Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) — Jumping the meme shark

“He jumped the shark.”

Justin’s rating: Largely toothless

Justin’s review: While it may be hard for lightning to strike twice, you can’t say the same about human-created shark-infused tornadoes. The (sorry) monster hit of Sharknado was all Syfy needed to greenlight about sixteen sequels as quickly as possible. Let’s not pretend that this channel has any pretense left of actually producing good science fiction; that went out the window when they ditched Farscape and started making ridiculous movies about giant killer fish.

The biggest change between the original Sharknado and Sharknado 2: The Second One is that suddenly now the entire world was in on the joke. So here we get a movie stuffed with celebrities degrading their own legacies just to be in this hour-and-a-half meme. I’d say it would be distracting to see, say, Robert Hays from Airplane! flying an airplane here or half the cast from Independence Day, but what’s it going to take away from? Bad CGI sharks and a lack of a believable plot? I welcome anything to take my mind off of this.

Flying cross-country to visit family and friends after their horrible experience in the L.A. shark storm of the year prior, Fin and April encounter yet another killer storm of airborne maneaters that rip through their plane and chomp off April’s hand. Considering that Tara Reid’s only contribution to cinema to date is looking like she’s just farted and saying nonsense in a voice abused by years of heavy smoking, it may be the best thing that’s ever happened to her career.

So now New York City is in for the same catastrophic attack, Fin and his entourage careen through the city fighting sharks in the subway, baseball stadium, and city streets. As with the first movie, we’re not given any believable explanation why this storm is sucking up only sharks who have an extreme grudge against humanity. Since my brain wasn’t being used for anything constructive while watching this, I spent too much time thinking about the logistics of this situation.

I mean, think about it. You’re a shark that’s calmly going about your day being an apex predator and eating from a buffet of fish. Suddenly, a swirly wind gust yanks you out of the environment that you need to breathe and flings you about wildly. Are you, at this point, able to stage a deliberate and targeted attack against people? This should’ve been a documentary about a lot of dead fish suffocating on the sidewalk, but instead, we get sharks that have homing missile capabilities that send them directly toward jaded commuters.

Is it better than the first movie? Well, it kills Wil Wheaton off in the first few minutes and features the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty brutally crushing at least two people, so I’d say that it’s not a total waste. The “filmmakers” have a lot of fun with the NYC setting, and acting agents must’ve been contacted by the thousands to supply the neverending parade of cameos in this.

Yet it’s so aggressively dumb that I don’t have an internal setting for my standards that I could set low enough to actually enjoy it. All of the CGI is so terrible that it looks like everyone’s being attacked by cartoon sharks and cartoon water while grown men and women debase themselves just to get a scene in this movie. I just felt bad for everyone, but most of all for myself because I could’ve spent this time watching a genuine work of art.

Well, at least the latest season of Mandalorian.

But noooo… now that I’ve done the sequel, I’m doomed to reviewing ALL of these terrible movies. That’s how the code of the film critic works, and I don’t have the authority to override it.

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