Monday, July 15, 2013

Sharknado - 2013

"Sharknado" - 2013
Dir. by Anthony C. Ferrante - 1 hr. 30 min. ?

Official Trailer

by Clayton Hollifield

"Sharknado" is exactly the kind of film that requires either a billion prefaces, or just a shrug and another pull off of your bottle of beer.  Even the movie's poster says "Enough Said," an admission that there isn't much that anyone's going to say about this movie that will change your first impressions about devoting a couple of hours of your life to this concept.  So let's get past the idea that anything I, or anyone else could possibly say about this concept, and get down to the execution.

Fin (Ian Ziering) owns a beachfront bar by the Santa Monica Pier.  This is relevant because California is about to greet it's very first tornado, which has come through the ocean, driving sharks inland, where they start biting the shit out of everything they can find.  Also, the tornadoes pull sharks out of the ocean and into the twister.  When the Angelinos start acting like rain is a natural disaster, Fin decides that he's got to get his ex, April (Tara Reid), and daughter Claudia (Aubry Peeples) to safety.  April is resistant, because that how bitchy ex-wives are when their ex-husbands suggest anything.  The weather escalates, destroying Fin's bar (and other stuff), so Fin, alcoholic barfly George (John Heard), barmaid Nova (Cassie Scerbo), and his buddy Baz (Jaason Simmons) set out to rescue Fin's estranged family anyways.  Plus, sharks are being flung all over the place, and are eating people whole.

There are two things that don't matter about "Sharknado;" how well the plot holds together, and the quality of the acting.  Also, the originality of any of the characters.  There's more than enough originality in putting sharks and tornadoes together to cover all of that.  And I suppose it goes without saying that this is not, in any aspect, a good movie.  There are two things that really dragged down my enjoyment level; Tara Reid, and the overall lack of polish to the film.  I'll give this to Tara Reid, I doubt she had anything to work with, script-wise.  But if I never saw another knee-jerk bitter ex-wife character in anything, ever, I'd consider that a minor life victory.  Since Reid's character is designed to be an annoying wet blanket, quirks like her unusual scratchy voice and one-note acting made me almost instantly want to see her get eaten by a shark.  Or a gang of sharks.  Or whatever you call a bunch of sharks, if not an actual shark gang.  And as much as I hate to spoil anything for you, you're going to have to put up with her for the entire duration of the film (because Fin and April have children together - yes, one's a doofus and the other is a layer of pancake makeup away from the sort of self-absorption that usually is accompanied with a Depeche Mode cassette tape - and those children mean they must end up together FOR ALL ETERNITY).  There's not even an awareness in the film of how awful and annoying April is; there could have been a lot of fun teased out of trolling the audience by having her repeatedly escaping doom in improbable fashion.

As for the look of the film, it's just crappy.  Everything is ridiculously dark, even when there are beach scenes in broad daylight.  I watched the HD broadcast version of the film, and there was pixelation around a lot of the effects (and not even in a cheesy, so bad it's good way).  Director Anthony C. Ferrante kept trying to pass off footage from the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans as shark-infested flooded Los Angeles neighborhoods.  Obviously, a movie called "Sharknado" isn't going to have the visual polish of something like "The Perfect Storm," so maybe just watch this on the smallest TV you have in your house, and start drinking heavily about fifteen minutes before you start this to fuzz up your vision and smooth out the visual problems within.

Again, none of this matters.  The real question is whether this is entertaining (and you have to also consider that, since this was a TV movie, there's zero chance of any real eye-candy, although there were a lot of lingering shots on bikini bottoms in the first ten minutes).  The answer to that is "kinda."  Everything about this screams stupid, so I can't rightfully be outraged when "Sharknado" delivers on that promise.  My intense dislike of Tara Reid's character (and the character's refusal to fill her destiny and become chum) means that scenes that might be passable for other people were negatives for me.  I did love the sheer 'Murica-ness of Baz's solution to the tornadoes (blow them up, if you were wondering).  But when the poster says "Enough Said," it's probably accurate to say that you might get more enjoyment out of taking five minutes out of your day to just ponder the sheer absurdity of the concept of "Sharknado" than you would get out of taking two hours to actually watch the film (and then enduring your inevitable hangover the next morning).  The premise is the draw, but the execution and delivery of the film fails to add anything meaningful to that premise.

And yet, none of that matters because "Sharknado."

1 / 5 - TV

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