Sharknado (2013 TV Movie)
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The law of large numbers would seem to imply that in 86 minutes you'd have to get something right by accident, and yet this movie doesn't. A second look at Alien Apocalypse (which admittedly requires a masochistic nature to undertake) at least reveals passable cinematography and consistent lighting. And yet Sharknado rises above mathematics to give us a film that is bad in every single possible way.
Continuity is shrugged off completely. The same scene moves from daylight to dusk, rain to sunshine, storm surge to quiet beach, with every single new camera angle. It is so blatantly bad you are distracted from the more subtle inconsistencies like objects moving around, attire, wind, or quality of film from one cut to the next.
If you manage to close your eyes you are immediately taken in by the sound. How the sound editor managed to get to work on what had to be an acid-enhanced bender of epic proportions to warrant these results is beyond me. I'm reluctant to suggest using your stereo's sound-leveling technology for fear your sound system will simply melt from the strain.
One is almost loath to point a finger at suspension of disbelief when it comes to a movie whose premise is sharks in tornadoes, but whatever level you plan to come in with is almost surely going to fall far short. This movie has more WTF moments in 86 minutes than Lost could pull off in 86 seasons. And everyone gets to play, not just those with a working knowledge of wind shear or the physics that keep a helicopter in the air. If you've played pool, fished, surfed, driven a car in water deeper than two inches, been exposed to gravity, or otherwise in any way have interacted with or gained some understanding of the world around you, this movie has something for you to go "wha!?!" about.
And while you would think that once you had bad special effects, bad editing, and bad sound strung together you'd get at least one Bruce Campbell out of the cast to latch on to. Not so here, as every actor turned in a performance that shows they were more confused than the viewer about what was happening. We could guess it was because they were given the script out of order, but as a viewer of the final product I'm not sure I've seen the scenes in order, they are that disjointed.
I've tried very hard to find something that was done well or noteworthy about this movie and the only thing I can come up with is that it is the only movie I have ever seen that has failed on absolutely every level. If you tried to make a movie this bad you would inadvertently get something right purely on accident. And that is its one bright, shining point of light. That it would be almost impossible to make something this terrible ever again.
And you can't stop watching. My friends, yelled, laughed, joked, stomped, laughed some more and had a fine time. Now how many times can you say that watching a movie? It literally becomes an interactive experience.
It is surely a classic. Not sure exactly what kind. But it is a classic.
Grab some friends, lots of snacks, and a mammoth amount of suspension of disbelief. You're now ready for SyFy channel's latest escapade into the realm of the psychotically silly. This movie acts upon the mind like a mind altering substance, taking it to a land of shark-infested water spouts, science gone mad, absurd visuals, and movie making run amok. Riffing is optional; the movie is goofy and deranged either way.
A freak-storm turns into tornadoes/water spouts that vacuum up a zillion sharks that are swimming around and whisks them off to southern California. Some of the finny predators are pitched into local freeways and everywhere else, while other sharks continue to spin around in the hurricane. The sharks take no prisoners as they swim around soggy streets and wreak havoc with laughable CGI attacks. I did notice however that they obeyed all traffic laws while they swam through the streets.
This movie swims its way ever further into the realms of the jawbone dropping bizarre, with several key scenes to be on the lookout for. Look for the random one-in-a-million rescue near the end, and the wacky idea the heroes use to try and save the day. This sort of chaos is common throughout the entire movie.
Kudos to the movie makers for this pure unabashed nonsense.
Regardless of genre, most movies are a construction of thoughtfully planned scenes, each of which presenting plot points and character motivations that, together, form a plausible narrative, allowing for the proverbial "suspension of disbelief." Such careful craftsmanship is never more important than at a film's beginning. The creators of Sharknado didn't bother with any of that.
There is an opening sequence involving a fishing boat on a stormy sea. On board a greedy captain in a raincoat and an Asian man in a three- piece suit squabble about money (presumably for some nefarious service performed by the captain). Handguns are soon brandished, bullets are fired, and chomping sharks are washed on deck by the waves (à la The Perfect Storm). People are shot or eaten, and a massive water spout filled with digitally-rendered sharks stretches into the sky. Then the opening credits begin rolling, and it's as if that scene never happened. Other than the brief preview of the "sharknado" to come at the end of the second act (yes, I'm taking some liberties by using standard film vernacular to describe this storyline), it was as if this scene was jumbled together from leftover footage of some other SyFy shark movie. Did this bother me? Nope. In fact, it wasn't until after the movie's end that I even remembered the ship's captain and the shootout on the water. By then, I was still grinning too much to care.
