Sharknado Sharknado: The 4th Awakens
dir Anthony C Ferrante
scr Thunder Levin
prd David Michael Latt
with Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Masiela Lusha, Cody Linley, Ryan Newman, Imani A Hakim, David Hasselhoff, Tommy Davidson, Cheryl Tiegs, Gary Busey, Gilbert Gottfried, Steve Guttenberg
release US 31.Jul.16, UK 2.Aug.16
16/US Syfy 1h25
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens
Sharkhunters: Reid, Ziering and Lusha with Christopher-Nicholas Shone

hasselhoff davidson busey
See also:
Sharknado 3 (2015) Sharknado 5 (2017)
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens With a flashy Las Vegas sheen, Anthony Ferrante affirms that he still has no skill as a director. But he makes up for it with inventive insanity, this time making a sustained march through America's national landmarks. Although this sequel is so frantic that it's not nearly as much fun than its predecessors.

Five years after the last sharknado, an arrogant tech CEO (Davidson) has stabilised global weather and is opening a Shark World theme park in Vegas. Fin (Ziering) takes his athletic young cousin Gemini (Lusha) to the opening, joined by war veteran older son Matt (Linley), his bride Gabrielle (Hakim) and a shark-infused sandstorm. Meanwhile, Dr Wexler (Busey) is engaging in secret experiments relating to his daughter April (Reid). And as a series of freak storms emerge around the country, it's up to Fin's family and his tough-guy dad (Hasselhoff) to save the world.

The cast continues to make the most of the appalling material, playing every idiotic scene dead straight. Ziering is still a remarkably heroic protagonist, while the increasingly unrecognisable Reid adds plenty of feisty energy. But it's not as if anyone is able to create much of a character amid the nonstop havoc. And this time the continual string of cameos feels a little desperate, focussing mainly on "where are they now" TV stars and the likes of Vince Neil and Carrot Top.

The accelerating nature of the madness provides some amusement. Boldernado! Oilnado! Firenado! Lightningnado! Lavanado! Cownado! What could be worse? Well, take a very wild guess. But any actual plot is incoherent, even as everything builds to an epic climax at Niagara Falls. Along the way, there are some gleeful distractions in nutty nods to random movies from Magic Mike, Peter Pan, Runaway Train and Christine to rather a lot of The Wizard of Oz, since Fin's mom (Tiegs) lives on a farm in Kansas, of course.

Ferrante continues to approach filmmaking as if it's enough to maintain a breathless pace and constant jokey mayhem. But with the success of this franchise, his ineptness and the terrible effects are more inexplicable than comical. As before, the general chaos is livened up with a series of hysterical throwaway one-liners and a whiff of political awareness as a politician (Stacey Dash) blames all of this on Fin. But the funniest thing is that there's clearly a plan for more.

cert 12 themes, violence, language 2.Aug.16

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