Ahhh, the movie that quite literally took the internet by storm…well, Tweet storm that is. I don’t know if anyone would have predicted that the simple, yet ridiculous, premise of sharks in a tornado becoming a smash hit but that is exactly what happened. When word of this movie first came out, I had several of my friends asking if I heard about it. As a matter of fact, I had heard about it and couldn’t wait to watch it. Unfortunately, I ended up missing it’s initial airing but caught the repeat airing the following week and knew that I had to own this movie. So let’s strap in and have some fun with today’s movie, Sharknado.
The plot: In the pacific ocean, Hurricane David causes a large water spout forms, picking up a pod of nearby sharks and causing them to go swirling around in the water. Off the coast of Mexico, a fishing boat is catching sharks to collect their fins for shark fin soup, which the captain is making a deal to sell to an Asian restaurant, when the storm hits them and everyone is killed by the sharks in the storm as the boat is picked up by the water spout. In Los Angeles, Fin Shepherd and his friend Baz Hogan are walking along the beach and while Baz hops onto a ski-doo, Fin, a former champion surfer, goes surfing. When Fin gets knocked off his board by another surfer, he sees a shark swimming up behind her and tries to warn her but she is knocked off her board and eventually killed. As more sharks, driven there by the storm, close in on the beach, more people are attacked as lifeguards call out for people to get out of the water. A shark attacks Baz, biting into his leg, but Fin is able to save him then pilots the ski-doo back to the beach, where they are met by Nova, a waitress at Fin’s bar. After Baz is taken care of, Fin, Nova, and Baz head back to the bar, where Baz is telling George, a regular at the bar, about what happened. As Fin watches news coverage of the storm, he decides to call April Wexler, his ex-wife, to check on them but April is dismissive towards his concerns and refuses to let him take their daughter Claudia out of town. As the storm gets worse, Fin decides to close the bar and tells everyone to go home, arguing with Nova who refuses to leave Fin. When a storm surge sends a shark flying into the bar, Nova kills it with a pool cue and Fin grabs some weapons for him, Baz, and Nova while George grabs his bar stool as they leave. The storm sends more sharks onto the board walk as the nearby ferris wheel breaks free and smashes into a building. After the initial surge has finished, Fin decides to go check on April and Claudia and Nova, Baz, and George go with him. As they make their way towards Beverly Hills, they see the streets are flooding and sharks are swimming in the waters. Deciding to head onto the highway, they are forced to stop and help some stranded motorist that are in danger from the flooding and shark infested waters, where George ends up being killed when another surge washes over him, carrying more sharks with it. Fin continues on to his old house and when he knocks on the door, April refuses to let him in but when a shark burst out from a manhole, Nova quickly shoots it, then everyone quickly heads inside. Once inside the house, Fin calls out for Claudia, who is shocked to see him there and doesn’t want to leave when he tries to talk to her. April’s new boyfriend Collin shows up and chastises Fin for being there saying April and Claudia’s safety is no longer his concern, then mocks him about sharks being in the area. When a sudden wave floods the house and sends a shark through the window, Collin is killed despite Fin, Baz, and Nova trying to save him. They eventually manage to trap the shark long enough for Nova to kill it but when a second shark appears, they quickly head up the stairs. Claudia tells Fin that Matt, his son, is in Van Nuys attending flight school and Fin is upset that they never told him about it, due to Collin’s insistence that it was none of Fin’s business. Fin distracts the shark so that everyone can get out, then quickly joins them and they drive off as more waves destroy the house. As they head towards Van Nuys, Claudia listens to the emergency radio in the car, which is giving more details about the storm and the sharks being reported flooding the city. Seeing a school bus trapped with the shark filled water rising around it, Fin stops to help them, though April argues that he should be more concerned with his own children. Driving up to the overpass above the bus, Fin uses some rope from his jeep to rappel down onto the bus, where the driver and children inside cheer his arrival. Fin yells for another rope to be dropped down, and uses