It’s been a year since the SyFy Channel last forced me to stare into the dead soulless eyes of Tara Reid for 2 hours (relive the magic here!), but as Robert Frost so eloquently told us, “Nothing gold can stay”. I believe he’s also famous for saying, “Bitches ain’t nothin’ but tricks and hos”, but that’s a story for another day. Today – Sharknado 4!!!
So obviously we’re hitching our Shark Train to the Star Wars Express, and looking to capitalize on the success of “The Force Awakens”. This is done mostly by repeating lines from the Star Wars movies and giving Tara Reid a light saber for a hand (really). So, you know –
The movie opens five years after the last Sharknado tried to take down NYC. In case you forgot / don’t care, at the end of Sharknado 3 Tara Reid’s character April Shepard was about to be crushed under falling space debris, and we the viewing public were left to speculate whether she’d live to fight another day. Welp, when the movie starts that question seems to have been answered, as Ian Ziering’s character Fin Shepard is all mopey on his Kansas farm, left to raise the son April gave birth to inside a shark all by himself. There’s a grandma there too, but who cares. This kid – Gil (EYE ROLL) – seems to be a bit of a psychopath-in-the-making, as he’s drawing a family photo that includes his Mom inside the body of a shark. And he is DELIGHTED by it.
I don’t care for Gil.
No matter – Fin is leaving him alone so he can head to Vegas with his cousin Gemini to hang out with his son Matt. He of FLIGHT SCHOOL fame from the first movie. So they get to Vegas and are Ubered around by the scariest thing in Vegas – Carrot Top.
Luckily, he is eaten by sharks after he pulls out only a couple of props.
I should probably explain how the Sharknados have been controlled for the past 5 years – well Tommy Davidson plays a brilliant billionaire named Aston who created a system of, like, pulses? Magnetic pulses or charges or something? That are controlled by giant water tower looking things and that can dissipate Sharknados before they start, I think. All you really need to know is the program is called Astro X, and you KNOW I referred to it as Astro Glide the whole time. They’ve got the best minds working on keeping us safe!
So Fin and Gemini are wandering around waiting for Fin’s son Matt to arrive. Well Matt is SO IN LOVE with planes and flying, that he is currently in the sky above them marrying his fiancee in a cargo jet. Normal wedding shit.
Then a sandstorm hits, and it causes a sand tornado, and that sand tornado starts picking up all the sharks that are swimming around in the shark-themed Vegas hotel that Aston created because he wanted to laugh in the face of Fate. As is tradition in these movies, sharks start flying all over the place and eating everyone. Vince Neil gets eaten, Wayne Newton and his shiny plastic face get eaten, this rando gets eaten by the underrepresented hammerhead shark!:
Matt and his fiancee Gabrielle find jumping out of the plane and starting their new lives together to be difficult when there’s a Sharknado sharing the airspace with them. They get separated in the sky, but after some nonsense with a flying car (only believable when driven by British wizards, SyFy Channel!), Fin is able to get Gabrielle safely to the ground. The two of them and Gemini run to the Treasure Island casino / hotel, where they decide to sail the definitely not-real pirate ship out front through the flooding streets of Vegas to find Matt. The Goonies they ain’t.
While they sail along, other residents of Vegas are fighting back against the sharks too, none more valiantly than this Chippendales dancer:
That’s right, he just bumps a great white shark away with his crotch, and why aren’t we following this guy around for the rest of the movie? His is a story that needs to be told!
Meanwhile, Fin and the girls reunite with Matt and they ditch the boat and take a train to Texas. But the Sharknado isn’t done with them yet – nay! The Sharknado seems to want to follow Fin specifically, like some sort of scorned lover. As the train our heroes are on rockets past the Grand Canyon, the Sharknado picks up boulders, making it now a “Boulder-nado”. Why do boulders get top billing? I’m way more scared of sharks. This “nado” re-dubbing is just setting the ground work for various other “nados” that will be branded later, including: “Cow-nado”, “Oil-nado”, “Lightning-nado” and “Fire-nado”.
The gang gets to Texas and runs to the local Chainsaw Store (yup) to buy Sharknado fight supplies from these assholes:
Everyone fights the Sharknado and then our group continues onto Kansas, I assume because Fin remembered his other son.
But he also has a daughter named Claudia. Claudia is working on the Astro Glide project in Chicago with her grandfather, Mr. Cool Guy himself, David Hasselhoff:
They’re working on an Iron Man-esque suit to fight the Sharknados. But LITTLE DO THEY KNOW that in the same Astro Glide facility, another familiar face is working on a project of their own!!
National Treasure Gary Busey plays April’s father, some sort of mad scientist who is rebuilding her, a la the Six Million Dollar Man. However, his budget seems to be more in the $78 ballpark:
That’s right – April was in a coma for 4 years, then the family assumed she died and had a funeral with no body, and then Gary Busey has been busy zapping her with purple lightning bolts ever since:
April is some sort of android fighting machine now, and her training consists of pulling old-timey cars:
And really poorly shot punching and jumping montages. There’s a very obvious stunt double being used for the harder scenes, but I lost my ever-loving mind when the double was used for a 3 second jog down a hallway. She was just kind of running! Why couldn’t Tara Reid do that herself?? I love it so much.
So April thinks her family is dead, and her family thinks she’s dead. But like, it could be worse – April could NOT have a light saber attachment for her robot hand.
