Anthony C. Ferrante
Ian Ziering - Finley Allen "Fin" Shepard
Tara Reid - April Dawn Wexler Shepard
Cassie Scerbo - Nova Clarke
David Hasselhoff - Gilbert Grayson "Gil" Shepard
Bo Derek - May Wexler
Frankie Muniz - Lucas Stevens
Ryan Newman - Claudia Shepard
Jack Griffo - Billy
Genre - Science Fiction/B-Movie/Bad Animals/Sharks
Running Time - 95 Minutes
After the events of SHARKNADO 2 in New York City, Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) is considered a national hero in the eyes of the public. He travels to Washington D.C. to receive an honor called the "Order of the Golden Chainsaw" from the President of the United States (Mark Cuban). During the celebration, another shark storm arrives, almost taking out the entire government before stopping itself within the clouds. Reuniting with his ex-girlfriend Nova (Cassie Scerbo) - who is still traumatized by the events of being swallowed by a shark in the first SHARKNADO - they realize that the sharks adapted to living in the sky by eating birds, creating storms to feed their hunger. They soon learn that the sharks are attacking the entire East Coast, especially Florida where his pregnant wife April (Tara Reid), her mom (Bo Derek) and his daughter (Ryan Newman) are vacationing. With the help of his estranged dad (David Hasselhoff), Fin must go beyond the skies to stop this Sharknado from turning into a Sharkacane that will wipe out most of the population.
Another year, another SHARKNADO film. While SHARKNADO 3: OH HELL NO! didn't beat the ratings set by SHARKNADO 2 last year [it still beat the ratings of the first film however], it's always nice to see this stupid franchise give us a new adventure even if the premise is wearing itself thin at this point. But luckily, I still felt SHARKNADO 3 worked better than it should have, even though the idea of a SHARKNADO 4 makes you wonder what else they can do in this franchise.
Screenplay - To get into detail about the story would be repeating myself for the third time in three years. If you've seen both SHARKNADO films, you know what to expect when it comes to the story, the dialogue, and the three-act structure. It's still stupid. It still doesn't make sense besides the idea of "Because Science". And the dialogue still winks at the audience and lets you know that the franchise understands what it is, and has no shame in living in its own truth. While many are negative on these films, I do respect SHARKNADO for embracing what it is, even if the attempt to become a cult franchise is highly intentional.
Unlike the last film, however, I thought the screenplay did drag in parts - especially during the middle portion of the film. There's a lot of exposition here, with characters talking about the situation in a pretty bland manner. There's a lot of new characters that aren't all that interesting really who end up kind of important by the film's end. The only time the middle act works is when the shark start attacking celebrity cameos. And the Frankie Muniz death scene was probably the best part of this portion, only because the Malcolm in the Middle actor ended up just a middle without limbs. The second act needed more clever moments like that to maintain the flow.
At least the opening and closing acts are well written and memorable. The first act involves Fin at the White House, saving the government from a Sharknado hitting Washington D.C. Giving him a Golden Chainsaw was cute, as well as having Ann Coulter be the Madame Vice President [too bad she didn't bite it] and Mark Cuban as the President. And Lou Ferringno, playing a bodyguard who tells people that they wouldn't like him when he's angry is some funny stuff. There's a lot of Americana in the first act, but it doesn't really take it all that seriously, which I liked. Some films hit you over the head with patriotism, but SHARKNADO 3 is being silly with it - as if the filmmakers are saying Americans are stupid enough to enjoy B-movie schlock like this with a wink and smile.
The last act is even more crazy, with the gang going into space to fight off these sharks. I don't know where you can go after that, but it was a ton of fun to watch. And seeing a just-born baby rip himself out of a shark that has crashed on Earth is just amusing. And why was Anthony Weiner running NASA? I guess a space shuttle is a metaphor for his penis. Who said sexting could ruin your career?
I also loved the return of Nova to the franchise. We hadn't seen her since the first film, and I thought her traumatic behavior towards the storms was believable and a good character arc. She had some nice tension with Fin and April, considering she has feelings for Fin. Plus she's totally hot and bad ass, so I have no qualms with her return. And I did enjoy Frankie Muniz's character, especially when he says, "Could be worse. Could be zombies." - almost making fun of SyFy's Z-Nation show and the fact SyFy makes a bunch of crappy zombie films as well. So I appreciated the network making fun of itself as well.
