Before it even aired on SyFY, Sharknado was making waves. First spotted as a film poster, Sharknado would make periodic social media resurfaces as more and more people saw the poster for the first time. The image of the sharks swirling in the tornado, with the tagline “Enough Said!”, was enough to send everyone’s lips a-talkin’ and smartphones a-tweetin’.
And lo, it came to pass that Sharknado did air on SyFy. An event film, it became a social media sensation, though the ratings failed to live up to the hype. How much was just people thinking they were too good to watch, and how much was the lamented switch to new SyFy movies on Thursday, I cannot say. But saw Sharknado I did, and thus, now we shall all learn about the Sharknado!
Sharknado laughs in the face of your physics and logic, presenting a world where a Mexican hurricane causes massive shark gatherings off the coast of LA, which are then sucked into water spouts and unleashed on the city, but not before random flooding causes sharks to be swimming in the streets, the sewers, back yard pools, and increasingly in higher ground. LA is as prepared for sharkmageddon as it is for being invaded by alien butts, thus no one has evacuated or even leaves the beach as terrible weather comes in.
Through it all, we follow surfing legend Finly “The Fin” Shepard, as he attempts to save his children and ex-wife from the swarms of sharks. Fin wasn’t always there for his family, but he’s there now, and has to mend the wounds while avoiding shark wounds. The journey is also an excuse to explain whey they just don’t hole up at the top of a tall building until the storm passes. Fin is also a guy who can’t leave lots of innocent people to die, so at times he goes and risks his life to save strangers. At one point this literally stops the film as he saves a busload of kids. But it’s nice to see a hero do heroic things and think of others, and not see people as just collateral damage for his conflict.
Sharknado saves the actual sharknado for the end of the film, before that it is just a glorified flooding shark attack movie. But the title does appear (3 of them!) and there is some sharknado destruction and gifable images. But I’m greedy and always demand more more more. While the carnage and death is fine, I can see why some people are disappointed.
But Sharknado is a wonderland of references and crazy stuff. It also has some odd parallels with Pacific Rim (at least three scenes) though they would be totally independent, as the Asylum version is called Atlantic Rim. Sharknado has references to Wizard of Oz, 90210, Shark Week, Jaws, Crocodile Dundee, and many more. It also features such wonderful shark battles as:
- pool stick vs shark
- barstool vs shark
- oxygen tank vs shark
- bookshelf vs shark
- lamp vs shark
- power lines vs shark
- exploding swimming pool vs sharks
- pistols vs shark
- chainsaw vs shark
I liked it, it wasn’t the best Asylum production, but it was enough to satisfy my SyFy cravings. And what other movie would brave a title like Sharknado?
We open with sharks getting sucked up into a water spout, giving them a great advantage to chomp up the crew of a shark finning ship (which is having its own dispute), but the sharknadoes won’t return for the next hour, so buckle in.
Fin and his Tasmanian buddy Baz (Jaason Simmons) are looking for cool waves from the approaching Hurricane David, which is menacing Mexico. They go over the objections of Fin’s waitress Nova, who is not fond of sharks in the slightest. Fin begins surf flirting with the hot surfer chick (Sumiko Braun), but we all know she’s going to die as the sharks attack the beach, chomping on many people. They even chomp on Baz, though Fin manages to save him and drive a jet ski to the shore. More shark attacks happen in this short sequence than in the real world in an entire years.
Fin and Baz go back to Fin’s bar, where waitress Nova is serving George his 3 millionth beer or something. After some talk, everyone realizes the storm surges from the hurricane are getting worse, to the point where waves are crashing into the bar, and an actual shark crashes through the window. Nova stabs it with a pool cue and George beats it with his bar stool. No one has bothered to evacuate the beach despite the storm and massive shark attacks, so many people die as the wind and waves cause damage, including the ferris wheel breaking free and running people down until it slams into a building. We also get one of several Jaws references, as a tank is shoved into a sharks mouth and then shot, blowing the shark up.
Fin drives through the flooding to check on ex-wife and daughter, made easy because his SUV’s electronics were sealed with silicone because Fin is always prepared. He takes Nova, Baz, and George with him because they don’t really have anything else to do.
“What the hell, there’s sharks in the street!” says Nova as sharks begin swimming in the flooded avenues. Sharks begin banging the SUV, and the decision is made to go to the 405. Which then gets flooded. Fin tries to save some of the people trapped in their cars, and George saves a dog but gets sharked himself. Fin realizes the sharks will use the flooding in the sewers to get all over LA. And him saying so makes us more likely to agree to that logic!
Fin arrives where his ex-wife April and daughter Claudia live, but everyone yells at him, especially April’s new boyfriend, Colin (Christopher Wolfe), who acts so much the jerk we know he’ll be dead soon. And right after Nova blasts a shark that pops out of a manhole with a shotgun, sharks enter the house thanks to flooding. Adios, Colin. Fin stops the shark with a bookshelf, then fights another with a lamp while the rest of the group heads to the SUV to escape. Fin gets away as well, and the house collapses as they drive off.
Fin stops both the SUV and the film to go rescue kids trapped in a bus, pulling them up one by one. Their teacher spends most of the time with goofy screaming and statements until he’s killed by part of the Hollywood sign that blows down to save the day.
A shark bites through the roof of the SUV, and somehow causes the vehicle to leak gas and everyone runs as it explodes. In the downpour and flooding. For no reason except that all cars explode when gas leaks and there are sharks around. Shark is just one letter off of spark.
A convenience store clerk blames the government (spying and weather control!) while the heroes get a huge SUV from a car rental place. They speed through roadblocks and use nitrous to escape cops. Yes, we’ve become 2 Shark 2 Furious!
Finally they reach Fin’s son Matt, who is at pilot school by the airport. The water spouts/sharknadoes land in the city, and Matt has the idea to bomb them, because that will equalize the pressure and yadda yadda bombs are cool, okay??? Luckily there is a hardware store right next door to steal supplies from, including a huge chainsaw for Fin.
Matt and Nova fly out in a helicopter to blow up the sharknadoes, while Baz prepares the huge SUV to explode, but he gets sharknadoed before he can drive it. Matt and Nova are successful in blowing up two sharknadoes, but the third one is megasized.
“We’re gonna need a bigger chopper!” – Nova
Fin guns down sharks from the sky (who conveniently drop straight down when they die) and then chainsaws one in half as if flies by him. Sharknado 3 is not stopped by the helicopter bombs. A shark latches onto the helicopter, Nova stabs it over and over, but falls from her seat and into the mouth of another shark as she falls. Oops!
Fin knows what he has to do, he jumps in the SUV, sets the bombs, sets the nitrous, and leaps out. It rams into the sharknado and explodes, saving the day. A falling shark sets course to chomp Claudia, but Fin leaps into it’s mouth!
Then, things get awesome as he chainsaws his way out of the shark. And pulls Nova out, who is still alive! It’s like a rebirth analogy, what with Fin’s renewed focus on his family. Who says these movies aren’t deep? The sharknado threat has passed, until the next Asylum disaster combination film!
“Hell of a day” – Fin
Rated 7/10 (scars, stool, dog, jerk, Cousin Oliver, conspiracy, Nitro)
Please give feedback below!