I watched the universal premiere of Sharkado 2: The Second One on SyFy Wednesday night.
Don’t judge, especially if you watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians or Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Or any of those bachelor, bachelorette or dating shows. Or any reality TV, really. You’re in no position to judge anything that anyone else watches.
S2TS1 might not be the greatest movie ever. It might even be two hours of my life that to my regret I’ll never get back. If SyFy follows its usual pattern, even if you missed the premiere you still have 17 trillion chances to see it. SyFy will air the thing on a loop until the end of all time and space, when the Big Bang falls into a Big Crunch and we start all over again.
When you watch Sharknado 2, and you inevitably will, here are the five greatest things to look out for in S2TS1.
1. S2TS1 wastes absolutely no time on story.
Literally seconds into the film, star Ian Ziering (whose character’s name is still “Fin”) sees a shark in a cloud backlit by lightning. What follows is a fun riff on the old Twilight Zone episode in which a young William Shatner sees a gremlin on the wing of an airliner, but nobody believes him. Ziering has his own Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, then, because of all the sharks, has to reprise Robert Hayes’ role in Airplane! I’m not even kidding.
SPOILER ALERT: New York’s anti-gun policies end up helping the sharks. But as they say, only criminals have guns under strict gun control. That turns out to be a minor side plot in S2TS1. I’m not kidding.
2. The cameos.
S2TS1 sets the tone early on with that Twilight Zone riff, and when Robert Hayes actually shows up reprising his own Airplane! role before Ziering takes it over, well, it’s time to keep an eye on everyone in the background. For a movie with no plot, there’s a thing or two going here, subtexts if you will.
Big Bang Theory extra, gamer and gadfly Will Wheaton shows up, and much to everyone’s delight, gets eaten quickly.
Judd Hirsch shows up as — get this for a stretch — a New York taxi driver. I’m not even kidding.
They should’ve had Marilu Henner show up as his wife or something.
Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan also show up and Ripa kills a shark with the heel of her shoe.
This movie is that good.
3. S2TS1 knows that it’s a shark-jumper of a movie.
The storm looks terrible, as it should. The CGI sharks look even less real than the plastic one that attaches itself to Ziering’s butt in one scene. None of the actors bothered to come up with any motivation for any of their lines. A character even recites the line — “You just jumped the shark” — when Ziering plays Frogger — again, not kidding — across a field of sharks swimming around him as he is stranded on a taxicab on a flooded New York street. In a snowstorm. In summer.
To jump even more sharks, the producers enlisted the real Matt Lauer and Al Roker from the Today show, and Stephanie Abrams from The Weather Channel, just to bolster their collective journalistic credibility.
(Disclosure: I kind of like Abrams, but SPOILER ALERT, Lauer and Roker are just as annoying in the film as they are every other day.)
4. Tara Reid gets very little screen time.
Tara Reid was practically dropped from S2TS1, in favor of Vivica A. Fox and 1990s MTV hottie Kari Wuhrer. That’s because as attractive as Reid once was, she has gone the botox route and turned her face into a lifemask. Reid looks like a wax museum replica of herself in S2TS1. She has trouble delivering her few lines because her face literally cannot move. And she could never act anyway. Fox and Wuhrer both can act, kind of, and they’re both just more interesting to watch. And they haven’t plasticized their faces. I won’t spoil, for those of you who haven’t seen S2TS1 yet but surely will, which one plays Ziering’s love interest. It’s a major plot turn in a plotless film. Keep the suspense.
Reid does get one great scene, though, when — not kidding here — she gets a circular buzzsaw grafted onto her arm, rendering her a living shark killing machine. That didn’t get enough screen time in S2TS1. Perhaps it’s a setup for an expanded human shark killing machine side story in S3. Sorry, I should’ve led that paragraph with a SPOILER ALERT.
Ziering also cuts his way through a shark again, but once you’ve seen that in the first film, it feels like the writers were just being lazy.
5. And the greatest thing about Sharknado 2: The Second One — it ended.
I should probably move this to #1 on the list. It’s very important.