Anthony C. Ferrante
Ian Ziering - Fin
Tara Reid - April
Jaason Simmons - Baz
Cassie Scerbo - Nova
John Heard - George
Aubrey Peeples - Claudia
Chuck Hittinger - Matt
Genre - Horror/Science Fiction/B-Movie/Bad Animals/Sharks
Running Time - 88 Minutes
A huge storm heads towards Los Angeles. While this on its own is a bad thing, it gets worse when it brings a whole bunch of sharks with it to terrorize the population. Fin (Ian Ziering) is a surfer/bar owner who gets his bar destroyed by this storm of sharks, leading a crew including his best friend Baz (Jaason Simmons), his potential love-interest and shark hater Nova (Cassie Scerbo), and the local bar drunk George (John Heard), to protect the townspeople, including his ex-wife April (Tara Reid) and his kids (Aubrey Peeples and Chuck Hittinger), and kill these sharks. Even though the sharks are attacking the city through strong winds and massive flooding, Los Angeles is put into more danger as a series of tornadoes swoop the sharks into it, truly making these Sharknadoes a force of nature to contend with.
Screenplay - I got to say this right now - as much as I was excited for IRON MAN 3, MAN OF STEEL, and FAST AND FURIOUS 6 this summer, that excitement could not compare to the excitement I had for The Asylum's newest collaboration with the SyFy Channel, SHARKNADO. I mean seriously, a tornado full of sharks attacking and killing people? I'm sold! SHARKNADO is the type of film that Shark Summer is made for. And while it's script was probably its weakest aspect, I still enjoyed the absurd story.
There's really no point in me reviewing a script to a B-movie about sharks attacking a city with the help of tornadoes. No one is reading this wondering if the film has great detail to characterization and subplots people will relate to. Just like every SyFy film that deals with this sort of thing, it involves a group of stereotypical characters trying to escape and counter a bad situation. Nothing more, nothing less. That's not to say that the characters aren't interesting. As a matter of fact, I was surprised that I actually liked most of them, enough that I wanted them to survive until the end.
Ian Ziering's Fin is a pretty great hero, although his ex-wife and daughter think he's a terrible husband/father. He's pretty selfless, quick to risk his own life in order to save others. He helps his friends escape. He goes straight to his estranged family in order to help them survive the ordeal. Along their escape, Fin stops to help stranded victims. This guy is pretty awesome. I knew nothing about his backstory really, but I knew I liked him enough to root for him. His best friend, Baz, is also quite heroic and likeable. He even gets attacked by sharks and still kicks their ass. Gotta respect that. Nova is a smart ass, but tough as nails for a bartender. She hates sharks due to her grandfather being murdered by one when she was younger. She also has a scar on her leg due to a shark bite. She's pretty much the marksperson of the group, shooting these sharks to hell. And did I mention she's hot? George is the town drunk, but a funny one who ends up doing something noble that costs him greatly. The only unlikeable characters were April and Claudia, the ex-wife and daughter. I guess they had to be for the melodrama with Fin, but I found them pretty annoying. At least Matt, the son, was a decent human being. I really was not expecting this much care for B-movie characters in a SyFy movie, so I was pleasantly surprised.
And I got to say, the stuff the writer came up with for these shark attacks were a stroke of brilliance. I won't spoil anything, but there is some epic stuff here. In fact, the final act of the film has to be one of the best 20 minute climaxes I have ever witnessed in a B-movie. The film almost lost me with the melodrama that came right before these 20 minutes [ain't nobody got time for that!]. But once the group came out on the offense to fight off the sharks, I was hooked. Just the one-liners [nice homage to JAWS] and the moves certain characters made to survive were just incredible. I'm jealous that I didn't have this much imagination to write the screenplay for SHARKNADO.
Direction - Anthony C. Ferrante directed a pretty entertaining film here. It's well paced and the picture quality looks exactly what you would expect from an Asylum movie of this caliber. The use of the cheesy CGI sharks and gore were handled very well, and I thought some of the scenes had genuine tension and suspense. Plus, Ferrante took the film seriously, yet didn't at the same time. SHARKNADO knows what it is visually, and doesn't hold back. The fact that the killer sharks attack right away made this film fun to watch.
Acting - SHARKNADO doesn't have the greatest acting in the world. If anyone expected that, then they haven't seen an Asylum/SyFy film. But it was better than what I was expecting. Ian Ziering of Beverly Hills 90210 fame is pretty damn good as the heroic Fin. I really liked his character and he brought a bit of charm and badassery to the role. Plus, how has the man not aged all that much in 20 years? The guy is almost 50 and he looks younger than some of his co-stars who are definitely younger than him. Speaking of which, Tara Reid looked terrible I thought. She was also the film's worst actor, as it seemed she didn't really care about being in SHARKNADO [I'm sure that paycheck was nice though!]. She gave a really bland performance and did nothing for me really. Jaason Simmons of Baywatch fame was good as Baz. I thought he had a lot of charm. Cassie Scerbo was good as Nova. She was very sexy, especially when she was shooting sharks. And John Heard was the comic relief as George and did it well. All the actors took their roles seriously and I think it made the film that much better to enjoy. SHARKNADO had a much better production than I was ever expecting, and I'm glad for it.
SHARKNADO definitely does not disappoint all that much as a killer shark movie. Sure, there could have been more crazy scenes of sharks attacking people from the air. But for the most part, I was pretty content with the bloodshed here. Right from the start, the sharks start hunting and eating people. Chewed off limps that spurt out a rain of blood. Sharks eating the face of some dude standing in the middle of a tornado. Sharks eating through car roofs, bursting through bars and homes, and diving through the air to swallow people below. We also get a couple of explosions, a lot of gunplay, and even a Ferris Wheel causing some good destruction by the beach. Did I mention someone leaps into a shark with a chainsaw in a scene that would make SHARK ATTACK 3: MEGALODON orgasm with pleasure? The final 20 minutes alone satisfied the violence quota.
This is definitely the tamest aspect of the film. But we do get Cassie Scerbo is a bikini, looking fine. Plus she gets her ass groped by John Heard. But other than that, not a whole lot here to talk about.
It's a film called SHARKNADO. What more needs to be said?
THE FINAL HOWL
SHARKNADO won me over big time. It's stupid. It's ridiculous. It doesn't make a whole lick of sense. The CGI isn't great. The acting could be better. There's not much of a story here to really talk about. And I loved it. SHARKNADO is just a fun watch from beginning to end. This is the epitome of "so bad, yet so good". The Asylum and SyFy have done it again and they left me with a genuine goofy smile on my face. If you want to have a fun time watching a shark movie this summer, definitely stick with SHARKNADO.