I’ll be the first to admit that I was skeptical about Sharknado 2: The Second One. It was just the idea of it, really. Last summer’s original was so campy and fun, and it kind of felt like this one was losing some of that in favor of corporate tie-ins and celebrity cameos. Sharknado is supposed to be the underdog, the champion of the masses, not another excuse for Subway to push their blasphemous “BBQ” “sandwiches” on us. It just felt … dirty. Unclean. Or maybe too clean and slick, depending how you prefer your imagery.
But then I watched it anyway, and yup, still fun and stupid in the best possible way. It wasn’t quite as charming as the first one, sure, but it was still more than acceptable as a silly diversion on a summer weeknight, which is all it ever set out to be.
So, with that in mind, here are my five favorite moments from the Manhattan-based sequel, ranked for your enjoyment. I left out the cameos, because we covered all those already. This is all about the shark-related murder. Sweet, sweet shark-related murder.
5. The Murderous Disembodied Statue Of Liberty Head
If you are the type of person who reads a deeper meaning into things (even silly things, like, say, the sequel to a basic cable movie about sharks getting swept up into a wind-based meteorological event and rained down teeth-first into the residents of Los Angeles), you may have watched the disembodied tumbling head of our nation’s most iconic symbol of freedom crushing pedestrians in our largest city and thought, “Huh, that sure is something.”
If you are not that type of person, you may have thought “OOOOOOO LOOGIT IT GO OOOOOOOO.”
Both are correct reactions.
4. Flaming Sharks Falling From The Heavens
I am not a particularly religious man. It’s not that I’m an atheist, or even anti-religion. Believe in whatever gets you through the day as long as it doesn’t harm anyone, I say. But if there is a supreme being — or beings, plural, for that matter — up in the sky looking down on us and answering our prayers, allow me to just put this out there real quick: I really — REALLY — do not want to be killed by a shark that fell to Earth after being lifted out of the ocean and set ablaze. That’s all. That’s my one request. I can deal with the rest. I mean, some money would be nice. And free pizza for life, too, if that’s on the table. But mostly the flaming shark thing.
So, two things:
- That is a GIF of Richard Kind, in character as a former Mets slugger, smashing a shark like 650 feet through the air and into the JumboTron at Citi Field. It is an excellent argument for allowing baseball players to go back to doing all the steroids they can purchase or find.
- Just hear me out on this one: The Mets were playing when the sharknado hit. But the Today show and Live With Kelly & Michael were both on the air at the time, too, which means it was taking place between 9 and 10 AM. So … the Mets were playing a morning game, possibly with a start time as early as 7:30 AM? Boom. I have found a glaring hole in the logic of the Sharknado franchise.
2. The Ballad Of Tara Reid’s Hand
Wanna know when I made the switch from “Mildly Skeptical” to “100% In, Again” last night? I’ll tell you: 10 minutes into the movie, when a shark that was cruising at 30,000 feet bit off Tara Reid’s hand. 10 MINUTES IN. You get me, Sharknado. You really get me.
But I believe it was Russian writer Anton Chekhov who said “If you have a shark bite off Tara Reid’s hand in the first act, she better have a God-dang buzzsaw hooked up to the stump by the end,” and the Sharknado franchise is nothing if not a representation of classic storytelling rules, so that happened. And then Ian Ziering ripped her hand out of the shark that ate it hours earlier (in screen time and in real time), all to re-gift her the ring she lost in the plane attack. It’s a love story, really.
1. The Crazy Old Bearded Coot Heaving Chainsaws Into The Sharknado
Best character in the whole movie. Hell, in the franchise. I like to think he had been waiting for an excuse to throw chainsaws into a tornado for years. He might have even driven to Manhattan from, like, Central Jersey when he heard a sharknado was coming, just so he could try it once before he died.
WIFE: Honey, you’re not thinking of driving into the sharknado, are you?
CRAZY OLD BEARDED COOT: [loading chainsaws into his truck] Dammit Marie, this is my moment!
I vote we give him a spinoff.