Notes before I hit play: I can’t imagine that in this one, there will be a sharknado that continues to go unexplained. I certainly hope they do something in this one to change the format up a bit, and if not, add something of value to the scenes the constantly re-use. Judging what I’m about to watch by the cover alone it looks like there might be a lot of American pride in this one, there’s a NASA patch on Fin’s arm which could mean space sharks, it also looks like Matt and Nova have come back for this film, which is, hopefully, something to look forward to.
Synopsis: Fin is given the medal of honor for bravery in Washington D.C. when everything goes to shit and a massive sharknado appears, combined with a few others to create not only a massive sharknado, but a wall of sharknadoes that nearly destroys the East Coast. As the movie goes on, Nova returns to the cast, saving Fin several times, and April gives birth inside of a shark. Yep.
I have no idea what I just watched. That movie seems like it was the vomit of years of action movie TV shows and presidential dramas taking too much of a toll on society. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, and it took me a solid few minutes to parse out what it was that actually just happened.
I’d like to mention right off the bat that it went better than I was expecting. Nova came back, Fin was criticized the entire movie for being too much of a hero, and the celebrity cameos were a little more deep cut, like Penn and Teller, Ann Coulter, and Frankie Muniz. I don’t know that everyone would have picked up on them, but it was nice to see some B list celebrities represented after what happened in the second film.
This movie starts off in DC. Fin is apparently running across the city because his car broke down and he has to get somewhere in a hurry to help stop the sharknado from happening. It’s all very vague, like the entire series. A black SUV pulls up and invites him in because the president, played by Mark Cuban, needs him.
Ignoring the impending storm for a moment, a ceremony is held in which Fin is given a medal of honor from the president for extreme acts of bravery. It seems in this film Fin is just fine with being a hero. He still delivers lines that he wants to go home, but he also doesn’t shy away from identifying himself as Fin Shepherd everywhere he goes. Everyone else in the film stands up to him though, mocking him for constantly trying to save the day. News reporters even comment on the fact that he and his family are the only ones to survive the sharknadoes each time they come. At that point I was sure one of his family members was doomed to die, but unfortunately they all lived again. I’m sorry, there’s no way April is dead, even after that ending.
As the ceremony goes on, the sharks attack the white house, because of course they do. Fin and the president are left to defend themselves once everyone, for the most part, is killed off by very slow- overly detailed sharks that crash through the ceiling. I mean, I can understand that you want to show off the fact that the sharks in this movie are higher quality and/or better at killing people, but it seems like the attack scenes, especially during the ceremony scene, were really really slow. This one and the one where we see Nova for the first time. The pacing is awkward and doesn’t scream “action movie” like the others do. I would rather see a blur of shark than see too much of a shark and a shitty actor faking their death in an overly-dramatic way. At one point they give Fin some kind of trophy to induct him into the “Order of the Golden Chainsaw” (of which there will probably be maybe two members by the time the series is over if they don’t kill Nova). Fin uses this tiny ass chainsaw as a defense against the sharks raining down from the storm and makes a scene already comical from slo-mo deaths even funnier.
So, Fin and the president are left after the catastrophic sharknado rips through the white house, for some reason, the president is armed to the teeth and has enough ammo and guns to spare for Fin to help him out. During this scene I was reminded why I love the fact that Fin’s weapon of choice is a chainsaw. It’s a close-quarters weapon that creates tension when the main villain is an unstoppable sky shark. Fin is a brave dude that doesn’t have to hide behind a long- range weapon and faces his fears head on. While he and the president were shooting up sharks, it just looked like a scene from Rambo or literally any other action movie ever. I hated it.
Here the film switches gears again. We see a very pregnant April, her mother, and “Claudia.” Did you notice I put “Claudia” in quotes? I did that because this is NOT THE REAL CLAUDIA. For some reason, they were able to track down the original cast members for each character from the mayor of New York to freaking Martin, but they couldn’t get Claudia to come back. Of course, because they just had to add an element of danger to the Shepherd family, they cast someone new, with brown hair, and made mention of the fact that she dyed it to be rebellious. Nice try, Sharknado.