The Hoff and his granddaughter Claudia finally stumble upon the Great April Secret of 2016 and are pretty excited she’s still alive. They want to call Fin and the other and tell them as well, but they decide he should probably see her in person if he’s gonna believe it. And where is he, anyway?
Back in Kansas trying to save his son. So they arrive back at the farm in the midst of a Shark-Boulder-Cow-nado, and dumb stupid Gil runs out of the storm cellar to go hug his Dad. Immediately the group is pulled in all different directions, and Gabrielle – Matt’s new blushing bride that he married like, 12 hours earlier – is eaten by a shark. Matt is distracted by the search for his brother, and doesn’t seem to notice. FOR THE REST OF THE MOVIE. Not once does he ask where she is, or what happened to her, or even seem to remember that she existed. Leading me to believe that he married her just to collect her life insurance payout, and I will see you in court, Matt.
The entire farmhouse is picked up by the force of the ‘nado, and flown through the air and dropped back down in Chicago. It also happens to be dropped on top of the mayor of Chicago, famous crazy person Stacey Dash:
The surviving members of the Shepard clan – Fin, Matt, Gemini and Gil – tumble out of the house and are confronted with the fact that April is alive and half a robot. Gil yells that she’s not his Mom, because his Mom “is a shark not a robot!”, and I bet we’d see that April was hurt by that, if only Tara Reid could act. No matter! Aston the billionaire has an idea of how to stop the Sharknados! Ooops – I forgot to mention, the Sharknado is nuclear now, because they hit a power plant in Ohio or something. The Sharknado has been covering a lot of miles across this great nation of ours, and I assume picking up a hilarious t-shirt as a memento at every stop along the way!
But now that the Sharknado is nuclear, they need the power of water to stop it! (*shrugs* Sure, OK) So Aston gets the Shepard family into his private jet, and they head for Niagara Falls by way of Buffalo, NY!!!
DUDE. I grew up in Buffalo, left to go to school in DC, moved to NYC for a spell and now call LA home. That is the exact reverse path the Sharknado movies have taken – LA, NYC, DC and now Buffalo. What does it mean?!?! Is this the Illuminati trying to get a message to me? Am I going to be the new Mrs. Beyonce?!?!
So Aston and the Shepards fly to Buffalo, where I assume they got wings from Duff’s and drank Aunt Rosie’s Loganberry til they puked. They all head up to Niagara Falls and Aston prepares himself for the dangerous mission:
He gets into his mech suit and jumps into the Falls to try and activate a pulse box that will harness the power of the water or some shit. They lose contact with him after he tells them that the force of the water box dealio wasn’t enough – and I guess he’s dead. So now the Hoff steps in and announces that there’s a backup suit they can use to try again with another water box. Hurry up, Hoff – you don’t wanna drag this plot line out too long, people will start to question the logic of it. Just as he’s about to be a hero, he is swept over the Falls by a gust of Sharknado wind and swallowed by a shark. Well, now it’s up to Finn. He gets into the second mech suit and doesn’t look like a budget Power Rangers villain AT ALL:
He cuts a couple flying sharks up and prepares to jump over the side. But then dumb little Gil – who has been put into a barrel for safety reasons by Matt and Gemini – has gone over the Falls himself and is crying out for help! April tells Fin she’ll go after Gil, because Fin has to set off the pulse box and save the world! So off they both fly, because yeah – April can fly too, I guess:
Meanwhile, Matt and Claudia each get eaten by a shark, and Gemini goes over the Falls while stabbing a shark. April rescues Gil, who finally decides to acknowledge her as his Mom, and they fly to safety. Fin successfully sets off the water thing, and the Sharknado is instantly de-nuclear-ized and un-tornado-ed. (WORDS) Hooray! But just as he saves the day, Fin is swallowed up by a huge shark. That shark then swallows up the shark that swallowed the Hoff, which has just swallowed up the shark that ate Matt, which in turn of course had swallowed up the shark that ate Claudia. These sharks are Russian nesting dolls of sloppy storytelling.
The biggest shark full of the other three sharks drops out of the sky, only to be swallowed up in turn by a giant blue whale. OK SURE. Was the blue whale in the Sharknado all along? Or was it actually chilling in Niagara Falls? I like to think it was on a Maid of the Mist tour boat, and saw an opportunity to kill this entire family with one bite, and sacrificed itself for the greater good.
The whale lands above the Falls right next to Gil, who knows what to do. He takes his Fisher Price Baby’s First Chainsaw and cuts through 5 layers of ocean animal blubber to pull each of his family members out. Everyone is alive except for Fin, who’s not moving. But April knows what to do – she hooks two smaller sharks up to some wires in her control panel and then attaches them to Fin’s nipples. She’s making homemade shark defibrillators!
And Gemini also lived after going over the Falls, because she crawls back over to the family too, and no one acknowledges her!
As they celebrate living through yet another Sharknado, all of a sudden the Eiffel Tower drops out of the sky and onto the ground in front of them. “Nova?!?!?” Fin says, reminding us there was a chick with even bigger boobs than his daughter and cousin in past Sharknado installments, and mercilessly setting up the next movie. Will Sharknados no longer be just an American problem, but a global one? Can we count on international support to fight them in the future?
*Photo Credit: FilmWeb
**Photo Credit: by Jim Ruymen/UPI