Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Cast: Ian Ziering, Cassie Scerbo, Tara Reid, Jaason Simmons, Chuck Hittinger, Aubrey Peeples, John Heard
Plot: A freak tornado washes several killer sharks inland, causing family man, Finn (Ziering) to try and find his ex-wife and get his family to safety.
Sorry I couldn’t make it to the cinema this week. I was racking my brains on how to make this Friday worthwhile on my website and that’s when I saw this on iTunes. A wicked grin on my face, I rented it and immersed myself in Syfy’s much talked about original movie.
The title is pretty much also a sufficient description of the plot, but I shall attempt to go into more detail. Bar-owner, Finn Shepherd, gets worried about some increased shark activity and a hurricane predicted, so he tries to persuade his ex-wife to get his daughter further inland. Thinking he is being over-protective, his family ignores him. However, being right by the coast, Finn gets a first-hand taste of how much damage a hurricane filled with deadly sharks can cause. He gathers his barmaid and some of his regular customers to get to his wife’s house and get them out of Hollywood.
I was watching a documentary about weather recently (orderly line, ladies!) and I learnt about a strange phenomenon where a tornado picked fish from the ocean and rained them down on a town in America. Most of them even survived the fall and the ones that luckily landed in ponds or even puddles, were swimming around, quite happily. It doesn’t surprise me that some B-Movie producer could have heard about this event and made the leap from small fish to giant sharks. While there is a good reason animals that large cannot be picked up by a hurricane and taken this far inland, this is stupid movie territory, so I am willing to make that leap of credibility. And when you end up a film like Sharknado, I am willing to forgive a lot more.
Yes, I actually really liked this film. It was stupid, it was funny and, for the most part, it was entertaining. Don’t get me wrong, most of the bad things you heard about this film are true. Most of this movie does not make much sense. Sharks can swim in the smallest drop of water and also when they hit the ground, rather than being freaked out or confused, they are ready to kill, like unstoppable murder robots. Some sharks even land, jaw open, scoring a kill before they’ve fully hit the ground. However, if things like this annoy you, then it’s your own fault for picking up a movie called Sharknado. The dialogue isn’t actually that bad (some lines are actually really funny and make the film worthwhile), just given to the worst actors possible. Even then the sharks tend to go for the worse actors first, as if they are equally offended by the lack of acting talent as the viewer.
I was pleasantly happy about some elements of the film. For example, the leads weren’t that bad. The hero is one of the better actors on screen and he is quite likable. Then we have Cassie Scerbo, who despite not being given much to wear, is handy with a shotgun and quite dependable. Not your standard shark movie bimbo. Of course, then there are the characters who totally drop the ball. Finn’s family isn’t up to much. His daughter seems to think he is never there for her, although if he called up to warn her about a potential hurricane before it even got threatening, I would have thought he was more over-bearing than distant. Of course, the family subplot was always going to be a bunch of clichés stapled together. Tara Reid, the ex-wife, is the worst actress here and her character is infuriatingly useless. However, she isn’t given too much to do, not getting in the way too much, so I wasn’t too bothered if she was going to flump all of her lines. The son only annoyed me, because the writers decided to make him a last-act hero, before he even had the chance to develop as a character. I would have much rather kept the focus on the father, who as I said, was far more fun to watch.
However, like I said, I came in, expecting all of this, so I only ever rolled my eyes at the flaws. At the very least, the director was aware of the joke that Sharknado is. Kills were so brutal you were laughing at the screen. A guy would be bleeding out slowly, only for an overweight hammerhead to crush his dying body anyway. Another man is taken out by the Hollywood sign. The CGI of the sharks was bad, but the director shows them fleetingly. Their attacks are so fast, we don’t see enough for ropey animation to ruin the movie. Ferrante may have been a clever enough director to limit the losses, but deep down, you wanted someone talented enough to make something a bit more emotional out of the deaths and to keep the scenes running long enough for a more drawn our finale, rather than the heroes running from set-piece to set-piece. Also, the ending nearly ruins everything, destroying the one shock that the film threw at us and throwing all logic out of the window. Just when I was having my faith restored in B-Movies…
Final Verdict: Sharknado’s just as bad as everyone has been making it out to be, but it is so entertaining and nonsensical that you cannot help but have a soft spot for it.