“Claudia,” April and her mother are all in Orlando Florida at Universal Studios Park. They’re there celebrating “Claudia’s” birthday. Here, the movie splits up into three different story lines that eventually converge. The first movie didn’t split, the second one split two ways between Fin and his family and his sister and her daughter, now this one has split three ways with April and her mother, “Claudia” and her friend Jess, and Fin and Nova. I hope too goodness they don’t split the story line into six individual people by the end of this franchise. I might scream.
“Claudia” and her friend Jess ride some roller coasters and eventually meet up with some dudes, Chad, played by Melvin Gregg who I recognized from Vine and American Vandal. The other is Billy, played by Jack Griffo who’s from scores of recent Nickelodeon shows I don’t care enough to name. In the process, “Claudia” loses her phone and she and Jess pair up with the two dudes. Jess and Chad start making out on all of the rides and hardcore flirting to the point where “Claudia” and Billy pair up.
Because Fin knows the sharkando is inevitably going to migrate from D.C. to Orlando, he starts driving to Florida. As he does so, he encounters what he calls a “fognado” because adding “-nado” to the end of things is kinda his thing by now.
In the mist caused by the fognado, he encounters a heavy-duty tactical camper off of which some bad ass masked motherfucker jumps off and starts killing sharks flying through the fog. Once the danger passes and another figure from the van shoots what looks to be a plasma ball into the fognado, is dissipates, revealing the masked motherfucker is actually Nova.
I got SO excited to see her back on screen after she’d been gone for so long. Not to mention, she wasn’t tied down to Matt like I thought she might be and she was snarky as all hell when Fin asked where she was for the last movie. The writer/director still made her a sex object with shots of her in her underwear and literal mascara gun (like, pardon me, what the fuck), but I’ll take her snarky comments and common sense over all of that. Thank god she’s back, the series was not the same without her.
Nova has been travelling with her partner in crime, Lucas, played by Frankie Muniz. Lucas has a huge crush on Nova, but the writers still made her thirsty for Fin because LOL SHE’S HOT AND HE’S MARRIED LOL. I still don’t know why they kept at that plot line. It’s so tired and dumb.
But anyway, they realize there are more sharknados on the way, so they head to an airbase nearby to throw some bombs into it, like the sharknado team do. During the scene before they head to the airbase, Nova brought up a lot of the concerns I mentioned in my last review. She was looking into what the sharks are doing, how they’ve evolved to live in the fucking clouds and eat birds to survive. She also mentioned that she’d been examining what was causing the sharknados to form and had some really cool tech and research in her van that I assume is going to lead the inevitable cease of the sharknados as a whole. I was extremely thankful they didn’t re-introduce her in this film onto to have her die at the end.
So, Fin and Nova toss some kind of extreme explosive into the thing and shoot it with their military grade fighter jet they’re both flying, but it doesn’t work. Lucas, on the ground, makes the fatal decision to head over to the van and use their missiles there to blow the expanding fog/sharknado into oblivion. He makes his way over to the van, climbs, on the roof, and presses the button, all while losing limbs like the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail to sharks flying around like plastic bags in the wind. He presses the button with his face and the entire van blows up, disintegrating the sharknado and saving the day, at least temporarily.
Things only get worse from this point on and sharknado after sharknado come crashing through the East Coast as Nova and Fin watch it happen from their plane flying over a NASCAR race in Orlando. The plane takes damage, so they have to make a crash landing. Of course they both survive because plot armor.
As the storm approaches Orlando, April and her mother are enjoying a nice cocktail while “Claudia” runs around with Jess, two boys, and no phone in another part of the park. They spy sharks starting to fall from the sky, and though she’s too late to help, we get a sneak peek into the cyborg April has become. Her once extremely dangerous and inexplicable circular saw hand has now become an extremely dangerous and inexplicable mini-chainsaw. You thought chainsaws were Fin’s thing? YOU THOUGHT WRONG! April just HAD to jump on the bandwagon because she’s useless otherwise.
Fin and Nova realize that the storms are about to combine to form one mega storm they won’t be able to stop on their own, so Fin begrudgingly states he knows someone who can help.
