Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

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Can you guess what's going to happen next?
Can you guess what’s going to happen next?

Twitter Plot Summary: A Sharknado descends on New York City and it’s up to Fin and April to save the day yet again.

So Sharknado did so well a sequel was justified, although it wouldn’t take all that much to persuade The Asylum to produce a sequel or a slightly dodgy knock-off of a much bigger film. To borrow a line from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, they’d probably do it for peanuts. A touch disparaging perhaps, but then this is exactly what The Asylum are known to produce, and Sharknado was hardly a pinnacle in great storytelling, let’s face it.

Anyway: some time has passed since the events of the first film. April Wexler (Tara Reid) has written a book about how to survive a sharknado (yes, really), and her ex-husband Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) is suffering from some form of post traumatic stress. All with a knowing nod and a wink to the audience, of course – the man was eaten by a shark last time, after all. It stands to reason therefore that the same thing will happen again, this time in the grand metropolis of New York.

In a bid to become a cult favourite, the sequel chooses to throw in an almost excessive number of cameos. Robert Hays appears as a pilot, referencing his appearance in Airplane. It’s so jam-packed with cameos in fact (mostly contained within the first 10 minutes) that it threatens to fold in on itself before it gets opportunity to really go crazy. Whereas the first Sharknado was enjoyably daft, The Second One chooses to throw itself into full-on parody territory, amping up the obvious jokes and silliness. Even the name plays up to its ridiculous origins. Ironically, this is exactly what The Second One needed and is all the more enjoyable for it.

Yes, this really happens. Several times, in fact.
Yes, this really happens. Several times, in fact.

Silly set piece follows silly set piece. Lots of people die, destruction occurs on a grand scale, and there are no seriously objectionable performances. If you’re going to criticise anything – besides the fact it’s a cash-in B-movie with an atrocious premise and low effects budget – is that most of the running time is taken up by genuine newsreaders and meteorologists talking about the Sharknado and its impact on the great city of New York. For a local audience this is no doubt great fun, especially given how serious they take it. For a wider audience however, those sequences don’t add very much at all, and after one or two of those sequences the joke starts to run very, very thin. There’s more fun to be had smirking at Judd Hirsch driving our heroes around in his taxi, or Tara Reid trying to emote. About anything.

The sharknado may provide a similar level of threat as The First One (surely that should be its new subtitle?) but somehow they’ve managed to craft a few different ways of tackling such an unnatural disaster. It doesn’t go so far as to reinvent the wheel, because that’s practically impossible, but there are some new and surprisingly inventive ways found to kill characters off or to just have a laugh. Much like the first, The Second One is not a high pinnacle in storytelling, but it has a laugh at its own expense and for that it is worthy of a polite round of applause but not much else.

Score: 2.5/5

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