Movie Review – Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

In honor of tomorrow night’s premier of Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! on Syfy, today we’re taking a look at the second film in the series, Sharknado 2: The Second One.

Back in 2013, the made for television film Sharknado created a media frenzy with its completely ridiculous plot of deadly tornadoes filled with killer sharks.  The film was aired for three nights in a row on the SyFy Channel, with each night having a larger number of viewers.  This was a film that was so bad and corny that you just had to watch it not just once but several times.

So what do you do when a low-budget film is a hit?

You make a sequel!  You strike quickly while the iron is hot!

Sharknado 2: The Second One premiered on July 30, 2014 on the SyFy Channel.  The sequel returned some of the original cast and transferred the action from Los Angeles to New York City.  Another superstorm filled with sharks strikes, and it’s up to a small group of people to figure out a way to stop the deadly storm and save an entire city.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - movie poster

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – movie poster

Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante, Sharknado 2: The Second One returns Ian Ziering and Tara Reid in the lead roles of Finley Shepard and April Wexler.  Supporting them is Vivica A. Fox as Skye, Fin’s childhood friend, Judd Hirsch as Ben, a taxi driver, and about a dozen cameos featuring a variety of celebrities.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One begins with Finley “Fin” Shepard (Ian Ziering) and his ex-wife, April Wexler (Tara Reid) flying to New York City to visit some old friends as well as promote April’s book covering the events from last year’s sharknado in Los Angeles.  A flight attendant (Kelly Osbourne) is a fan of April’s and gladly accepts an invitation to join her at an event in New York City.

When the airliner begins its approach into New York City, the plane flies right through a strong storm filled with airborne sharks.  The sharks repeatedly attack the airliner and break into the aircraft, killing the pilot (Robert Hayes) and co-pilot (Rachel True).  The flight attendant is also killed by a shark along with a passenger (Wil Wheaton).

Fin makes his way to the cockpit and takes control of the doomed airliner.  While he’s trying to bring it down for a landing, one of the aircraft’s doors is ripped open and April is nearly sucked out into the storm.  She uses an air marshal’s (Austin Priester) pistol to shoot at a flying shark, but the shark reaches her and bites off half of her arm.  Somehow Fin is able to land the damaged airliner at the airport (nowhere was it mentioned in Sharknado of Fin having *any* flying experience), saving the lives of the remaining passengers.  April is then whisked away to a hospital to be treated for her amputated arm.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

Meanwhile, Ellen Brody (Kari Wuhrer) is sightseeing in New York City with her family.  Her husband, Martin (Mark McGrath) takes their son, Vaughn (Dante Palminteri), to a Mets’ game along with Skye (Vivica A. Fox) and Brian (Judah Friedlander).  Ellen is Fin’s sister, and Martin is Fin’s old childhood friend.  Skye is Fin’s old girlfriend from when they were teenagers in school.  While her husband and son go to the baseball game, Ellen takes their daughter, Mora (Courtney Baxter), to see the Statue of Liberty along with Ellen’s friends Polly (Sandra Denton) and Chrisse (Tiffany Shepis).  While at the Statue of Liberty, Polly and Chrisse inform Ellen about Fin’s flight and its rough landing at the airport.

After the rough landing at the airport, Fin tries to warn a crowd of people about the approaching storm, but nobody seems to believe him, not even a cynical police officer (Andy Dick).  Perhaps the storm hasn’t been spotted by satellites or other aircraft yet.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

Fin goes to the hospital and learns of April’s amputated arm from her doctor (Billy Ray Cyrus).  She’s already out of surgery and should be able to make a speedy recovery and rehabilitation.  Fin then receives a phone call from Ellen, and he urges her to leave Liberty Island and to return to the city.  Fin agrees to go to the baseball stadium and get Martin and Vaughn.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

While riding in Ben‘s (Judd Hirsch) taxi to the baseball stadium, Fin sees a weather report with Al Roker and Matt Lauer discussing an approaching weather system that will bring cold weather and severe storms to the New York City metro area.  It’s so cold that it actually starts snowing at the ball game.  When Fin reaches the stadium, Skye is there to greet him.  She thinks that he’s there to see her, but Fin tells her that he’s back together with April.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

The weather worsens and the baseball game is cancelled.  People flee from the stadium in terror as sharks are spotted flying through the sky.  Fin’s group runs for the subway while former baseball legend Harland “The Blaster” McGuinness (Richard Kind) uses a baseball bat to hit a flying shark and knock it out of the park for a home run.

