The number of celebrity sightings in Syfy Channel's Sharknado 2: The Second One is overwhelming.
In fact, there seem to be more D-List celebrities than sharks at some points. Andy Dick. Vivica A. Fox. Subway's Jared. EVERYONE you thought was kind of lame in the '90s is in this movie. And yet it's epic summer television, complementing Shark Week in the most ridiculous way possible.
Sharknado 2 picks up with Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) and April Wexler (Tara Reid) flying enroute to New York. After the plane gets hit with flying sharks, Fin has to steer everyone to safety. It's in this scene that the movie especially excels in the details. My favorite moment: passengers still have earbuds in their ears as the plane's going down, as if listening to Spotify were more pressing for them than flying Great Whites.
April barely makes it out alive, losing her hand in the process (and she doesn't even get to make an appearance on "Live! With Kelly and Michael" for her book How to Survive a Sharknado!). Meanwhile, Fin has to warn everyone (i.e., celebrities you haven't thought about in 20 years) that another Sharknado is imminent.
We're also introduced to a family---Fin's family. His sister Ellen (Kari Wuhrer) and her husband Martin (Mark McGrath) appear to be spending the day in New York City doing the most touristy shit with their children, even if they are apparently NYC residents (son Vaughn mentions his school being nearby at one point). Ellen and her daughter Mora (Courtney Baxter) end up heading to the Statue of Liberty, while Martin and Vaughn head to a Mets game. (Did anyone else think it was kind of creepy the way the parents kept hugging their kids?).
Once Ellen and Mora arrive at Ellis Island, they are met by two other female friends who can only be described as Shark Fodder, since they do not further the plot in any way and since both of them get it---hard. Sharks start circling the island, and you can guess what happens next.
Yet despite turbulent weather and snow, the Mets game miraculously goes on. Martin and Vaughn attend the game, waiting for Fin to meet them there. Also in attendance is Skye (Vivica A. Fox), Fin's high school ex. But soon, the game is canceled due to inclement weather, even though the Mets are winning (that's how you know this is sci-fi), much to the chagrin of Judah Friedlander (yes, Frank from "30 Rock").
Sidebar: I heard that Friedlander was living in his mother's basement in New York after the end of the NBC show, and at the time, I didn't realize that that was a much better fate.
Basically, the movie becomes reuniting the family and getting everyone to realize that this Sharknado thing is a real problem. Highlights include Fin leap-frogging on sharks in order to evade death, a Citi Bike shark chase (and death---Shark Fodder girl No. 2), and Tara Reid's scared face looking somewhere between constipation and confusion.
Eventually the strangely incestuous family is reunited, and Fin and Skye have to head to the top of a building to throw bombs into the storm so they can blow up the sharks (because, as Fin put it, "It worked before!"). At some point, a samurai sword is wielded to combat the sharks, which is still not the most interesting way a shark is killed in this movie (that distinction goes to Richard Kind who kills a shark by swinging a baseball bat and hitting a "home run" at Citi Field).
Meanwhile, through all of this, Matt Lauer and Al Roker offer commentary as themselves on the Today Show, even though we know what's really going through Roker's head.
The film also becomes a strange love letter to New York.
"Let's show'em what it means to be a New Yorker. Let's go kill some sharks!" - actual line in this movie
I think New York is a very resilient city, but I'm not necessarily sure they want to be associated with this. Haven't they suffered enough?
The film gives new cultural significance to what I believe is supposed to be the Empire State Building, with the film culminating when after electrocuting all of the sharks, Fin gets swept into the air and has to impail a shark by riding it into the top of the building. It ends with Fin reproposing to April (Tara and Ian are the new Meg and Tom.)
What did you think of Sharknado 2: The Second One? Was it all that you hoped for? Did you find the celebrity cameos distracting?