I finally caught up with this much hyped Asylum/SYFY channel thriller and have to say while it didn’t quite live up to the hype…very little ever does…I did have a good time at it’s sheer audacity to ignore all rational thinking and scientific fact and just ‘go for it’! Sharknado is ridiculous and knows it…revels in it…and that’s where the fun comes from as the movie could care less about logic, plot, science or even basic story structure, it wants to throw sharks at Los Angeles and it’s human inhabitants and does so gleefully and gorily for almost 90 minutes.
The thread bare plot involves a freak hurricane and the tornadoes it is creating advancing up the West Coast, sucking sharks out of the water and depositing them, like an enormous sea life filled confetti cannon, all over a flooded coastal L.A. Enter bar owner, surfer and divorced dad ‘Fin’ Shepard (Ian Ziering)…yes, Sharknado’s hero is named ‘Fin’… who, when the storm hits, decides to risk all and rescue his estranged family from this ‘Jaws‘ dropping storm. Along with him are Austrailian bud, Baz (Jaason Simmons), bar regular George (John Heard) and smoking hot bar maid, Nova (a scene stealing Cassie Scerbo) who has a crush on Fin and a vendetta against sharks. Through hell and high shark infested water, Fin and co. reach…well, some of them reach…Fin’s ex-wife (Tara Reid) and daughter (Aubrey Peeples) and now must rescue his son Matt (Chuck Hittinger) from flight school while evading schools of sharks in flight. Can Fin reunite his family and figure out a way to stop great whites from falling on his head?
Directed by Anthony Ferrante (Boo, Hansel And Gretel) and written by someone named Thunder Levin, Sharknado is silly, gory fun. It’s not quite the delirious good time as Alexandre Aja’s bloody remake Piranha 3D or even Corman’s original Piranha are, two films similar in plot and tone, but it has a lot of spunk and and isn’t afraid to be as ridiculous as it needs to be to entertain it’s audience. Since Boo, I have always felt Ferrante had the potential to be a really good director and while this film is ridiculous and outrageous, Ferrante always seems to be in control. There is always a method to the madness and no matter how silly it gets, it’s on purpose. He stages the action fairly well for a low budget disaster flick, even when the action involves flying carnivorous fish.
He gets the right tone of performance out of his cast. Everyone takes their roles seriously no matter how silly their lines or preposterous the scenes they are in get. Keeping a straight face while battling a shark in someone’s living room takes skill. Ziering actually makes a decent hero, Tara Reid is…Tara Reid, Simmons is lively as Baz and Heard seems to be having a good time as the inebriated George. But it is Cassie Scerbo who steals the flick as the beach bunny with a shotgun, the shark hating Nova. She is feisty as she is pretty and not only does she handle the action well, but delivers some of the film’s more ridiculous lines with a completely straight face. Her character is involved in some of the more ridiculous action scenes, too and Scerbo dives right in, denim shorts and all. Curious to see how she’d be in a far more serious horror flick.
So, over all, Sharknado is a good time. It’s not great; not all the bits work; some of the plot conveniences just elicit groans and the cheesy CGI doesn’t have the same charm as Corman’s plastic fish or even Spielberg’s mechanical Bruce, but it’s heart is in the right place and any movie that so proudly dives feet first into ridiculousness of this level to entertain you, deserves to be given the credit it’s due. Silly, ridiculous, but as much fun as you can expect from a tornado full of sharks.
3 shark killing cuties !