That someone is David Hasselhoff. While it would have been hilarious to just have had David Hasselhoff be the answer to all of their problems, it turns out he’s only the actor playing Fin’s father, Gil. I mean, obviously they all have fish names. Your family DOESN’T have themed names? Weird.
Gil was part of the astronaut project but never made it to space, so Fin and Nova encourage him to let them use a super secret rocket and it’s gigantic fuel tank, to disperse the sharknado wall that’s forming and about to take out the entire East Coast in one go. Long story short, Fin, Gil, and April (who, by the way is in her third trimester and can’t fly on planes but can totally go up into space on a rocket ship with no training) go up into space to try and destroy the sharknado from space. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work, so instead, they use the laser that Reagan apparently built into a satellite to protect the U.S. From nuclear attacks or something, to destroy the sharknado.
The mission is successful and Gil gets to die a hero. Unfortunately, this means Fin and April are still in space. Now, this is where the movie gets extremely awesome and extremely weird. What I’m about to tell you does, in fact, happen in this movie, and is, in fact, the weirdest scene I have ever witnessed in all my 27 years of watching movies.
So, Gil gets out of the rocket, saves the world from a devastating wall of sharknadoes, and is then eaten my some space sharks that were sent into the atmosphere by the explosion. The sharks then turn on the rocket that is idling in space because…they tossed the fuel tank into the sharknado and blew it up. Apparently there was just enough fuel left in the main tank to either get home or save Gil.
So the sharks come for Fin and April. Fin goes to grab a weapon Nova said she made some adjustments to from his duffel bag. Turns out those adjustments made his regular chainsaw into a fucking LASER CHAINSAW! HELL YEAH!
While he’s off doing that, Star Command or NASA or whatever pages into the ship. Rather than answer the call and use the last drops of remaining fuel to get the ship home, April gets out of her seat, and floats over to Fin who’s in the middle of killing sharks.
SHE COULD HAVE BEEN USEFUL BUT DECIDED NOT TO BE.
They’re both simultaneously terrified and confused as to why these sharks can survive in space, so they don’t notice the great white shark headed towards a destroyed part of the ship. April is too close to be safe and is swallowed whole by a the beast. Fin follows suit, using a jet pack to propel through space and into the jaws of the thing.
The shark falls into orbit and plummets down towards the earth, April and Fin chillin’ in it’s guts. The outside of the shark burns up on re-entry and it lands, I assume on a beach somewhere near Orlando. How convenient.
Fin escapes the guts of the shark but can’t seem to find April. Suddenly, he hears the roar of a chainsaw. Ripping through it’s flesh akin to the scene from the first film, a small chainsaw appears. A tiny hand and the head of a baby poke through. Fin grabs the child and holds it tight as he reaches into the bowels of the shark for his wife.
She emerges, covered in blood and still fully clothed, from the shark, holding out her tiny chainsaw hand. “Claudia” and Nova run towards them out of nowhere and they all take a breath of relief.
All is not well though, as the team relaxes, a large piece of shrapnel falls from the sky and lands on April. The screen goes black and the movie ends.
I know that sounds absolutely rediculous, so if you want to see it for yourself, here’s the clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh3WF7shhlM
Now, I don’t think she’s dead. In true horror movie fashion, unless we SEE the death happen, it didn’t happen. So I have a feeling April is going to be 3/4 more cyborg in the next few films until she’s eventually replaced by a robot.
Year Released/Director: This movie was released in 2015 and directed, yet again, by the talented Anthony C. Ferrante.
Rating: Not Terrible
Favorite Death: Last review, I stated that if a shark falling out of the sky to smush someone is included in each movie, it’s likely going to be my favorite death in each film. It happened in this movie too, but for some reason it just didn’t grab me the way the others did. It happened to a park employee that irritated me from the second she opened her mouth.
My favorite death in this one, and I think so far, if I’m being honest, is Lucas’ death. His limbs are ripped from his torso one by one during an extremely suspenseful scene where all he has to do is push a button. I loved it so much.
