Sharknado 2: The Second One

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Fin Shepard and his ex-wife April Wexler are flying to New York City to promote How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters, a book April has written about the Los Angeles sharknado. As the plane comes in for a landing through a storm, it is battered by airborne sharks, losing an engine. Sharks enter the plane, killing passengers and crew, including both pilots. While Fin successfully lands the plane, April’s hand is bitten off by a shark while she attempts to shoot it with an air marshal’s handgun.

Fin’s sister, Ellen Brody, is sightseeing in New York with her family. Her husband, Martin, a childhood friend of Fin’s, takes their son, Vaughn, to a Mets game at Citi Field along with Martin’s and Fin’s friends Skye (who is also Fin’s ex-girlfriend) and Brian. Ellen takes their daughter, Mora, to the Statue of Liberty where she meets with her friends, Polly and Chrissie, who tell her about Fin’s flight.

At the airport, Fin warns the crowd of the impending storm, but no one takes it seriously. After accompanying April to the hospital where she undergoes surgery, Fin receives a call from Ellen and tells her to get back from Liberty Island as soon as possible. He agrees to retrieve Martin and Vaughn from the ball game, hiring a cabbie, Ben, to take him there. At Citi Field, Fin first encounters Skye. She kisses him, but he explains that he and April are back together. Fin gets them all to leave with him just as the storm arrives at the park. The sharks kill people as Fin and his group use various improvised weapons and make their way to the subway.

Ellen’s group takes the ferry to Manhattan, but a shark jumps onto the deck and kills Chrissie en route. The three remaining women escape into the city but must flee from the Statue of Liberty’s severed, rolling head, which crushes a businessman and two garbage men.

The subway floods, imperiling Fin’s group as their train is chased by sharks. Brian is killed, but the others manage to escape onto a platform. Fin calls Ben to pick them up, and they go in search of weapons and explosives. They arm themselves, but the taxi is then caught in a flood. Fin rigs a rope swing that takes Skye, Vaughn, and Martin to safety, but Ben is killed in his attempt. Fin then jumps across the sharks, using them as stepping stones to reach the others.

Two sharknadoes are converging into a more powerful storm directly above the hotel where Fin and April were planning to stay. Arriving at the hotel, Fin and Skye go to the roof to destroy the sharknadoes with their makeshift bombs. Polly is killed when a whale shark lands on her, but Ellen and Mora successfully reach the hotel, reuniting with Martin and Vaughn. Fin and Skye launch their bombs into the tornadoes, but the storm system is too cold for this to be effective; the bombs only force them to flee downstairs, away from the flaming sharks that are now falling on them. They meet the Brodys, who are fleeing upstairs due to a rising flood of sharks. They break down a door to escape the stairwell and are able to get out of the building.

Meanwhile, April rescues a young girl at the hospital and sets out to find Fin. She arrives at the hotel in a fire truck and takes the group to the Empire State Building where a third tornado is merging with the other two. The mayor is there with a task force, and they welcome Fin’s help. He plans to detonate a tank of Freon at the top of the building by connecting it to the structure’s lightning rod, freezing the storm. Fin tells a crowd of New Yorkers to prepare to fight the sharks that will fall from the sky after he destroys the tornadoes. He and Skye implement the plan, while April, who has affixed a circular saw to her stump, saves Fin from a falling shark. They successfully destroy the storm system, which sends both Fin and Skye in the air, where Skye is ripped in half by 2 sharks while still alive. Fin grabs his chainsaw and uses it to kill any sharks coming to him. He grabs on to a great white shark using chains and gets the shark impaled on the antenna of the Empire State Building. Fin retrieves April’s hand from a shark’s mouth and uses the gun to defend them against the falling sharks. The New Yorkers in the streets below arm themselves and charge into battle against the sharks, killing them all. Fin takes the ring from April’s severed hand and uses it to propose remarriage, and she accepts.

In a post-credits scene, Fin goes to a pizzeria he and the group went to earlier and eats a piece of pizza.

