Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! Review
Why are we still here? What have we done to deserve more Sharknado?
(As of this posting, I am currently moving to England and setting myself up. Ergo, this review a placeholder until I can get settled in. Regular, fully detailed reviews, will resume September 5th. We now return to our original programming.)
So, I understand why there are more Sharknado movies. That fact does not surprise me. At this point, I've accepted that the yearly shark disaster B-movie will grace my TV for a night of entertainment (our definitions vary). My question is more or less "What else can you do with the concept?" We've had sharks attack once, we've had them attack New York City, and now Washington D.C., Orlando, and of course, space. So... where do we go from here? Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! throws everything it has at the audience, making sure none of it sticks. It's trying desperately to stay relevant in an age of internet memes. The people who still remember tweeting about the original Sharknado are now fossils in internet time.
Here's the thing about the internet, as a genuine resident that has seen some crazy shit on here. Remember for just a second that this year, 2015, was the year where the blue and gold dress was the biggest thing on the internet. Late February, early March, you could not escape the dress debate wherever you went. You wanna know another internet meme from this year? Left Shark. Remember the superbowl Left Shark? Of course no one does. And yet, here is Sharknado, over three years later, still trying to be important and a joke. It's like watching your craaaaazy uncle be funny at the yearly Christmas party, only he keeps telling the same jokes for the last decade. Yeah it still gets a chuckle, but we've heard these jokes for ages.
The actual plot of Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! is that Finn Sheppard is being recognized as a national hero for what he's done in New York. After receiving his award and saving the president, he needs to rush over to Orlando where his family is because another sharknado is forming there. Along the way he meets some new and old friends and decides that he needs to end the sharknado menace once and for all. To do that, he needs to go into space and destroy it with a laser with the assistance of his father, played by none other than the Hoff himself.
And that's the whole plot. I left out barely any details about what happens in the main story. X leads to Y and Y leads to Z. Do you want to know what fills up the time in between the story beats besides shark action? Character moments! Lots of character moments. Finn misses April (his wife), Finn has problems with his Dad, Finn's daughter gets a boyfriend, a jealous old friend appears and stirs up drama. It's boring and tedious. When will terribad movies learn that we're not there to see people have character and development. We're here for whatever makes the movie awful. If it's the dialogue, that's fine, but Sharknado has, and always will be, bad for its special effects and action, not for its dialogue.
Speaking of, we need to talk about the actual sharks in this movie. Because it always comes back to the sharks. I'll be upfront, I usually like the action in Sharknado movies when something is comically over the top with a point. Sharknado 2: The Second One was a brilliant terribad movie because the action was nonstop, crazy, and had a nonsensical reason for doing it. Why does it have an emotional moment where a baseball player talks about his career, only to prove his worth by hitting a home-run with a shark? Because it's stupid, incredible, and had a solid payoff. Everything in Sharknado 2 had a payoff. Sharknado 3 has concepts, but just that. It has scenarios with no payoff. Whoops! Sharks at NASCAR! Why? Because why not?
When the climax happens in space, we expect to see sharks in space, and it's probably the best part of the movie. It's over the top, has solid payoff, and makes the least amount of sense. It's exactly what the audience wanted to see and it does not fail to live up to its potential. However, there is such a thing as going too over the top. Finn is able to get a laser chainsaw while in space.
I think that sentence bears repeating. Finn gets a laser chainsaw to fight sharks in space. Why am I not in love with this concept? Theoretically, I should be all up for it, but I can't shake the feeling that it was there because "Lasers are cool! Sharks are cool! Space is cool! Put them all together! We need the internet to stay relevant!!!" It's trying to do everything possible to be outrageous, but it's losing what made it so good in the first place; that it was a joke. Now it seems like a joke that knows its a joke and is reminding you it is a joke because without you it will die.
I'm always up for a good terribad movie. I have a little list of the movies that are so bad I watch them constantly for sheer amusement. If you want a joyously insane terribad movie, the best one ever is a movie called FDR: American Badass, where FDR decks out his wheelchair with missiles and miniguns to fight the Axis Forces in WWII, only the Axis Forces and secretly werewolves. It's amazing. On that list also is Sharknado 2, a movie I love so much that it was my honorable mention for my Top 10 Best Movies of 2014 list (2014 was a slow year...).
This though? This doesn't even rank close. Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! has as much punch as the original did, which was fine for the original, but not when you're following up on one of the greatest bad movies of all time. The stakes have been lowered in exchange for uneccesary character drama. That's fine for some movies, but not in my killer shark tornado movie. You know how there's a separation of church and state? There needs to be a separation of shark tornadoes and character drama. Who needs it when there are killer sharks in space! Apparently Sharknado 3, and that makes it all the weaker for it.