Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!
It's rollercoaster rides & product placement -but Ian Ziering and cameos maintain the chompin' fun.
Clearly the good folk in Sharknado didn’t get Mick Fanning’s message about the best way to thwart a man-eating shark: just punch it in the back a few times.
Anyone would think Syfy had cruelly organised that near-death experience in South Africa this week, just days ahead of the third Sharknado instalment, boisterously titled Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! for no reason in particular.
Since Anthony C. Ferrante’s C-grade telemovie became a cult phenomenon in 2013, not much has changed, except perhaps the budget, the cameos and the cities in peril. Thankfully the tone remains intact. This is bad -or perhaps bad-ass, with incredulous glee.
In the first 10 minutes of the newest telemovie, a shark lands in the marble lap of Abraham Lincoln in Washington DC and the President (Mark Cuban) is shooting falling chompers at the White House, barely minutes after he has honoured Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) for saving New York City. You’ll also hear the movie cliche “Let’s get outta here!” not once but twice. Yep, it’s popcorn time.
This time multiple Sharknados are threatening to join together up and down the East Coast. But a desperate Fin must get to his wife (Tara Reid), daughter (Ryan Newman) and mother in law (Bo Derek) who just happen to be enjoying themselves at Universal Studios theme park in Orlando. Let’s overlook the rapid time it takes Fin to reach them whilst they are boarding rollercoasters and thrill rides, and get to the sharks. After all, we suspended disbelief the moment the fish stayed alive our of water and flew through the air, right?
Along the way Fin meets kickin’ gal Nova (Cassie Clarke), returning from the first Sharknado, who has now teamed up with Mechanic Lucas Stevens (Frankie Muniz) in a modified motorhome that is something between the DeLorean’s flux capacitor and an armoured tank. We’re a long way from Malcolm in the Middle.
There are multiple gags at Universal Studios, including rollercoaster-ridin’ fish, but is it all just a shameless exercise to promote the park? Probably.
The plot also manages to squeeze in the army, Secret Service, NASA, and several crosses from the NBC Today show including Matt Lauer, Kathie Lee Gifford, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie. They are good sports for attempting to pull it all off with a straight face (because they sure can’t act).
The cameos come thick and fast: Michael Winslow, Mark McGrath, Lou Ferrigno, Lorenzo Lamas, Jackie Collins, Maria Menounos, Jerry Springer, Penn & Teller -even George R. R. Martin is in on the act. But seriously, any movie that has the sheer hide to put in a cameo from Jedward is as camp as they come. Blink and you will miss them.
Also in a supporting role is David Hasselhoff as Fin’s father, in the movie’s most ludicrous sequence towards the rear (or is that the bottom?) of the plot. Like father, like son -he plays it for absolute truth.
I’ve noted before that Ian Ziering’s commitment to this role is what turns such nonsense into such fun. Wait for the shot where he emerges shirtless from the water, with ripped abs at the age of 51. Whatta guy.
I wish I could say the same for Tara Reid who looks tired and adds zero to this instalment. Fingers crossed she is out of Sharknado 4 -yes, it’s already confirmed.
Somebody get Mick Fanning a cameo.
Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! premieres 9:30pm Thursday on Syfy.