REVIEW:

Look out everyone, the sharks are back!!! Last week was apparently shark week and that totally slipped by me. Sharknado 2: The Second One had been collecting dust on my list specifically to be unleashed during shark week. Oh well, a week late is acceptable, right? No one is going to lower my grade or anything, I hope. Can the same be said for this sequel, though?

What is this about?

A freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a Sharknado on the population and its most cherished, iconic sites – and only Fin and April can save the Big Apple.

What did I like?

Fox-y mama. There are certain actors and actresses that have done so many roles that I can’t stand them in that I just have become completely turned off by them. Vivica A. Fox is one of these people mainly because of her sassy, borderline ghetto attitude in every…single…role. If it calls for this, fine, but she’s been in some stuff that didn’t and it just made no sense. Having said this, I must say that I was impressed with her ability to not be sassy and be an actual intelligent human being for once in this role as Fin (Ian Ziering)’s old flame from high school. If she could do roles like this more often, maybe I’d actually like her.

Today. When I was growing up, my parents would always have the Today show on. Back then it was only 2 hours, maybe 3, and was hosted by Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley, with Matt Lauer at the news desk and Al Roker occasionally filling in for Willard Scott. Now, Lauer is the host and Roker is the weatherman. What does this have to do with anything? As with any kind of weather event, you want to constantly check the news, so the film switches to them delivering weather. What I like is how the film used the actual Today show and brought in Lauer and Roker to do this, rather than come up with a poor imitation such as Hal Poker and Pat Bauer or something similar.

Opening action. Action movies are notorious for starting off so slow that the audience is literally awakened by the loud action that comes later on. Not so much with this picture, as it begins with a plane crash caused by a sharknado. I, for one, can appreciate how they started off with a bang, rather than a whimper, then brought it down to develop the “story” a bit, and then kicked into high gear for the rest of the film. It is a formula that works for this kind of picture. One where you can just turn your brain off and enjoy the ride.

What didn’t I like?

Sharks. Taking into account that this is a Syfy channel movie and they don’t have the biggest of budgets, I have to mention the horrible job done on the CG sharks. They look about as fake as fake can be. One person on a message board mentioned that it might have been better to just use rubber sharks. I actually think that might have been the better option. Most sequels get more money and better special effects but, judging by these sharks, this one seems to have gotten worse. I will say that no matter how bad the effects are, seeing a flying shark devour a man never gets old!

Tara, is that you? I’ve been watching episodes of Scrubs lately and I just happened to have reached the few episodes Tara Reid guest starred in, you know, back when she was super hot. Go from that to seeing her in this and it is a true testament to not getting plastic surgery. Her face appears to still be young, but you can also see the stretch marks as it tries to be natural. She also has some weird thing with her eyes. It is like they’re watery the whole time, it may have just been the light, though.

Cameos. I’m really starting to think this franchise exists just to give people a quick acting job. There are so many cameos in this film that I’m not going to even count. I will say that some of them are clever, such as Jared eating a Subway sandwich under a Subway ad and telling a guy he should have ordered the meal, but he’s playing a character, not Jared. Going one further, the pilot of the plane is none other than Robert Hays from Airplane! While those cameos work, there are many others that don’t. For instance, TNA wrestler Kurt Angle is the fire chief. If he wasn’t so huge, I think I would believe him. Basically, I’m saying this film needs to cut down on the cameos or find a way to make them clever, rather than just throw someone in a costume.

When Sharknado aired, no one was thinking it would become the mega-hit that it did. Sharknado 2: The Second One tries to recreate that magical formula but doesn’t quite get there. I believe that this has the better story of the two, but the film is too busy being nonsensical and throwing out cameos for anyone to notice. As I said, the effects are horrible and may be worse than the first one. Ziering is believable enough as an action hero, but the bad one-liners he throws out as he goes off to do something heroic, if you will, need to stop. All that said, I can’t say that I hated this picture. As a matter of fact, I somewhat enjoyed it. Do I recommend it? Not highly, but a viewing or two won’t hurt. Be warned, though…there is a third film set to air next week! –screams in terror–

3 out of 5 stars

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