Edited-for-television version of the original lede: Sharknado 2 has so much camp, you’ll be surprised nobody was murdered by Jason Voorhees.
The film’s director, Anthony C. Ferrante, knew exactly what fans of the original movie loved and wanted to see again. So it should not be a surprise to anyone that The Second One was packed with improbable scenes that ignored just about every law of physics, nature and reason. For the second straight time in what may be a franchise of films, the aptly named protagonist, Fin, wields a chainsaw to slay sharks and jumps straight through one with his weapon of choice only to come out the other side unscathed, save for a mouthful of shark guts of course.
When Sharknado exploded onto the scene last year, it did so as a viral hit that gained significant traction due in large part to the massive community of people live Tweeting the movie. Once again, Ferrante played up to this by adding countless cameo appearances, including popular people on Twitter, like Wil Wheaton and Kelly Oxford. The film also included appearances by TV’s own shark, Daymond John, who is killed by the rollaway head of the Statue of Liberty, Taxi‘s own Judd Hirsch who, appropriately, plays a taxi driver and Biz Markie, who plays a New York City pizzeria owner named Vinny.
Ferrante tried to capture lightning in a bottle with these appearances and by playing up to the social media crowd. To a certain degree, it worked but not to the same extent that the original film did. The organic growth of the spontaneously formed community of people virtually experiencing the first flick together as it debuted made the outlandish Sharknado both successful and unrepeatable.
Nevertheless, there is no reason that viewers still cannot enjoy the absurdity of these films, whether it is because Tara Reid has a saw welded to her hand, or someone haphazardly throws chainsaws into a Sharknado, or the idea that so many people actually attended a Mets game.
Throughout the film, sharks destroy a plane, a train, a ferry and generally terrorize NYC. An alligator even makes an appearance and adds to the killing spree. Even if the sharks manage to have pinpoint accuracy while flying through the air or traversing New York’s subway system, the part that was the most laugh-out-loud hilarious was when a shark made its way into an elevator and somehow managed to press the ground floor button, only to burst out into the lobby with a gush of water.
When Fin devises a plan to stop the deadly, shark-infested tornadoes — yes, there are three of them! — a first responder replies simply, “I don’t understand.” It is perhaps the most reasonable line in the movie, but what is the fun in that? Not knowing what crazy thing is going to happen next is half of the fun.