(The gist: When a movie is deliberately bad, it is hard to judge it by normal film criteria. The filmmakers tried hard to recreate the success of the awful first Sharknado in Sharknado 2: The Second One, and even if they forced it too hard, they still succeeded at entertainment.)
Every month, my friends and I conduct a movie night dubbed the Festival of Fantastic Films (F3). In each session, two contenders face off to present the best worst movie. The movies are judged based on quality (or lack thereof) of story, special FX, acting, and a couple other categories. These viewings generally end up as sheer torture or a laughable session of live Mystery Science Theater 3000. With enough food and/or booze, it is a fun time either way.
We are the kind of people who can appreciate truly awful movies for the entertainment they can be.
I stumbled upon the first Sharknado quite by accident, just channel surfing. However, its exquisite ridiculousness was enjoyable for how awful it truly was. Clearly, I was not the only one who extracted this guilty pleasure out of such a blatantly horrendous movie, as it seemed to become quite the little sensation and spawned a straight to SyFy sequel, Sharknado 2: The Second One.
I believe Sharknado 2 was deliberately worse than its predecessor. The filmmakers definitely took the successes of the first one (it being ridiculous and just bad) and played hard on those for the second. To the point that they almost pushed too hard.
The movie begins with the two main survivors on a plane that is conveniently hit by a sharknado, which is conveniently saved by the last movie’s hero. The first 20 minutes are a cameo apocalypse (from Kelly Osborne to Wil Wheaton to Downtown Julie Brown), which is entertaining enough in itself. Then there are sharks slamming into a plane midair and the complete and utter disregard for airplane physics.
The plot is really incidental. All one need know is that there are two epic sharknados headed for New York and all the contrived dialog and purposefully bad acting to surround it. You will roll your eyes; you will laugh. And you will laugh some more.
Personally, my favorite part of the whole thing was the news reporters, including the cast of the Today Show, reporting and carrying on about these sharknados calmly, as if they were legit and normal news. The weather maps with little shark shapes spinning in little tornados about killed me. For me, as always, it’s the little things.
It is challenging to review a movie that is bad for the sake of being bad, where the lack of quality and failure at all the normal judgment points is the point. At our F3 events, it comes down to entertainment value. Can you enjoy the fact that the movie is awful, or is it so bad that it becomes painful?
In the case of Sharknado 2, the movie is bad. Perhaps the filmmakers even tried too hard to make it bad. However, the entertainment was still there for me. I may have been laughing at how horrendous and stupid the movie was, but I was laughing rather than clawing for the remote just the same.
Plus can you really argue when the movie comes on basic cable? It is not as if I invested at the box office.
Sharknado 2: so bad it is good.