Got your beverage of choice? Then let’s join Fin Shepherd and April Wexler on their journey deep into the heart of yet another inexplicable weather event with really big teeth.
‘Sharknado 2’ knows its homages
“The Second One” begins with Kelly Osborne as a stewardess on a flight from Los Angeles to New York City. She barely has time to offer a product-placed Coors Light in the hand of a random passenger before the important people appear: Fin and April.
It seems that some months have passed since Fin and April’s blood-smeared kiss at the end of “Sharknado.” In the intervening months, April has written a best-selling
pamphlet book, “How to Survive a Sharknado,” and Fin has developed a lot of angst about being seen as a hero just because he chainsawed his way out of the belly of a great white shark that one time.
By the way, April’s book is totally real:
Finally, one should note that, despite being literally the worst couple that has ever existed, Fin and April are re-engaged.
This is all well and good until Fin begins channeling that “Twilight Zone” episode in which a crazy William Shatner sees a monster on the wing of his airplane. Only in this case, it’s a shark. Many sharks. The plane begins to land in New York, only to fly straight through a storm filled with flying sharks.
Note: This is not a sharknado. The movie isn’t even trying to explain how there are sharks zipping through the clouds at this point. Just accept it, take a drink and move on.
Up in the cockpit, Captain Robert-Hays-from-‘Airplane!’ and his co-pilot talk about eating chicken or fish for dinner (they should have had the lasagna) and totally miss the many large sea creatures flying straight at them. They just think its turbulence and tell the plane full of cameos (Hi Wil Wheaton!) and people who are probably related to the director to stay in their seats.
But the sharks — being sharks — don’t listen.
‘It’s happening again.’
Eventually and inevitably, the shark hits the fan.
Engines go out, sharks squish like bugs on the windshield, people get sucked out into the shark-infested night and particularly well-aimed sharks eat all of the cameos.
Once the pilots are dead, Fin takes control of the plane — which is just what any normal, bar-owning, middle-aged surfer would do. Fortunately for everyone not yet eaten by a flying fish, Fin seems to have been hanging out with his 40-year-old son and taking flying lessons. He lands the plane safely in the sudden daylight of a New York airport.
But not even Fin can save April. The well-meaning but ultimately misguided lady finds herself dangling out the back of the plane and shooting randomly into the sharky night. Most of the sharks survive. The lower part of April’s arm does not.
Thus, Tara Reid gets to sit out about half of the movie! At least she has Billy Ray Cyrus to keep her company.
Aftermath … And some new characters
OK, at this point, a bunch of important characters are introduced. Unfortunately, I missed their names. Therefore, Fin’s bunch of relatives are henceforth to be known as Sister, Sugar Ray, Glasses and Kid. You can figure out who’s who, right?
For some reason, these supposed New Yorkers are doing the tourist thing while waiting for Fin and April to arrive. Sister and Glasses are going to visit the Statue of Liberty, while the boys have a Mets game to attend. There may be some bad blood between Fin and Sugar Ray too, having something to do with Sugar and Sister hooking up.
Since they now have two teenagers, you’d think Fin would be over it by now.
Anyway, Fin doesn’t have time to be over it because he needs to explain to Andy Dick — and not the FAA — how a bunch of sharks ate a bunch of passengers and crew on the plane he just landed. Andy Dick is not impressed. Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan — who were expecting April as a guest that morning — are not impressed. Dr. Billy Ray Cyrus is not impressed. It’s impossible to tell if the overly botoxed nurse is impressed, but she probably isn’t impressed.
Poor Fin. And poor April. She’s missing a hand now. Her engagement ring was on that hand too, which means the whole Fin-April debacle of a relationship is over now, right? Right?!
If she keeps saying dumb things like “It’s like he knew who I was!” about sharks, then Fin is totally justified in leaving his one-handed ex-wife.
The weather report is calling for sharks
Let’s forget about the people who are ostensibly the stars of this film for now and instead focus on Fin’s forgettable family. Out on Liberty Island, Sister and Glasses are joined by two women we’ll call Sharkbait 1 and Sharkbait 2. And Sister finally finds out that her brother was in a shark-induced plane crash. Sister doesn’t watch the news.
Sister calls Fin and is immediately ordered off of Liberty Island for the relative safety of some Manhattan hotel. It’s too bad Fin didn’t watch the weather report — Al Roker’s predictions have the sharky convergence zone hitting Manhattan. Meanwhile, Fin is sent over to Queens to find Sugar Ray, Kid, an inexplicable baseball-loving friend and Vivica A. Fox.
Judd Hirsch drives him, thereby providing true quality to an otherwise forgettable bit of “Sharknado” footage.
Judd Hirsch and Fin make it to the Mets stadium, but the sharknado is already well on its way. Manifesting first as a rain and snow delay, sharks naturally begin falling from the sky within minutes. Fin only has one brief moment of smooching with Vivica A. Fox (Yes!!! Ditch one-handed April! Follow your bliss, Fin!) before it’s time to fend off sharks with baseball bats.
At least the subway is on-time. Because sharks could never show up in the subways …
Considering that the New York subway system floods at the slightest drop of rain, a shark-infested tunnel is literally the most realistic thing “Sharknado 2” has to throw at us.
Well, that and the sewer alligator who gets eaten by a shark.
Within mere moments, sharks attack Fin’s subway train too. The sea creatures eat off the back of the car and the baseball-loving friend and the guy sitting next to Jared from Subway and a busker and …
The subway riders are saved only by Fin’s bat and by Kid hitting an Emergency Stop button that’s not really there! At this point, they all just get a cab.