Plus the Today Show segments return in all their seriousness, which adds the surrealistic tone. I'll never forget the term "The Feast Coast." And the structure that the first SHARKNADO started still manages to work in the third one, even though you can see how tired and uninspired it's starting to become. It's not a great script, but it manages to build on the story and continue to show how illogical this whole premise is. If you're expecting intelligence in SHARKNADO 3, you're watching the wrong film.
Direction - Anthony C. Ferrante returns for the third time behind the lens. I thought his direction was on par with the first film, but not really with the second. I felt the second film had more energy and momentum, with things constantly happening to create a more fun atmosphere. I felt Ferrante attempted to have moments that were trying to build character development or relationships between characters more often than not, which ruined the flow for me. Yes, we should care about characters. But these quieter moments should be more interesting and not feel pointless by film's end. The film worked a lot better when the sharks were creating chaos.
I also felt that Ferrante had too many locations to focus on at once. We have characters in D.C. We have characters in Florida. We have the Today Show. We have NASA. We have the space stuff. SHARKNADO 2's strength was keeping the story in New York City, allowing the city to be its own character to enhance the situations the story provided. SHARKNADO 3 felt too scatterbrain for me. Besides the water park stuff, the Florida scenes were just "meh". I felt the space stuff could have been its own film, even though Ferrante shoots it well. I just thought there was a lot going on, which made the film feel a bit disjointed.
Other than that, the editing was good. The CGI remained consistent with the last film. The picture quality was probably an improvement. And the little touches, like the James Bond opening and the animated opening credits, really showed some inspiration in terms of visual presentation. And when the action is on-screen, the film really works and puts a smile on your face. So for the most part, Ferrante does a decent job. I think the script let him down a bit because they crammed a ton of stuff within 90 minutes that could have been saved for a later sequel.
Acting - Again, not the greatest acting in the world. Ian Ziering is still playing it as straight as ever, and it works. Tara Reid is still terrible in these films. I hope the viewers chose the right hashtag when it comes to the April character [#AprilDies]. Cassie Scerbo returns, and she has her moments. She did have a moment where she was acting upset after someone's death that ended up being unintentionally hysterical, so there's that. Frankie Muniz had a great death scene and nice to see him still working. Bo Derek looks great, but doesn't add much. David Hasselhoff is fun to watch as Fin's dad. Plus all the cameos, including Mark Cuban, Chris Jericho, the Today Show hosts, and Lou Ferringno were a lot of fun. It's a good cast as usual for this type of movie.
SHARKNADO 3 is a bit less violent than the other two films, but it still has some good stuff. Sharks still squash people. People get bit in the ass. Sharks bite heads off. Frankie Muniz gets his limbs chomped off, before blowing himself up. Gun play, chainsaw play, and sword play is at hand. We get a shark on a rollercoaster track killing folks. It's nothing you haven't seen in this franchise, but it's probably still the best part of this sequel.
Unlike SHARKNADO 2, which took place during a cooler climate, SHARKNADO 3 does show some flesh for both men and women. You get Cassie Scerbo is a hot bikini that leaves little to the imagination. And Ian Ziering defies his 50-years of age by wearing just boxer briefs, showing off his worked out bod. It's a pretty tame film other than that, but it's something.
SHARKNADO 3 goes into space by the film's end. And Ann Coulter with any sort of political power? It doesn't get cheesier than that.
THE FINAL HOWL
SHARKNADO 3: OH HELL NO! continues the fun that the franchise provides, although it's wearing pretty thin by this installment. I felt the film started off strong, sort of meandered in the middle unfortunately, but came back strong and bonkers by the film's end. The acting is what it is. The direction, for the most part, maintains the feel of the other two films. And the cameos are still the highlights of these movies. SHARKNADO 3 won't change anyone's mind about this franchise, whether you enjoy these movies or not, still maintaining a high level of stupidity that will make you smile and chuckle for 90 minutes. I still feel SHARKNADO 2 was the "best" film of the three, but SHARKNADO 3 still has enough bite to work.
Sharks...in space. SHARKS IN SPACE. Where do they go from here?