Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

The other plus to me reviewing, or trying to review, every movie I see. I can figure out past errors. Somehow, I gave Ian Ziering a different first name in my review of Sharknado. Sorry for that mistake, it's now been fixed. And now . . . . . . let's get to The Second One.

You may not believe, or want to hear, this. Sharknado 2: The Second One is a better movie than its predecessor. In fact, the first third of the movie has some inspired moments that had me thinking this could be a film to use as a lesson, showing others how schlocky, z-grade material can transgress those roots to become something so entertaining it's no longer "so bad it's good". It just ends up being genuinely good.

Unfortunately, that opening third of the movie is followed by a middle act that starts to test your patience, and everything is capped off by a finale that just fails to find the sweet spot so tantalisingly offered up to us in the first 15-20 minutes (a real delight, mainly thanks to a great riff on "Nightmare At 20,000 Feet").

Ian Ziering and Tara Reid return to face shark-infested weather, and they're joined this time by Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath, Judd Hirsch, Kari Wuhrer, and a whole host of famous faces turning up for cameos (Tiffany Shepis, Kelly Osbourne, Kurt Angle, Billy Ray Cyrus, Andy Dick, Richard Kind, and many others). The acting isn't necessarily better than it was in the first movie, but the absurd humour of the premise has been heightened and played upon in such a way as to make it seem that way.

Director Anthony C. Ferrante returns to help the ridiculousness, and he does it well, taking the script, by Thunder Levin, and running with it at every opportunity. There are things that don't work, but there are a surprising number of things that do. Some one-liners made me smirk, either because they were good or they were so bad that I still found them amusing (like a gag from a Christmas cracker). And all of those cameos add a fun "I Spy" layer to the proceedings.

The CGI is still pretty awful, but such is the way of many movies from The Asylum, and logic and continuity are nowhere to be seen, of course, but all of those things are forgivable when everything else is so much fun. It's just a shame that the fun is all drained away by the last 20 minutes, which take your goodwill and grind it down to almost nothing, leaving a sour taste in your mouth as the end credits run.

If you liked the first movie then you'll find enough here to provide some amusement. If you hated the first movie then don't come anywhere near this one. Personally, I'm already anticipating the third one (if/when it happens).


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