Sharknado > ‘Shark Tank’
Back with the Ladies of Liberty, the sharks are swarming and the winds are picking up. Sharkbait 1 doesn’t even make it back to Manhattan, but the others last long enough to see one of those “Shark Tank” guys get eaten by a shark.
Then the Statue of Liberty’s head smashes a bunch of things while Sister drives a garbage truck poorly. Actual New Yorkers ignore all of this. Because they’re New Yorkers.
‘This is a twister with teeth!’
While Al Roker and Matt Lauer can’t agree on what to call this massive, shark-filled storm, they do agree that it’s not much fun.
Fin doesn’t think it’s much fun either, especially when he finds out that Manhattan is a bad place to purchase guns, chainsaws or bomb materials. It is, however, a great place to get a slice, and Fin knows a guy.
Do most pizzeria owners have deadly emergency supplies to hand out instead of a pie? For that matter, is there really a “Napalm”-brand lighter fluid? And who stocks super-soakers these days?
The sword thing, on the other hand, I can totally buy. That’s exactly the sort of display a fancy liquor store would have in Manhattan.
Tara Reid and her lipstick exhibit heroism
Remember April? It’s not like anyone actually in the movie does, but it’s maybe a good idea for the audience to recall that there’s supposed to be a heroine here. She’s still in the hospital, which makes sense for a woman whose hand just got bitten off by a shark.
But that’s not going to stop April! No! The woman and her fuchsia lipstick have a score to settle with the sharks and a little flesh wound is far from enough to stop her! Mere seconds after escorting a little girl to the relative safety of Nurse Botox, April grits her teeth in the general direction of some sharks and presumably runs off to do heroic things.
I say presumably because the action shifts back to Fin and Sugar Ray at this point.
Sharks attack and Kid becomes a man
For those of you who question why Vivica A. Fox is in “Sharknado 2,” I point you to the scene in which Fin and his band of shark-avoiding friends and family escape from Judd Hirsch’s taxi. The streets of Manhattan are flooding and the cab can go no further. Only a tow-rope can save the group now!
But Kid is scared. A kiss and a tight embrace from Vivica fix that right up. We are just fortunate that the camera didn’t pan-in on certain areas of the boy’s anatomy in that beautiful moment when Kid became a Man.
It doesn’t go so well for Judd Hirsch. He gets eaten by the sharks, while dropping the rope into the water. This means it’s Frogger time for Fin as he — literally — jumps the shark to safety.
You can check out, but you can never leave
Everyone — except April (who is off grimacing at things) and Sharkbait 2 (who lived up to her name mere seconds before) — makes it to the rendezvous hotel, where Fin and Vivica immediately head to the roof for some reminiscing about why they never got together. They also probably want to fight off sharks. Or something.
2×2 = 5?
If an EF2 Sharknado meets another EF2 Sharknado they can multiply their strength to make an EF5.
Mathematical incongruity aside, “Sharknado 2” makes a few more crucial mistakes. For one thing, it’s cold in New York, so heat doesn’t necessarily end a sharknado. Just trust that this makes sense, OK? The other big mistake is that setting sharks on fire isn’t necessarily the safest idea anyone has ever had.
Fin and his assorted friends and family only barely make it out of the hotel when flooding threatens from below and flaming sharks threaten from above.
But they do make it out. And April is waiting outside with a fire truck.
‘They’re sharks, they’re scary.’
Everyone currently uneaten by a shark in all of Manhattan now must converge on the Empire State Building. There, the mayor of New York is waiting with a pep talk and a chainsaw for Fin. It’s time to blow these sharks out of the sky!
But first, a call to action. Echoing such inspiring words as the St. Crispin’s Day speech in “Henry V,” Fin speaks directly to the heroes who will save their city from the threat of sharks raining from the heavens:
“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 that to bring a good man down!”
And then Fin slices a shark in half with his chainsaw. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a true hero.
April goes all ‘Evil Dead’ on those fish
While everyone else stands around looking awestruck, Fin decides he will climb to the top of the Empire State Building and use lightning to explode Freon tanks. This will presumably destroy the sharknadoes by freezing them.
Since no one has a better idea, they go with this.
Accompanied by Vivica, Fin gets ready to make his final stand. But they have help! In a move that would warm the demon-haunted heart of Ash in “The Evil Dead” films, April attaches a buzzsaw to her stump and joins in the excitement.
In case you missed that last sentence, let me repeat: APRIL ATTACHES A BUZZSAW TO HER ARM STUMP!
It proves to be very important. Less important at this point is poor Vivica, who electrocutes herself while exploding the Freon and then gets cut in two by a flying shark. And that’s it. Kind of a pointless end to a character isn’t it?
But that’s OK. Fin and April both survive, as do the New Yorkers down below who randomly have cars filled with machetes, pitchforks and machine guns. And lighter fluid-filled super-soakers and Kelly Ripa’s high heels and Matt Lauer’s umbrella …
A different sort of proposal
Things are different up in the air. Chainsaw in hand, Fin slashes his way through numerous sharks before riding one, “Dr. Strangelove”-style back to the roof of the Empire State Building. There, lo and behold, Fin finds a shark with a treat in its mouth!
It’s a severed human arm holding a gun! It is, in fact, April’s severed arm, her engagement ring still on a finger.
And as sharks fall from the dusky sky, Fin and April renew their love!