To say that this film is brainless is an incredibly easy thing to do. However, “Sharknado” intends it fully, and isn’t afraid to be laughed at. This film helped to usher on a new wave of b-movies for us to enjoy, so for that, we are grateful.
At its core, Syfy’s unlikely TV-movie hit is the dream-come-true of a seven-year-old aspiring filmmaker. “Imagine a tornado that flings sharks at people, and like, the only way to stop it is to blow it up with bombs and stuff.” That’s essentially the movie, along with a lot of cliches.
And honestly, it’s not a bad film if you’re planning to turn off your brain and enjoy it with a healthy supply of beer at the ready, or a mood that is suited to cinema silliness. Fortunately, those conditions often apply to us.
Of course, one expects the absolutely god-awful special effects and the cheesy dialogue with this sort of movie. And it delivers. However, “Sharknado” knows it’s absurd, but it doesn’t completely cash-in on it. In our opinion, this can best be accomplished with a heavy dose of comedy.
And yet, a lot of the comedic moments of this movie are dreary and entirely expected, and feel as if they were shoe-horned into the script right before filming. The most successful bits of humor in the film — no surprise here — lies with the various shark-mauling scenes. The sheer stupidity, blended with the love of silly horror violence, makes the devouring scenes of this movie its strongest asset.
We could get into the science and realism of the affair, but there’s no point. No, sharknados cannot exist. The film knows this, and we know this.
That said, we do have one little question. The man (who is the son of protagonist Fin) who has been taking lessons to learn how to fly aircraft is also an expert bomb-maker. After all, it’s his idea to build the bombs in the first place, and he seems comfortable lobbing them out of a helicopter. How is this guy not on a terrorist watch list? How doesn’t the FBI know about this? What does he plan to do with flying and bomb-making skills after the sharknado passes? And how is the sequel to this movie not entitled “Sharknado 2: Jr. gets put on a no-fly list?”
The camera work and direction of the film are not nearly as bad as many of the films we come across. Sometimes, you can tell the shots are bad on purpose, sometimes they’re just very mediocre. But it comes nowhere close to “American Poltergeist.” The camera work is just bad enough to remind you you’re watching a bad movie, and not bad enough to take you out of it.
“Sharknados” differs from many of the copycat films that were made after it (and many before it) in that the pacing is pretty good. Bad movies often fall into a complete crash-and-burn in the momentum between two funny scenes that involve bad CGI and horrid creatures, and the audience is force-fed horrible acting and a non-moving plot for much of the movie.
We realize that this is probably because “Sharknado” had a higher budget than most other bad movies, but we thought it was worth noting.”Sharknado” is a movie which, like it’s titular sharknado, has a large appetite. And like an actual sharknado, it’s appetite consists of sharks and stupidity. But it’s still at least somewhat entertaining, which is why it earns its three Cages.