Sharknado (2013)

Sharknado (2013)

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Erm, there's a shark behind you.
Erm, there’s a shark behind you.

Twitter Plot Summary: Sharks are thrown inland by a raging tornado. As the tagline states: Enough said!

Genre: Horror/Sci-Fi

Director: Anthony C Ferrante

Key Cast: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, John Heard, Cassie Scerbo, Jaason Simmons,

Five Point Summary:

1. That CGI… ye gods.
2. Subverting the cliche – it’s not a baby trapped in the car, it’s a dog.
3. Let him go man, he’s already dead!
4. Are Ian Ziering and Tara Reid old enough to have kids that look the same age as them?
5. That’s a stupid plan for solving the Sharknado problem. Very stupid.

Opening with a shot of a shoal of sharks being swept up by a fierce tornado, you know immediately that this ain’t Shakespeare. Of course, with a title like Sharknado, you get exactly what you sign up for when you watch it, it’s about as subtle as repeated hammer blows to the face. There’s a special place for films like this, films that exist just to be entertaining. We forgive the terrible script, the outrageous situation and the action that verges on slapstick, simply because we enter into an unspoken tryst with the movie producers. They know it’s bad, we know it’s bad, now move on and enjoy the mayhem.

Bar owner Fin experiences the shark-infested tornado first-hand and decides that he needs to save his estranged wife and kids. Joined by his Australian (I think) friend Baz (Simmons), bar girl Nova (Scerbo) and resident alcoholic George (Heard), they battle floods, heavy winds and, of course, man-eating sharks on their way to the home of April (Reid) and her kids. First big continuity issue there – the hallway beneath the stairs gets flooded inside the house, allowing sharks inside (as non-spoilery as I can be, honest), yet they run outside and there’s no floods whatsoever and they’re able to drive away without trouble. I know picking holes in a film called Sharknado is somewhat contradictory, but if you can’t even establish logic within the world of the film then how are we as an audience supposed to suspend our disbelief? Once again, I think I’m reading too much into it…

Tara Reid, as the “big name” star, is atrocious. I don’t want to be libellous by any stretch (well, no more than I can get away with), but she doesn’t seem like she’s all there. No wonder she’s become such good friends with Jedward. It also gives me less hope about Sharknado 2, as and when that comes out. If it’s her and Jedward against another freak tornado filled with sharks then we’re in for a bumpy ride. I am intrigued to find out how that will work though – how would another freak tornado full of sharks happen? Probably the same as this film…

Now there's something you don't see every day...
Now there’s something you don’t see every day…

Ignoring the obvious problems with having sharks thrown inland by a tornado, there’s also the massive issue of the children that Tara Reid and Ian Ziering have supposedly spawned. Either those two characters needed to be played by older actors or the kids needed to be younger, because there’s no way that those two are parents of kids that old. Compared to the rest of the film it’s a very minor bugbear, but one that bothers me all the same. That’s what I’m here for you see, to make completely arbitrary points about bad films! And on that note – characters make decisions arbitrarily and with no serious forethought. Others get to recount their pasts so we know why they hate sharks so much. It’s fascinating that out of such a small cross section of people they hold such a hatred for our fishy brethren. Most strange.

Whilst the CGI is terrible, the acting cheesy and the entire situation completely implausible and ridiculous, it’s a massively entertaining film for exactly those reasons. It’s stupid and knows it, and that’s why it works so well. As far as the stupidity goes it maintains this from start to finish, but the second half of the film doesn’t quite live up to expectations. Okay, the second half is just as stupid as the first, perhaps even more so on occasion (to go into detail would spoil the fun for you), but it feels like it starts to run out of steam and as soon as they hatch a plan for stopping the tornado (it’s absolutely nuts) you kind of know where it’s all heading. Well, apart from two little bits. You’ll know them when you see them. Not so much jumping the shark or nuking the fridge, but almost going as far as ripping the film from the camera and burning it in a pagan ritual.

Of course, Adam West Batman had the answer to this problem – shark repellent bat spray. Enough said.

Favourite scene: Saving the dog trapped in the car, just before the killer sharks come along and do their dirty work.

Quote: “We can’t just wait here for sharks to rain down on us.”

Silly Moment: Erm… all of it?

Score: 3/5

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