Sharknado Sharknado 2: The Second One
dir Anthony C Ferrante
scr Thunder Levin
prd David Michael Latt
with Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Vivica A Fox, Mark McGrath, Kari Wuhrer, Courtney Baxter, Dante Palminteri, Judah Friedlander, Judd Hirsch, Robert Hays, Matt Lauer, Al Roker
release US 30.Jul.14, UK 31.Jul.14
14/US Asylum 1h40
Sharknado 2: The Second One
Defying all known laws of physics: Ziering, Palminteiri and Fox

reid friedlander hirsch
See also:
Sharknado (2013) Sharknado 3 (2015)
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Sharknado 2: The Second One With a bigger budget but no more filmmaking skill, this knowing sequel to the absurdly hilarious 2013 Sharknado isn't quite up to par, even with the bar set so low. The effects are just as ropey, as is the acting, but there's better camerawork, an even more self-aware script and a parade of spoofy cameos. Plus some riotously silly gags that make it unmissable.

After recovering from their ordeal in Los Angeles, reunited couple Fin and April (Ziering and Reid) travel to New York so he can reconnect with his sister and best pal/brother-in-law (Wuhrer and McGrath) and she can promote her bestseller How to Survive a Sharknado. But as their plane prepares to land, it flies through another freak waterspout full of sharks. And the convergence of weather patterns is heading right for Manhattan. Can Fin rescue his family and friends and stop the airborne sharks before they destroy his hometown?

Within the first five minutes, the filmmakers pay homage to iconic disaster spoof Airplane! (including Hays as the pilot) and include a classic Twilight Zone reference, a flying shark attack and Kelly Osborne as a stewardess. And so it continues, as the choppy plot lurches through each requisite scene. It's so lazily assembled that the nonsensical predictability just becomes boring. But since the cast plays it utterly straight, several of the witty jokes hit their mark.

Some of the funniest scenes involve cameos. Lauer and Roker cover the growing storm from the Today set without cracking a smile. Billy Ray Cyrus is less convincing as a sober-faced doctor, but Richard Kind and Robert Klein add some goofy weight as a has-been Mets player and the city's mayor, respectively. Meanwhile, Ziering charges through each scene with action-man heroism, right to the hysterically corny finale, which naturally takes place atop the Empire State Building.

Director Ferrante throws the film together haphazardly, neglecting to properly set up the jokes, cutting away before the money shots and choreographing the action set-pieces without any sense of logic or coherence. But by actually shooting on the streets of New York (where the weather was obviously not cooperating), the movie generates a terrific sense of the city. "Even the sharknadoes are tougher in New York," Fin observes, as a monsoon of now-flaming sharks rain down on heavily armed New Yorkers. Genius.

cert 15 themes, violence 2.Aug.14

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