One grin-evoking moment occurs when Nova, the leading female character played by Cassie Scerbo, stabs a shark to death with a cue stick in a bar. While this isn't the first shark encounter for the protagonists or even the first shark-on-land encounter, it does seem to set the tone for the rest of the movie. Anthony Ferrante, the director, wants everyone to realize that this is notand does not aspire to beJaws.
Though he need not worry about anyone mistaking this shark movie for Steven Spielberg's classic, Ferrante repeatedly makes references to it. I won't use terms such as "allusion" or even "homage" to describe these references. Perhaps "farcical" might be more appropriate, or maybe "comic relief," but even those terms lend themselves to a more contemplative critique than I am attempting.
I think Ferrante's purpose was to preemptively counter all would-be critics who might say things like "This is no Jaws." He could have just titled the movie Another Killer Shark Film That Is Not Jaws. But that would have been too self-effacing and certainly not as much fun.
In carrying out this strategy, Ferrante doesn't waste much time. Moments after the sharks begin plopping onto the streets and docks, Fina bar-owner, father and former pro-surfer played by Ian Ziering of Beverly Hills, 90210 famemakes quick work of one by shooting a diver's air tank that is jutting out of its gullet, causing it and the shark to explode. Remind you of anything? Yep, there's even a corny one-liner: "That's what you get for trying to eat me."
Later we have a quasi-touching expository scene that reveals Nova's pre-established hatred of sharks. The character of Fin's son, Matt, played by Chuck Hittinger, notices an unusual scar on Nova's thigh. To get her to talk about it, he lifts up his shirt and reveals a scar on his abdomen and explains its not-so-dramatic origin. When he asks Nova how she got her scar, she says she had a tattoo removed. Not buying it, Matt prods further and Nova tells a story about going fishing with her grandfather and his friends when she was a little girl. She says that their boat sank and sharks began to circle and attack them. The men managed to lift her out of the water and onto something floating nearby, but a shark still managed to take a hunk out of her leg. In summation, Nova says: "Six people went into the water and one little girl came out. The sharks took the rest."
The scene in Jaws in which Robert Shaw's character Quint tells the tale of the sinking of the USS Indionapolis is arguably one of the most memorable scenes in film history. Ferrante knows this. Nova's scar story, in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way, serves to again make the director's statement: "I am aware of Jaws, as is everyone in the civilized world, and this is not that movie!"
Later, this same point is made again, this time even more comically and pointedly. After fabricating some propane bombs, Nova and Matt take to the skies in a helicopter to hunt the tornadoes. Matt flies perilously close to one of the funnel clouds so that Nova can toss one of the bombs into it. She sees an enormous shark coming straight at them and declares: "We're gonna need a bigger chopper."
If you want to be moderately entertained, then I don't think you will be disappointed with Sharknado. Don't expect too much going into itand bring with you a willingness to suspend your own sense of disbelief. Most important, keep in mind that this is not Jaws. I don't think that fact will slip you mind, however. The director made sure of it.
1. If it is raining very hard and floods are occurring, the inside of your house will flood first.
2. If there is 2 feet of water, a 12 foot shark can not only swim with grace and elegance in it, the sheer speed it can reach before it leaps high and fast out of the water only to dive into that same two feet of water and disappear completely is truly astonishing.
3. If there is an EF5 tornado bearing down on Hollywood, not only do people continue about their daily lives as if the news isn't telling them (which they are) that a hurricane is indeed wreaking terrible destruction about the town and to evacuate, it can also be sunny out with perfectly blue skies. Then suddenly dark and overcast again. Then suddenly sunny again. Then sudden..... well, i think you get my point.
4. So if you really don't want to bother with the tornado that has been produced by this mega hurricane that everyone just totally ignored until it was literally right on top of them, just assemble a makeshift bomb out of an R sized oxygen tank (about 14" tall mind you), hop in a helicopter, fly over to that pesky twister, and blow it out of the sky with this amazingly powerful bomb.
5. You don't have to be an actor/actress to be in a movie.
So, in other words, do not miss this true gem. A modern masterpiece that will surely be winning some Oscars.
Do not waste your time with this movie. There is no continuity between scenes, one second it's flooding then in the next scene the streets are dry. The acting is terrible, the special effects are less than special.
Lastly, poor Tara, she had some good movies under her belt, but this is the latest in a downward spiral for her acting career. It seems like she has been taking acting lessons from the rest of the cast because her performance is no better than the rest.
Please watch something else. I beg you.