Fin’s group reaches the subway and catches a train, but water floods the tracks and sharks attack the subway train.  Several people on the train (including Brian) and in one of the underground stations are killed by the sharks.  The group escapes from the train and makes their way back to the streets where they meet with Ben again.  They pile into Ben’s taxi cab and try to find weapons in the city.  Unfortunately, because of New York City’s numerous laws, it’s much more difficult to find the firepower that they used to battle the sharknado back in Los Angeles.  No guns are available, and the closest chainsaw is over in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Ellen’s group takes a ferry back to Manhattan, but their ferry is attacked by a shark and Chrissie is killed.  The women reach the city and end up fleeing from the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty as the storm sends it rolling down the streets.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

The news stations are now giving complete coverage to the weather event, and they realize that New York City is about to be hit by sharknadoes.  The weather forecasts focus on the surge of sharks that can be expected in the city over the next few hours.

Ben stops the cab and the group scrambles to find makeshift weapons.  Fin is able to borrow some propane tanks from his old friend Vinnie (Biz Markie), now the owner of a pizza restaurant.  Vinnie thinks that it’s safer inside of his restaurant, but his attitude quickly changes when a shark crashes through the roof and lands on his pizzas.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

When the super storm hits the city, patients inside of the hospital are relocated to shelters in the lower levels.  April uses the chaos as a chance to escape from the doctors and to go outside and find Fin.  Considering her extreme injury and the surgery that she just endured an hour or so ago, April is able to walk around and move remarkably well.  April helps a younger patient find shelter, and then she leaves the hospital.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

A tremendous storm surge quickly floods the streets in Manhattan.  The gang returns to Ben’s taxi, but it’s not long until the flooding disables his car.  While sharks are circling the car, the gang climbs onto its roof and uses some rope to swing from a light post and reach safety.  Most of the people succeed, but Ben is attacked and killed by the sharks.  The rope also breaks during Ben’s attack.  Fin then makes a daring move, “running” across a row of sharks to reach safety, just like in the classic video games Pitfall and Frogger.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

The gang enters the hotel where Fin and April were planning on staying.  Fin and Skye go to the roof and use a slingshot to launch flaming containers of propane into the approaching sharknadoes.  This time around the makeshift explosives don’t destroy the sharknadoes as these storms are colder and more powerful than the Los Angeles sharknadoes.

While Fin and Skye were using the slingshot, Ellen and Mora reach the same hotel.  Polly was killed outside when a whale shark landed on her.  Ellen and Mora are quickly reunited with Martin and Vaughn along with Fin and Skye.  The group makes their way back down to the street despite the rising water and sharks.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

Just when all hope seems to be lost, April arrives at the hotel in a fire truck.  Everybody climbs on board and they all ride to the Empire State Building where the last of the sharknadoes are forecast to converge and form a super sharknado.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

The mayor (Robert Klein) of New York City works with Fin, and they come up with a plan to use the tanks of freon at the top of the building to *freeze* the storm instead of blasting it with heat.  The plan is to connect the tanks to the building’s lightning rod, and to have lightning strike the rod, go along the cable, and then detonate the tanks of freon.  It sounds simple enough.  To help Fin fight the sharks, the city gives him a chainsaw, complements of the New York City Fire Department.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

Fin then stands on top of a fire truck and rallies a crowd of people, boosting their spirits to fight the storm and the sharks.  At the end of his speech he uses his chainsaw to cut a flying shark in half.

The gang then rushes to the top of the Empire State Building to put their plan into action.  Skye works on connecting a cable between the freon tanks and the lightning rod, while Fin and April secure the area by killing flying sharks.  Fin uses his chainsaw while April uses a circular saw that has been attacked to her wrist (a parody of Ash’s chainsaw arm from Evil Dead 2 & Army of Darkness).

