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SWIMMING THROUGH SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE

year: 2014
First off, before belatedly delving into SHARKNADO: THE SECOND ONE, let's give some nostalgic credit to actor Ian Ziering. His Steve Sanders from the iconic TV series BEVERLY HILLS 90210 was a real character. As the former bad boy and most popular guy in school, Steve was, as the show began, kicked aside by Brandon Walsh and Dylan McKay, played by Jason Priestly and Luke Perry. One could only imagine West Beverly High when the tricky, dishonest Sanders reigned...

BH 90210
And now Ian's got what any former has-been television star would die for... with a cost. For the SHARKNADO films are considered really terrible. Then again, with so much corny dialogue, cheap CGI and last but not least, flying sharks living up to their own title, the mindless dreck had to be intentional, and has completely paid off (for the SyFy Channel, anyhow).

Beginning with a cross between AIRPORT and mostly AIRPLANE, with a familiar pilot in the form of Robert Hays and the famous William Shatner TWILIGHT ZONE episode NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET being intentionally mirrored, Ziering's Fin Shepard, a former surf champ turned grungy bartender turned accidental hero, has his hands full once again: going from paranoid passenger to reluctant pilot ala Karen Black in AIRPORT 1975 (or Hays in AIRPLANE).

The Movie Poster
From here we venture to a baseball game where more characters, other than the returning Tara Reid, climb aboard: including a lackluster "why on Earth was he cast?" Mark McGrath from the band Sugar Ray and former REMOTE CONTROL hottie Kari Wuhr as well as KILL BILL assassin Vivica A. Fox; the latter having absolutely no chemistry with Ziering's Fin, whom she supposedly shared a past flame.

Ziering rocks
Meanwhile, in the John Heard old-timer role is Judd Hirsch playing a TAXI cab driver. The in-transit scenes are what made up most of the somewhat meandering original: driving around flooded streets while sharks dog the vehicle. Thankfully there's a lot more happening this time around, at all times. SECOND plays cheesy to the hilt, going overboard for the sake of rabid fans who already know the score and want to be tickled silly and vapidly entertained: more NADO than SHARKS while the sky is completely (and literally) limitless.

In that, the masters of movie baggers, RiffTrax, were good and funny but not as perfect as their roast of the original. Perhaps the film itself is so dang loud and busy, any input would be like a garden hose spraying the middle of the ocean. Basically, in a technical sense, the boys needed to be much louder over the constant pandemonium Which doesn't really matter. The movie itself has enough camp value to basically make fun of itself. Maybe that was the intention all along... to make this sequel sublimely self-contained.

CAMP VALUE: ***1/2
TRIVIA: Mark McGrath's name in the movie is Martin Brody, which was Roy Scheider name in the CITIZEN KANE of shark movies, JAWS.
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