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Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Jumping The Shark While Riding A Shark In A Sharknado...


With Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens I fear those magnificent bastards at The Asylum may have finally jumped the shark.

Even with the bar already set quite low by previous Sharknado fare this was exceedingly excruciating to watch in parts, thanks to some of the worst visual effects ever to grace an Asylum flick.

For some reason it appeared as though the majority of the movie was shot in front of greenscreen, then composited by a work experience intern with no grasp of the technology being used or how to correctly scale the images (this was particularly evident in the climactic Niagara Falls-based finale).

As I flicked on the SyFy Channel last night, I wasn't expecting a documentary or an art house movie, but when the best part of the film is the revelation that April Shepard (Tara Reid) is now a cyborg, saved from the brink of death by her wonderfully bonkers father, Wilford (Gary Busey), that pretty much sets the tone for this two-hour (including commercials) film.

Taking place five years after the events of Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, the world has since been blissfully sharknado free, because science.

This has allowed series star Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) to enjoy a peaceful life raising his young son, Little Gil (Christopher and Nicholas Shone), while mourning the passing of his wife, April.

The 'science', pioneered by Aston Reynolds (Tommy Davidson) and his Astro-X company, has been preventing further sharknadoes from forming.

However, while Fin is on a visit to Las Vegas, the 'science' fails and a sand-based tornado scoops up sharks from a shark-themed hotel (this is the 25-minute pre-opening credits sequence) and the whole nightmare begins again.

There's a running gag though this year's entry into the Sharknado franchise of finding as many different phenomena to add the suffix "-nado" to, and so our heroes end up being confronted by an oilnado, firenado, cownado, bouldernado etc right up to a nukenado.

As usual, there is a legion of celebrity cameos on display - most of which went over the head of this British viewer - and plenty of, often random, nods to other films and TV (e.g. Christine, Terminator, Wizard of Oz, Baywatch, Texas Chainsaw Massacre etc)

There was even a particularly impressive homage to the famous cover of Action Comics #1 (which introduced Superman to the world).

Coming off the back of a mess of random events and poor effects, the ending of Sharknado 4, rather optimistically, made no bones about setting up the next entry in the saga... complete with the return of Nova (Cassie Scerbo), who was sorely missed in this movie.

At the moment the franchise appears to have peaked with the second and third movies, with Sharkando 4 being even worse than the original (if you can imagine such a thing).

A Sharknado film is supposed to be fun, and you could tell that much of this probably was on paper, but it lost so much into the translation into live-action.

Should The Asylum push ahead next year with a Sharknado 5, hopefully they'll put as much effort into the special effects (a key element in such a high-concept production) as they do in securing celebrity cameos.

4 comments:

  1. No mention of the copious Star Wars refs throughout?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Couldn't mention everything ;) And I felt with the subtitle of this 'episode' those were pretty much a given!

      Delete
  2. I love how you say that franchise ever had a peak. It stopped being funny once that first joke wore off. Though that Sharknado funko is the best one they ever made. I will watch when I don't have to pay too much attention. Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you didn't enjoy the previous instalments, I can pretty much guarantee you won't like this one ;)

      Delete

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