Sharknado is one of those rare films that come around once a decade or so that defies expectations in the most breathtaking of ways.
Just when you think you know what a movie is about, when you think everything has become predictable and cliché, the SyFy channel comes out of nowhere and BAM. Sharknado.
Now you hear the title Sharknado and you have to wonder- what is that word? What could that possibly mean? Much of its artistry lies in this ambiguity. Slowly, as the film takes shape, it is revealed that this titular Sharknado is actually a tornado. Full of sharks. Shocking, I know. But the sharknado is only one small component of the epic disaster that overtakes the sleepy little town of Los Angeles. There are also torrential rains alternating inexplicably with moments of clear blue skies and sunshine. Giant waves overtaking innocent hot chicks in bikinis followed by calm crystal blue waters. Hurricanes hitting California. Land- trapped Sharks leaping at humans with incredible speed and agility. Humans who, when faced by these demons of the deep lose the ability to stand up, run away, or fight back in any logical way. This truly is the most disastrous of disasters.
How can one improve on such a nail-biting plotline? Why, with a diverse and expertly crafted cast of characters of course! We meet most of our cast at a quaint beach bar filled with charming girls in their…bras? Bikinis? Hard to tell. Our lead actress is introduced ass-first, naturally, and is followed by an entirely useless old fat drunk guy who as far as I can gather is still Mr. McAllister from Home Alone, lamenting the fact that he lost his son to Joe Pesci many years ago. Then we meet our hero, the brooding and apparently ancient “grandpa” surfer, Fin. He is so gosh darn appealing to the younger girls that he has to fight them off with a stick and deliver them to his underage son. But more importantly, he just can’t help but help people. Through many irrational circumstances and impossible feats, he manages to save literally EVERYONE in LA.
And now we get to the cameo we’ve all been waiting for- Tara Reid! She shapes her brooding, jilted ex-wife character into a work of unimaginable complexity and pain. Her filthy tan and icky extensions further solidify the poverty and despair her life has become. Her poor, poor daughter struggles silently throughout the film, just wishing someone would notice her and love her. WHY did everyone fail to dote on her every need during the hurricane/tsunami/tornado/shark attack?? What could possibly have been more important?
All of these finely formed characters come together to fight their greatest enemy- gale-force sharks- in a climactic face-off that isn’t in the slightest bit absurd or confusing. As the tears fell from my eyes, I couldn’t help but thank god for putting such gifted filmmakers and actors to work for such an important cause. The clear moral of the story: sharks are vicious monsters who will eat you whole, but they won’t digest you. So you’ve got that going for you.