get to see some unique, albeit absolutely ridiculous, forms of entertainment.  In this film it comes in the form of sharks in hurricanes and tornadoes.
Badly acted, poorly written, and completely unrealistic are the aesthetics that make Sharknado.  So do viewers get the trade off for having to suffer through all of that? Not until the final the final 20 minutes, and even then it isn’t all too spectacular.

As a hurricane approaches the coast of southern California, it begins to pick up sharks and carry them in the storm.  Looking to protect his family, bar owner Fin (Ian Ziering) along with a few of his friends decide to retrieve his ex-wife (Tara Reid), daughter, and son.  Eventually the storm develops water spouts, aka water tornadoes, and Finn, his friends, and his family try to work together to stop them.

In the back of my mind I just kept feeling like Sharknado was a cheap publicity stunt.  The title is attractive because it forces your attention, but that’s where the attraction to this film stops. The attempts at creating sympathetic characters feels like a waste of time.  The only back story that got a reaction out of me was Nova’s, the character with shark bite marks on her leg.  When she finally reveals how she got them I laughed pretty hard, but felt awful afterwards, because putting Nova’s story in perspective is really messed up.  I felt like I was laughing at someone in a wheelchair.

The CG effects and visuals in this film are terrible, as was expected.  But to be honest I didn’t think a film could ever look this bad.  The explosions lack any sort of realistic look, which ruins a lot of big moments.  The sharks don’t look menacing or even remotely frightening, which ruins a lot of potential scary moments. At times its certainly plausible at times to mistake the sharks for another species … a manatee maybe?

The deaths and battles with the sharks before the ending aren’t special, with the exception of the drunk who beats up a shark with his bar-stool.  Until the tornadoes appear at the end, the film hopelessly meanders, trying to develop characters I didn’t care about, and creating entertaining action sequences that seemed to have forgotten the meaning of the word. Tara Reid got star billing in this film, yet she does literally nothing the entire movie.  To her credit though, she did try to learn a few things about sharks and ended up proving she was dumber than I ever thought she could ever be – See video below for Tara talking about whale sharks:

When the big ending does arrive, the film enters a new level of stupidity.  Shooting sharks out of the sky with shotguns, cutting them apart with chainsaws, and beating them with baseball bats is really only the start.  You even get the trademark cliche line, “that’s my son.”

Sharknado could be fun for somebody who is looking to kill 90 minutes, or wants to black out 90 minutes of their life.  It’s certainly cheaper to blackout to this movie than to drink your way there. But seriously don’t watch this movie.

Score: 1

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