Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

***

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No
"One might begin to wonder if the franchise is running out of steam - until an amazing last quarter hour which, even with OTT promises in place, manages to turn all the dials one higher."

After the taut, remarkably cohesive film that was Sharknado 2: The Second One, fans may be a little disappointed by the wayward plotting of much of this film, which feels as if it has been assembled from a string of cute sketch ideas and celebrity cameo opportunities by a timid editor. The sharks themselves don't make as much impact and one might begin to wonder if the franchise is running out of steam - until an amazing last quarter hour which, even with OTT promises in place, manages to turn all the dials one higher.

Ian Ziering is back as Fin, whose heroism in saving New York has been recognised at the highest level. He's about to receive an award from the president (Mark Cuban), which is lucky for the president, as a new sharknado just happens to be heading straight for the White House. Cue monument-smashing to equal the destruction of the last film (Sharknado 4 may have to go overseas as America is running out), and Ann Coulter, playing the vice president, preparing to surf down a shark-covered staircase atop one of the building's most treasured paintings.

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Meanwhile, in Florida, Fin's family are visiting Universal Orlando. Tara Reid is back as wife April, now heavily pregnant, and Bo Derek plays her mother, acting for the first time in her career with a role that really suits her. Ryan Newman joins the cast as April's daughter Claudia, now a teenager, climbing aboard a disaster-themed ride that may be a little more violent that expected as the wind picks up and finned fiends start dropping from the sky. The sharknados are now joining together along the east coast to create a sort of wall of sharks, or 'sharkicaine'. Cassie Scerbo makes a welcome return as Nova from the First Film, who has apparently been watching over/stalking Fin ever since, helping him make the journey to Florida to rescue his family.

In the tradition of Keith Richards being Jack Sparrow's dad and Ron Perlman being Conan's dad, David Hasselhoff is the natural choice for Fin's dad and also very much in his element in this kind of thing, though we're spared the lifeguard jokes. He' the man Fin turns to when all other hope is lost, then man with secret connections in the space programme. Helping us follow events is a series of news clips, and although this doesn't quite measure up to the Today programme's material last time around, and doesn't all translate well for international audiences (ditto the Nascar action), but many viewers will see Kathie Lee Gifford getting eaten by a shark as one of the film's highlights.

The strength of the film lies in its recognition that not much more can now be done with the sharks themselves, but it struggles in the process of transition to a broader narrative. If it can build on the promise of its final act, though, Sharknado 4 will be a treat.

Reviewed on: 22 Nov 2015
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Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! packshot
The heroes of the first Sharknado film are the only hope for the east coast of the US when a huge sharknado starts moving along it.
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