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Sharknado 2: The Second One - Review

If Jaws made you afraid to go in the water, Sharknado 2: The Second One will make you afraid to turn on your television. Just a year after Sharknado inexplicably became a pop culture sensation on par with Duck Dynasty, the creative wizards at the Syfy Channel are back with a sequel that has more self-reflexive, winking-at-the-viewer moments than an episode of Community.

Sharknado 2: The Second One – in the running for the best title for a sequel of all time – is indefensible in its ridiculousness and complete disregard for any attempt at coherent storytelling. But, that doesn’t matter because we aren’t expecting to see Jaws. Hell, we’re not even expecting to see Deep Blue Sea (look it up, kids; it’s awful). We want tornadoes full of sharks doing impossible things and Tara Reid staring expressionlessly at her co-stars. It’s Sharknado!

After the events of the first movie, in which a massive ocean storm turns a series of tornadoes into shark-delivering wind funnels, Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) and April Wexler (Tara Reid) are leaving L.A. for a trip to New York City. Things go wrong immediately (because sharknadoes don’t care about exposition!) when the plane Fin and April are aboard finds itself in the middle of another Sharknado. (Side note: Fin should be quarantined from all other humans. He’s clearly the common denominator in the Sharknado phenomenon.)

After former-surfer-now-shark-wrangler Fin safely lands the airplane in NYC, he must find his sister, Ellen (Kari Wuhrer), and her husband, Martin (Mark McGrath), and get them out of the city before the storm reaches Manhattan. Then, Fin must stop the sharknadoes from killing everyone on the island because he’s the SyFy Channel equivalent of John McClane. His plan is so crazy – and because Sharknado operates in a world without the laws of physics – that it just might work.

If you check your brain at the door, you’ll enjoy Sharnado 2: The Second One as much as you enjoyed Sharknado (and who didn’t?). Director Anthony C. Ferrante glues his movie together with the most tenuously related scenes. Having directed the first movie, Ferrante knows what the viewers want and he is determined to give it to them. Are there sharks surviving in little to no water while attacking humans without provocation? Check. Do sharks suddenly gain supershark strength and invincibility whereby they can crash through solid walls, subway trains and airplanes? Hell yes! Are there one liners so horrible that you almost have to be impressed the actors are able to deliver them with a straight face? Yep. And those lines have bite.

This is said with all sincerity: It’s hard to imagine Sharknado without Ian Ziering’s superior performance as Fin. He takes a poorly drawn character who is thrown into a ludicrous situation and treats it with the same sincerity as his counterparts appearing in $150 million blockbuster franchises. Ziering is Alice in a shark-filled Wonderland where everything is impossibly bizarre except him. If nothing else, he deserves an award for being able to deliver any lines in the presence of Tara Reid whose line readings are spoken as if she just woke up and had a script shoved in front of her face. Reid’s heavily botoxed face has less emotional range than a Guy Fawkes mask and her voice is as monotone as a switchboard operator asking you to press two for Spanish.

Sharknado 2 also provides a wonderful opportunity to play “Spot the Celebrity Cameo,” with stars as random as Andy Dick and Biz Markie popping up sporadically throughout the movie. They don’t add anything to the quality of the movie, but they’re fun to watch for.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (again, damn good title) is smart enough to know exactly what it is and dumb enough where any questions of logic or believability have no place.

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