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Sharknado 2 Review: Just the Right Amount of Bite

Dan O'Halloran | 1 Aug 2014 08:00
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SyFy takes its monster B-movie franchise to the next level with an equal parts smart and wonderfully-awful sequel to their 2013 surprise hit.

The SyFy network has been pumping out low budget B-movie fare for the past few years in an attempt to recapture the glory days of cheap thrillers that dominated the cinema decades ago. And last year one of those panned out as an unexpected hit: Sharknado. It wasn't so much of a hit in the ratings as it was with social media. People couldn't stop tweeting about its D-level cameos, awful effects and ludicrous plot. (I mean, come on, could a sharknado really happen?) It was so bad it was good.

Thus we get Sharknado 2: The Second One. And, to the surprise of all, it's even better than the first one.

SyFy took all the elements that got people talking in the first movie and amped them up for the sequel. Not only did they get the two original leads back (Ian Ziering and Tara Reid), but they put them to good use. Ian played the average-guy-forced-into-action-yet-again with perfect tone, equal parts corny and believable. From his rock star stance on top of an ambulance that allowed him to slice a passing shark in two using a chainsaw to his tender handling of his ex's severed arm fished out of a shark's mouth so he can return the ring that meant so much to them. He spouted every deliberately-cliched line with intense sincerity and reacted to every new horror with terror and determination. Even B-movies need believable leads and Ian delivered.

Tara's performance was typically wooden, but the writers redeemed her early victimhood of losing an arm (to a shark...on a plane...) by attaching a whirling sawblade to her stump and transforming her into a badass shark-killing machine. In a film that is taking its cues from the grindhouse genre, that's a good thing.

Of course, the biggest star of all was the Sharknado itself. The never-ending source of hundreds if not thousands of sharks that not only rained down on New York, but also took down an airplane, infested the sewers and killed just about every celebrity with a cameo in the movie with frightening regularity. Hey, there's Wil Wheaton -- dead. Kelly Osbourne -- dead. Perez Hilton, Judd Hirsch, Robert Hays, dead, dead, and dead. At least those that didn't die got to kill sharks -- including Al Roker and Matt Lauer from the Today Show.

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