Funniest Part: This is always the hardest category to nail down. There are always too many funny parts to choose from. I really loved the way this film so obviously couldn’t afford a fancy prosthetic for April’s hand so all the shots of what her hand looked like either involved close up shots, or shoulders-up shots that they could have easily used prop arms for. Her hand was everything from a tiny chainsaw to a bionic strong arm that kept her from falling to her death off of the side of a space ship. It was cool, but we have no idea what the thing was actually capable of. Most of the film it’s covered in a glove that just made me giggle every time I saw it.
What they did right: Somehow I find myself falling deeper and deeper in love with this series with every movie I watch. I have NO idea why though, this series just keeps getting fucking ridiculous and weird. It’s so obscenely stupid and so horribly written, but I fucking love it. Something about the series is nostalgic, it’s dumb content that people mindlessly enjoy. It’s making fun of and simultaneously celebrating action movies, horror movies, and every wacky SyFy movie that has ever come out.
I came back to this point after I listened to a few interviews because Ian Zeiring said something that perfectly represents the way I feel about this movie “deliciously cheesy.” Yep. That’s perfect.
Thoughts from Interviews:
Most of the interviews I find about this series are mostly discussing what the series is because it’s such an internet thing. No one knows what the hell sharknado is or means, so most of the time, they’re just explaining it and mentioning the other movies they’ve done for the series. So, while there might be multiple interviews from the cast members, they won’t all be filled with interesting content.
I have no idea if this is the same channel that posted some of the more useful interviews from my last review, but they always seem to ask the most interesting questions, so I’ve included this one with Ian Ziering.
Reporter: Can you talk about how sharks have become a pop culture icon?
Ian: *tries to hide how stupid that question was*
They have been for a while…
*nervously looks off camera at the shark behind the reporter.*
They’re intelligent and misunderstood creatures, really. Apex predators we can’t even begin to understand. Um…but Shark Week has been happening since the mid 90’s…
Reporter: Do you still enjoy Shark Week or are you kinda over them by now?
Ian: Well…there’s no sharks on set….so….
I’m reminded during this interview that these are made-for-TV movies. I feel spoiled because I’m watching them on Amazon Prime, but they don’t have the means to film this like a feature film movie. That, to me, makes it more impressive because of the growth I’ve seen as the series moves on. It feels more and more like an actual film franchise with each movie I watch.
God, listen to me, I feel like I’ve been hypnotized by a shark to love this series.
I swear I tried to find other interviews with interesting content, but most of the ones I found included questions like “what body part would you like to have become a gun” and “What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?” I’m not about to waste my time or yours talking about that trash.
I found a behind the scenes video for this movie, so I’m going to put that and my notes about it right here. I was so happy to have found one. There was SO much stuff happening in this movie, I just had to see what went on behind the scenes.
One of the first scenes of this video is the directed admitting that there are few places left to even have a Sharknado happen.
One motif I never picked up on that director Ferrante mentioned was that there’s something that rolls in each film. First the ferris wheel, then the head of Lady Liberty, and in this one, the Universal ball.
Apparently, the original crew for this movie were all fired when they attempted to unionize. I found that tidbit on IMDB so of course I’ll be doing more research on it in my wrap-up review at the end of this series.
When Fin, Nova, and Lucas arrive at the Charleston Air Force Base, Sergeant Roberta Warren says “I really hate sharks”, and Lucas replies “It could be worse, it could be zombies.” Kellita Smith appeared in Z Nation, a show on Syfy about zombies. In fact, one episode actually featured a zombie-nado, which when Warren sees It, she says “It’s not sharks.”
Aubrey Peeples was unable to reprise her role of Claudia Shepard from the first film, due to commitments with Jem and the Holograms. I suppose that gets her a pass, but I’m still bummed she’s the only one in the cast that’s been re-cast since the start of the franchise.
I don’t know where else to mention this, but freaking George R.R. Martin made a cameo in this movie. He’s the last guy I expected to be interested in being in such a campy nigthmare.
Petunia Watch: I’m adding a new category just for Petunia. In this film, we see her chillin’ with Nova and Lucas in their sharknado-proof RV.
Last Post: Sharknado 2: The Second One
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