Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Cast: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo
Plot: Nova (Scerbo) returns with evidence the Sharknados plagued the world in ancient times. However, in exploring a tomb for answers, Fin (Ziering) triggers the worst storm yet.
The first five minutes of the fifth Sharknado tricked me into thinking that it might be half decent. It opens with Nova (Scerbo is the franchise’s closest thing to someone who can act), exploring a tomb beneath Stonehenge and uncovered a mythology suggesting that the Sharknados are an ancient curse. This has the air of an improvement for two reasons. For one, grounding the silliness of the Sharknados in mystical mumbo jumbo is much better for than the last movie’s attempt to explain everything away with science. I would much rather blame a cop-out God or wizard for the Sharknado plot, than I would the weather just having an off day. The other intriguing change is seeing Ian Ziering find a Stetson and a whip, then dash off into a shark-infested tomb like an Indiana Jones parody. It is both a change of pace and something ripe for some mickey-taking.
But Sharknado 5 quickly moves back to what it knows best – which ironically it doesn’t know very well at all. Ian Ziering sets off a Sharknado with a teleportation vortex embedded in the core, which allows for the action to go international. Apparently the new direction the fifth Sharknado wants to take is simply changing the background. London, Rome and Tokyo are the new playgrounds for the same disaster movie scene, fit with celebrity cameos endemic to the country (at the very least with England I could keep up with the obscure cameos, even if they were predictably naff), and national landmarks to be destroyed. Sometimes the use of new countries is just plain insulting. For one, the stereotypical accents and impersonations are appalling, but also the writer’s depiction of famous Europeans figures is downright baffling. To be honest, Global Swarming is worth watching just to see what Americans think the Queen looks like. But what more was to be expected. The real issue with Sharknado is the absolutely dreadful CGI that makes up all the action and narrative. Most of Ian Ziering’s and Tara Reid’s fight scenes are them flying through the air, the rest of the screen animated around them. How can we feel the threat if Cassie Scerbo has the power to fly into shark-infested skies, swing her weapon at the air and come out alive? It is all absolute drivel. It makes the few moments when Ferrante aim for serious embarrassing. There are some moments which are clearly meant to come across as touching deaths, but by this point in the five movie run, no one cares enough to even look up from their phones at the screen. The movie is smart enough to tack on a cliff-hanger, complete with a surprising actor reveal that suggests the direction of the sixth one. It has guaranteed SyFy getting one final movie, but we all know it will quickly descend into the same mess.
Final Verdict: Is it possible that this film is worse and more badly animated than the ones that came before it? Sharknado 5 finds new lows we didn’t realise existed.