Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

First we were afraid to go back into the water. Then came Sand Sharks, moving up the beach. With Sharknado, they take to the air.

This is not the first time we have seen flying predatory fish. That honour goes to the similarly entertaining Piranha Part Two: The Spawning, but Sharknado is very much in the spirit of James Cameron's early hit. It's a welcome return to form for Asylum after a string of weak films like 2-Headed Shark Attack and Atlantic Rim, the latter also penned by Thunder Levin (Thunder is his real name and I guess that comes with certain responsibilities). Where those films relied heavily on feeble CGI and characters running around pointlessly, Sharknado pulls out all the stops and delivers one of the best B-movies for years.

Copy picture

Ian Ziering is the appropriately named Fin, hanging out in his local bar when all Hell breaks loose. With a hurricane threatening to strike the coast, he helps the bartender Nova (Cassie Scerbo) close the place up, but when a shark comes crashing through the window, they decide it's better just to leg it. As is proper for the heroes of films like this, Nova has a scar on her leg from a traumatic shark encounter in her youth, and her desire to escape gradually evolves into a desire to fight back, but she'll have to go through much worse before the film is over. Fin, meanwhile, rushes to 'save' his ex-wife ad daughter in a Shaun Of The Dead stylee. His arrival prompts their house to flood shoulder-deep with sea water, which is odd, because its door leads to a level access parking area which is only ankle deep. Still, there's no point in watching a film called Sharknado if you're going to let little things like the laws of physics worry you.

Though this film packs a great deal into its tight running time, the pacing isn't perfect. The scene in which Fin sets out to rescue a party of stranded schoolchildren drags on to the point where we're really longing for someone to get eaten, though the bit with a shark climbing a rope is pretty nifty. As the plot develops, more and more characters turn out to be in need of rescue, with sharks in the streets, sharks popping out of the sewers and, in due course, sharks raining down from above. Somehow, this cunning hurricane/tornado weather phenomenon has made its way across the ocean selectively picking up sharks, so we don't have to waste any time whilst our heroes are assailed by turbot or phytoplankton. Perhaps that's being saved for the sequel.

With the part where the humans take a stand providing some of the silliest moments of all, Sharknado really ups the stakes in terms of ridiculous action sequences, and its side portions of romance and fluffy family values perfectly complement the main dish. There is, as they say, a fine line between stupid and clever, and this film twirls along it like a pro. Definitely worth a bite.

Reviewed on: 07 Aug 2013
Share this with others on...
During a hurricane, swirling winds pick up thousands of sharks from the ocean. By the time they reach land, they're very angry.
Amazon link

Director: Anthony C Ferrante

Writer: Thunder Levin

Starring: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, John Heard, Cassie Scerbo, Jaason Simmons, Alex Arleo

Year: 2013

Runtime: 86 minutes

Country: US


Search database:

Related Articles: