Last night I decided to sit down and enjoy Sharknado 2: The Second One on Syfy. I’d just experienced the original Sharknado for the first time the night before so I could bring you a helpful recap. I was shocked and amused to discover that the sequel was very, very different from the original. And by “different” I mean it was better. And by “better” I mean it was worse. But who wants a movie about sharks getting sucked into a tornado to be good, am I right?
I wanted to laugh my ass off when I watched the original, but sometimes it seemed like they were actually trying to make a real movie, and that just didn’t fly with me. This time around, Syfy threw all seriousness out the window and made a piece of total crap. But a beautiful piece of total crap. Here’s why we should be hailing it as a masterpiece.
1. It was way campier.
Way, way, way campier. Since the first movie was such a pop culture phenomenon, it seems that this time around they decided to be way more self-referential and over-the-top. All the acting is terrible, whether it’s wooden or overdone. At one point a woman zaps a shark with a taser. Tara Reid thinks that the shark who bites her hand off at the beginning of the film knew who she was. She also wrote a book called How to Survive a Sharknado. Apparently that was a very important book to write, since the same thing that happened in California in the first movie happens in New York City in this one.
2. The opening scene was one of the funniest things I’ve ever witnessed.
I’m serious. I laughed a lot. I laughed mostly out of shock that I was actually watching it. There was one point where I said to myself, “This has to be a dream sequence, right?” Lesson learned: If you think something in a Syfy movie is a dream, it’s probably not.
Let me set the scene for you. Tara Reid and Ian Ziering, who saved California in the last movie, are on their way to New York to promote Tara’s book. Unfortunately the plane flies through yet another sharknado that rips the plane apart, sending sharks flying into people’s faces while other people just get sucked into the abyss. That’s when Tara grabs onto a seatbelt to stop herself from getting sucked out too. The air marshal throws her his gun, and while holding on one-handed, she shoots at one of the sharks flying by. Unfortunately, that shark bites her hand off. And then Ian lands the plane himself. Guys, you will never understand the joy I felt watching this play out.
3. So many pop culture references.
Ian Ziering has a Twilight Zone moment when he sees a shark on the wing but nobody believes him. The pilot of the plane is Robert Hays from Airplane! Judd Hirsch, star of Taxi, plays a taxi driver. The whole thing was one giant wink.
4. So many celebrity cameos.
Speaking of winks, there were even more celebrities to try and recognize. Kelly Osbourne shows off her complete lack of acting ability as a purple-haired flight attendant. Billy Ray Cyrus is a surgeon, which is only my worst nightmare. At the end Kelly Ripa kills a shark by stepping on it with her stiletto. Al Roker and Matt Lauer show up from time to time to be awkward. Perez Hilton is there. Jared the Subway guy is there. That doesn’t even scratch the surface of how many cameos there were. And yes, most of these people get eaten.
5. They made no effort to have anything make sense.
If you thought the first movie threw logic out the window, you ain’t seen nothing yet. At one point there’s a giant alligator in the subway system, but the movie never mentions it again. They buy napalm at the convenience store. The news anchor says sharks are coming down “two inches an hour.” The characters come up with some confusing plan to conduct electricity using the lightning rod on a building and then zap the tornado with freon. But who cares about logic when there are sharks raining from the sky?
6. It’s on a much, much larger scale.
A man gets crushed by the Statue of Liberty’s head, and it proceeds to roll down the street at an alarming speed. Sharks end up on the subway. There are not one but two sharknados, and they’re on their way to meet up in the city for a hot date.
7. Tara Reid’s face.
I said in my post about the last movie that Tara Reid is capable of conveying exactly zero emotions convincingly, and none of that has changed. I don’t know if plastic surgery has just rendered her face immovable or if she really doesn’t know what “scared” or “worried” or “happy” looks like, because it all ends up being pretty much the same slightly wincing expression.
8. All the terrible jokes.
At one point someone exclaims, “Holy… shark!” Then after Ian Ziering uses swimming sharks as stepping stones, his buddy Mark McGrath (oh yeah, he’s in this too) tells him he just “jumped the shark.” And of course they finish the movie with the same “Fin” joke as the last movie.
9. Every moment was crazier than the one before it.
Just when you think the movie has reached its most WTF moment of all, another one comes along. Oh, two sharknados coming toward each other aren’t enough for you? Let’s throw in a lightning storm. And how about when the characters throw a bomb into the twister it sets the sharks on fire so now there are flaming sharks raining down on people? Poor Tara Reid is missing a hand? No problem, she can just strap a saw to it and use that to take out sharks. You thought Ian Ziering was badass when he got swallowed by that shark in the last movie? This time he’s gonna get sucked into the sharknado and fight the sharks in midair.
10. The ending.
Guys, this ending had me literally saying “what the fuck” on my couch. In order to kill the very last shark, Ian reaches into the mouth of the shark that bit Tara’s gun-wielding hand off, which is conveniently right next to him, takes out said gun-wielding hand, uses the gun to shoot the shark flying towards him, and then removes Tara’s lost engagement ring from the severed hand to re-propose to her. I’ll leave you with that image.