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

Lightning strikes the Empire State Building just as Skye and Fin finish connecting the cable.  Both of them hold parts of the cable in place to complete a path for the flow of electricity.  The blast of electricity reaches the freon tanks, causing them to explode and blast Skye into the storm.  As the frigid air flows into the storm and greatly weakens it, Skye is killed when her flying body crosses the path of a flying shark.

The super sharknado dissipates and sharks begin landing all over the city.  It’s one final battle as the deadly creatures land and make final attempts to kill people.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

The explosion also blasted Fin into the air.  He flies through the storm, manages to grab his chainsaw, and then he starts killing sharks left and right.  At one point he flies into the waiting mouth of a great white shark and he easily cuts his way out of the shark in a bloody spectacle.  Fin then uses a chain to basically lasso a shark and ride it like a bull back down to the Empire State Building, where the shark is then impaled on the building’s spire.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) - (c) The Asylum

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – (c) The Asylum

Fin and April are again reunited on top of the building.  He then reaches into a shark and discovers April’s severed arm along with the air marshal’s pistol.  Fin uses the pistol to kill the last few sharks falling out of the sky.  He then removes the ring from April’s severed hand and uses it to re-propose to her.  She accepts his proposal and it’s implied that they’ll be married again.

Sharknado 2: The Second One ends with a joyous celebration as the city has been saved from the killer sharks.  Later, a brief scene shows Fin eating a slice of pizza at Vinnie’s restaurant.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Is Sharknado 2: The Second One a good movie?

That’s really going to depend on how well you enjoyed the first Sharknado movie.  If you enjoyed the corniness and sheer stupidity of the first film, then you’ll probably enjoy the second one.  It has all of that and a whole lot more.

Don’t expect to see much improvement with the film’s special effects.  This film was created by the same company that did the first one, and despite the high popularity with Sharknado, it’s still evident that not much of a budget was given to Sharknado 2: The Second One.  *If* the sequel was given a larger budget, it’s apparent that any extra funds were used to pay for the large number of celebrity cameos, as well as the cost of filming in New York City.

While Sharknado 2: The Second One appears to be slightly better quality, the film’s story is weaker as it tends to poke more fun at itself and its ridiculous concept rather than giving an original story as a whole.  You know it’s corny when weather forecasters are talking about “sharks per hour” (instead of inches of rainfall or snow), and nobody really seems to care.

Quint —- “(The Ballad of) Sharknado”

Like the first one, Sharknado 2: The Second One is filled with some incredibly cheesy characters and scenarios.  Some of the actors are just plain annoying while others, such as Judd Hirsch, could have easily had a larger or more important role.  Tara Reid, on the other hand, should never be allowed in front of a camera ever again.

One of the stupidest parts of this movie is that it’s basically a small group of people running around and trying to save a major city.  You don’t see the police department out there fighting sharks.  Nor do you see the National Guard or any specialists from the government.  After the deadly sharknado hit Los Angeles the previous year, there should have been plans around the country in case a second storm like that should ever appear.

But that doesn’t happen.  The city doesn’t seem to care, and it’s up to a handful of people to save the day.

Wow.

Let’s also not forget all of those scenes that have the actors running around the foreground and panicking, but all of the people in the background are just walking and carrying on like they would any other day.  Perhaps none of them noticed that a tremendous sharknado storm was about to wipe out their city.

Sharknado 2: The Second One is filled with so many flaws and cheesy / impossible scenarios that it’s not worth it talking about all of the problems.  There’s simply not enough time.  Nor would it make any difference.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – movie trailer

The bottom line is that Sharknado 2: The Second One was destined to be a corny, made for television film from the beginning.  This one is not as good as the first film, but it still has a few good moments, such as Fin flying through the air and killing sharks with his chainsaw.  This film is going to be most appealing to fans of Sharknado, but that’s probably about it.

one-and-a-half stars

Fin Shepard – “Even the Sharknadoes are tougher in New York.”

———————–

Fin Shepard – “I know you’re scared. I’m scared too. They’re sharks. They’re scary. No one wants to get eaten. But I’ve been eaten. And I’m here to tell you it takes a lot more than to bring a good man down. A lot more that to bring a New Yorker down.”
[cuts a falling shark in half with the chainsaw]
Fin Shepard – “Let’s go show them what it means to be a hero. Let’s go show them what it means to be a New Yorker! Let’s go kill some sharks!”

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