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Sharknado (2014)

Believe me when I say that I genuinely went into this film with all the intentions of pulling it apart. After such a miserable and borderline painful experience with the first installment in the wildly over exaggerated 'Sharknado' series, I was less than optimistic about making a revisit to the shark filled 'direct to Syfy Channel' storms. I have to say though, I kinda liked this one. We pick things back up at the end of part one, with our surviving cast members now heavily in the spotlight and on their way to New York City. It's during this flight we first see the glimpse into the absurdity that the sequel has in store for its audience. One thing I will say about this opening action sequence is that I found it to be competently shot, something we didn't see a single scene of in the first film. It became pretty clear to me immediately that this film series had realised its audience and and decided to fully embrace it. Once again, Fin is back played by Ian Ziering, this time fully equipped with the ability to land a jumbo jet and loaded with more one liners than 'Arnie'. It is clear his character is now playing up to the action star tropes he was originally intended for, just in a more spoof like direction. It seem to appear like everyone has taken some acting classes in between the filming of this and the first - most noticeably Tara Reid. I can only assume she must have realised with a sequel being made that this franchise had its interest and she needed to up her game. I'm not saying these are 'good' performances, however they are certainly a vast improvement from the first. Everything feels so much bigger in budget than it's predecessor and for the life of me I can't understand why. The first film was so poorly constructed, I can't seem to imagine why anyone would think it would be a good idea to not only green light a sequel, but to clearly throw a lot more money at it. It is nice to see that the extra budget was used appropriately though, ensuring the practical effects are of a much higher standard and more realistic. The set design and locations are so much bigger in scale and even the weather contrast is better. Although, I do say all of this knowing how low the bar was set previously. The sharks seem to be the only thing that looks just as awful as they did previously. I'll be honest, I'm kind of glad they do as it maintains that B-Movie charm that I love about these SyFy Original creature features. This did everything I wanted from the first, by fully embracing its absurdity and just having fun with it along the way. I think it was vital that the first film got this initial idea so wrong, providing room for these films to not only find their feet in regards to their tone, but to figure out exactly where they needed to be in terms of audience. From the over bloated C-list celebrity cameos, to the integration of the news room scenes that talk about these shark storms like it's a totally normal part of the weather forecast, something just landed for me with this installment. It is by no means a good film and I will never revisit this again, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have fun watching it.



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