26th Oct2014

‘Sharknado 2: The Second One’ Blu-ray Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath, Kari Wuhrer, Courtney Baxter, Dante Palminteri | Written by Thunder Levin | Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante

sharknado-2-blu

Fin Shepard (Ziering) and his ex-wife April (Reid) are flying to New York City when their plane enters the most unnatural of storms and is battered by airborne sharks. As blood is shed and passengers are maimed in the skies, New York awakens and people spill onto the streets, unaware of the peril descending rapidly towards them… a sharknado is about to hit the big apple! Armed with weapons and explosives, Fin realises he must risk all to save his sister’s family from the greatest of danger as floods and storms crash into the city.

The first Sharknado was something of an unexpected phenomenon. Your typical monster-movie produced by The Asylum, it captured the imagination of more than just those of who usually tune-in to these kinds of cheesy low-budget B-movies; and it seemed, at the time, everyone was cheering on this crazy high-concept flick. Judging by Sharknado 2: The Second One however, that wave of goodwill may wear out well before this franchise has run its course. What started out as a film that cheekily knew just how bad it was and had fun with it, has somehow evolved – even after only two movies – into the type of cheddar-laced, celebrity-filled, disaster movie that Irwin Allen became synonymous with.

The big disappointment is that many of the “laughs” and knowing nods found in the original have been replaced with in-jokes and celebrity cameos, of which there are WAAAY too many – including (and this is all the ones I can remember off the top of my head) Wil Wheaton, Kelly Osbourne, Robert Hays – as a pilot no less, Andy Dick, Pepa – from Salt ‘n’ Pepa, Judd Hirsch, Billy Ray Cyrus, Perez Hilton, Jared – from the famous US Subway ads, WWE/TNA wrestler Kurt Angle, scream queen Tiffany Shepis and even rapper Biz Markie. Plus a whole heap of American TV news and weather “celebs” who I doubt will resonate with anyone outside the US. Told you this was more like an Irwin Allen production didn’t I?

Of course I shouldn’t complain, we ALL knew what to expect from Sharknado 2. After all joe public was in on the plot, the celebs and even the title of the film from its inception. We are responsible for the B-movie behemoth that Sharknado has become. Yes we helped shape, and are to blame for, a movie that features the line: “We predict shark-fall rates of 2-inches an hour.” Really? Really?!

There are some plus points – the cutaways to the tornadoes descending on New York look stunning (almost like they’ve stepped out of a Hollywood blockbuster rather than a cheesy B-movie – stock footage perhaps?) and Ian Ziering slicing a flying Great White shark clean in half with a chainsaw really upped the ante on “bad-ass scenes in B-movies” for everyone. Well that’s until Tara Reid crafts herself a band saw for a hand. Yeah you read that right… A band saw for a hand. Just let that sink in for a minute. Oh, did I tell you that you haven’t got time to let that sink in… Here’s come Ian Ziering again – this time he’s sky-surfing on the back of a shark! If you haven’t gathered yet, Sharknado 2: The Second One is filled with almost as many crazy ideas as it is celebrity cameos.

As an actual, real-life fan of Syfy’s cheesy creature-features and the first Sharknado movie, there wasn’t anything to the sequel I could say offended me or even that I heartily disliked. In fact I enjoyed it for the cheese-filled, CGI-tainted, crapfest it was. Sharknado is what it is and nothing anyone says will change that – after all, a third film in the franchise was announced before Sharknado 2 even debuted! And just like any genre picture the law of diminishing returns applies.

Sharknado 2: The Second One is released on DVD on October 27th and Blu-ray on November 24th, courtesy of Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment.

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