Coda to /slash #2: Sharknado 2: The Second One

Sharknado 2Sharknado 2: The Second One
USA 2014
Written by Thunder Levin
Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante

I’m pretty sure that no one would seriously argue that “Sharknado” was, by any definition, a good movie. However, for what it wanted to be, it was a decent effort, and quite entertaining. I saw it at last years /slash Filmfestival with just the right crowd for a movie like this, and had a blast. One of the best things about it, obviously, was the gloriously stupid idea of a tornado with sharks in it. Shark movies are a dime a dozen, but that was something fresh, something new. However, they didn’t just take this concept and stop there, but included many nice ideas (even if they were mostly completely bonkers), some decent jokes, and a couple of unforgettable, cool moments (like the chainsaw). In other words: You could see that they really put some effort into it, trying to make the best possible bad movie that they could.

Given its huge success, a sequel was inevitable. As much fun as I had with the first one, I was still sceptical, though. As I said, the idea, as stupid as it may be, was something new. Alas, a second one would only rehash this idea, thus inevitably losing the novelty factor. I also was rather disappointed by the title. From all the possible titles that were flying around the Twitterverse, they went with “The Second One”? Really? That dull, unimaginative and lackluster title was, in their opinion, the best that they could find? Well, guess what: Turns out it’s actually the perfect title for the movie, which is also dull, unimaginative and lackluster. With the first one, I really felt that they were trying to do a good bad movie. Here, it seemed that everyone involved was just in for the paycheck. Also, they probably thought that “Sharknado 2” would be a sure-fire success anyway – so why actually put some effort into it?

“Sharknado 2: The Second One” is just incredibly lazy. They took the first movie, and placed it in New York – and that’s pretty much it. Also, since the chainsaw-scene was so beloved, they – instead of thinking of something new and similarly cool – decided to just repeat it. Over and over and over again – until even this great, standout moment of the first movie totally lost its appeal. Yeah, they actually managed to make it dull to watch a guy slicing up a shark with a chainsaw. Well done, guys! There were also way too many (uninteresting, clichéd) characters, compared to the first one. They also went totally overboard with the cameos. That most of them were C- or D-celebrities that are mostly known only in the US, didn’t help the movie either. I’m pretty sure that I missed 90% of the cameos because I didn’t recognize the person. There were many scenes where just by the way it was shot you could sense that it was a cameo, but since I didn’t get it, I found it nothing but confusing and frustrating. Also: As funny as it might have been the first time round to see what seemingly are real weather men talking about a Sharknado as if it’s a real weather phenomenon, the joke got very old very soon… and they reappeared half a dozen times, and sooner rather than later, I found those scenes to be just plain annoying.

Far and in between, the movie actually has its moments, or at least scenes where they seem to try something new. The beginning on the plane was a nice idea, offering what’s seemingly an homage to the classic Twilight Zone-episode “Nightmare at 20.000 feet”, but for some reason, the sequence fell mostly flat for me. Same with the ending, where they tried to create a similarly cool moment as the chainsaw, with Fin riding a shark in the tornado, but it just felt forced. Pretty much the only scene of the movie that I liked was Fin literally jumping the shark(s), and even that was ruined to some extent by going all Friedberg & Seltzer on us, overexplaining the joke (which wasn’t that clever and sophisticated in the first place). Thus, where “Sharknado” was a fresh breeze in the worn-out genre of shark movies, “The Second One” smelled rather stale and – dare I say it? – fishy.


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