it to have the children pulled up onto the bridge, followed by the bus driver. Fin climbs back up last, cutting the rope to keep a shark that was tangled in it from attacking him, and when he reaches the top, Nova hugs him, causing April to feel jealous. After paramedics arrive to check on the kids, the winds pick up, blowing the Hollywood sign off the mountain and killing the bus driver with the letter H. Fin and the others continue towards Van Nuys, stopping to get a new car when a shark lands on the roof and tears into it. Reaching the flight school, they find Matt and the rest of his class hiding in a make shift shelter and the instructor is killed by the winds while everyone else manages to survive in the shelter. After the winds die down, Fin leads the others to a nearby hardware store and they proceed to arm themselves with supplies. Matt comes up with an idea to drop bombs into the three tornadoes, breaking up the tornadoes and killing the sharks inside them. Fin and April try to talk Matt out of it but Matt says it is the best way to save everyone and Nova agrees to help him. As Matt and Nova prep the nearby helicopter for their plan, Baz comes up with his own plan and builds a massive bomb and attaches it to the Humvee, along with some smaller bombs, planning on driving into the tornado and blowing it up. Matt and Nova manage to blow up the first two tornadoes but Baz and Matt’s classmates are killed by the sharks falling down from the sky. Fin, April, and Claudia head to a nearby retirement home, helping the elderly residents take shelter from the storm. When the third bomb does not destroy the tornado, Matt and Nova try to come up with a new plan when a shark grabs onto the helicopter. Nova manages to knock it loose but ends up falling out of the helicopter, where a giant great white swallows her whole, while Matt loses control of the helicopter and ends up crashing. Fin races out to check on Matt and after finding him ok, tells him to head to April and Claudia. Fin then gets into the Humvee and drives it towards the tornado, lighting a bomb before hitting the nitro and jumping out of the car. The Humvee is sucked into the tornado and explodes, destroying the tornado and sending sharks falling from the sky. Fin races back to check on the others and sees Claudia, who had gone to find him, in the path of a falling great white. Grabbing a chainsaw, Fin pushes Claudia out of the way and leaps head first into the shark. April, Matt, and Claudia stare in horror at the shark until they hear the chainsaw still running and see the blade emerge from the shark’s stomach. Fin emerges from the sharks stomach with Nova and as April and Claudia check on Fin, Matt goes to Nova and performs mouth to mouth, reviving her. As the group surveys the damage from the storm, April kisses Fin while Matt and Nova seem to be getting closer.
Sharknado surprisingly blew the critics away, holding an 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, ” Proudly, shamelessly, and gloriously brainless, Sharknado redefines “so bad it’s good” for a new generation.” The movie was a top trending theme on Twitter during it’s initial airing so subsequent, prompting Syfy to re-air it two additional times, each time generating more viewers and increasing it’s popularity. With everyone talking about the movie on Twitter, some sites jokingly discussed what you should do if you were ever caught in a Sharknado, while others were quick to point out that such an event would be impossible to occur. The movie’s popularity prompted The Asylum and Syfy to quickly announce plans for a sequel; which ended up becoming a franchise as there have been 4 sequels to date with plans for a 5th one underway.
This was such a ridiculously fun movie to watch, despite the one problem I had with it. The acting was pretty good, with Ian Ziering (Fin), Cassandra Scerbo (Nova), and John Heard (George) doing good jobs in their roles, though Tara Reid (April) was a little annoying. The plot was incredibly simple and to be honest, makes you wonder why nobody ever thought about using it before. The only problem I really had was that the actual Sharknado’s really didn’t appear until the last part of the movie, while the majority of the movie was mainly flooded streets and storm surges bringing sharks onto land. The special effects were actually a lot better than I thought they would be and the sharks looked pretty good, though there were some occasions where they were a little too ridiculous (such as the giant one that swallows Nova and Fin leaps into). All told, this is a lot of fun and only sets the stage for more ridiculousness in the future movies.
Rating: 4 out of 5