Guilty Pleasure (Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens Review)

Five years after the East Coast was ravaged in ‘Sharknado 3,’ Fin (Ian Ziering) and his family have been blissfully sharknado-free, but now sharks and ‘nados are being whipped up in places (and ways) that are completely unexpected.

Some of you might ask yourselves why this film or even this series actually exists. This series fits firmly within the “so bad it’s good” category and that is one of the biggest reasons for its appeal. It’s not trying to be something it’s not, making it refreshing. It’s very aware of what it is and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a film about a tornado of sharks so it could never be the most serious thing anyway. I can see why people wouldn’t like this but I’ve been a big fan of the series ever since the first film because I just fell in love with its badness. From the terrible acting, to the horrible story, and the awful special effects, I am constantly reminded of the B or C films I enjoy so much.

Being the fourth film in a franchise called “Sharknado”, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that a tornado composed of sharks suddenly appears and wreaks havoc. Now a big part of the series is not asking why something is happening and just accepting things as it provides very little to no explanation. Billionaire tech entrepreneur Aston Reynolds (Tommy Davidson) is about to open his new Las Vegas casino and resort called “Shark World”. Of course this doesn’t go according to plan. Why this particular sharknado appeared isn’t exactly clear but there had to be one at some point.

It had been 5 years since the last Sharknado and the world has now been able to better adapt. Reynolds and his pod technology can control the atmosphere by zapping it somehow with some sort of pulse. The problem with that was that this Sharknado is different in that it couldn’t be controlled by this technology as it managed to absorb whatever it ran into, creating an insert-word-here-nado. This presented some unique challenges through these wild combinations which unsurprisingly made no sense whatsoever. These sharnados also created some great moments where random unsuspecting people would get eaten in gruesome, or at least as far as TV would go, ways. Seeing this just never gets old.

These encounters extended to our protagonist Fin (Ziering) and his company who weren’t worth caring about. They often ran into each other as the sharknado seemingly followed Finn everywhere he went. Their battles weren’t new here but were still fun to watch. Part of this was because Fin was kind of fun to watch. He was still very likeable and charismatic which is still infectious. He was the only character worth caring about as the other characters were not compelling whatsoever. The film’s other subplots were pretty boring in comparison to the sharknado problem.

Being a Sharknado film, expect all the things that come with it, terrible acting, a horrible story, and awful special effects. These are what give the series a particular charm and that is still the case here. The acting here wasn’t that great as everyone came off as very cheesy with Tara Reid’s April being in a league of her own with her trademark non-emotiveness. This all fit very nicely within the framework of the film. The second point has already been mostly established in that the story didn’t make much sense but nor should it as it would not have worked as well. Having the budget it had, the special effect were technically awful, primarily the sharks themselves, but their awfulness just added to the film and made each scene better. Seeing them fight fake sharks is much more entertaining than real sharks.

Overall, this is another terrible entry from an overly terrible franchise but that’s the point. Its badness is its main selling point and it still works here.

Score: 7.5/10

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