Fins in Funnels: The Sharknado – Franchise Part V
March 10, 2018 was one of the craziest days of my life. They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting different results? Not so. True insanity is watching all five Sharknado films in one day.
Sharknado 5: Global Swarming
Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Number of Beers Consumed: 6
As darkness fell upon Austin, I settled in to watch the fifth and last* Sharknado movie titled Global Swarming. I was six beers in, had a slight headache and was a little gassy. Time to hydrate.
This one was what I would expect if Raiders of the Lost Ark, Monty Python and Rick Steves had an orgy and birthed a film. We open with Nova’s return who, as usual, is attempting to science. She unearths ancient petroglyphs in a cavern underneath Stonehenge. These sharnados are an ancient force that has plagued the annals of mankind. She calls upon Fin to help her Indy out an artifact that helps defeat the nados in some way. Even by the end of the movie I can’t tell you how it helps. It looks like a shark fin. So there’s that. It is called the Harness of Dukawaka. Sigh…
This film is a journey around the world. Clearly the budget was larger than ever. The first third takes place in London. Now, I’ve never been to London but I am pretty sure there are actors there. But no, let’s mostly cast really bad non-English actors and let them butcher the entrails right out of that accent. The Queen of England is played by Charo. That gives you an idea of the caliber of talent to expect here. They incorporate some actual Brits but I have nary a clue who they are. I need to get out more.
As the story trods on, we get to visit havoc on Australia, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, and Egypt. Each step of this sharky brick road brings with it some eye rolling references and pop culture rip offs. The writers must have gathered around a copy of The Big Book of Cliches with a giant highlighter.
On par with the rest of the franchise, the plot is a bit confusing. Fin’s son, Gil, is gifted a helmet that makes sharks think he is one of them. He is swept into a nado and disappears for most of the movie. Thank god because that kid is annoying as hell. The plot revolves around Fin, April and Nova trying to rescue him and save the world. Nova belongs to a covert operation of women called the Sharknado Sisterhood. Always top heavy and adorned in leather, these fearless females are tackling our toothy terrors on a global scale. The entire runtime is a hodge-podge of landmark and monument destruction featuring local celebrities from each dot on the map.
The April storyline is pretty fun. Being a bionic superhuman, she puts on quite a show. In one scene, she becomes a human helicopter in order to create suction that brings the sharknado closer so they can rescue Gil from the vortex. At least something out there is still attracted to Tara Reid. In Sydney, she gets all fucked up and is reconstructed by Olivia Newton John, emerging bigger, better and stronger. However, she also gets a makeover and looks like a Spice Girl vomited on a melted Barbie. By the end of this franchise, that poor thing has died about five or six times. She is a big part of the finale of the film. I won’t give that away but just know it is very…cerebral.
My favorite part of the movie is in Japan. Nuclear waste has been absorbed by the nado and it emerges as a mass organism, a radioactive blob of sharks. It proceeds to destroy Tokyo. That’s right. Sharkzilla.
There is room left for another one of these movies.* The ending really drives home the point that this franchise no longer has much to do with sharks. And also, nothing is above getting blatantly ripped off.
There’s plenty of snort-laugh moments throughout. As cheesy as aging actors delivering predictable dialogue can be, it still roundhouse-kicks you right in your nostalgic face. Just draw the blinds and wallow in the shame of laughing along with this travesty of a film. It will be our little secret.
The action is completely unrealistic, the plot is full of holes, and the science is straight out of a badly drawn coloring book. Nothing new to see here. But if you have made it through the first four, you have to finish what you started. Even if you end up sucking your thumb and trembling in the fetal position on your couch. Not that I did that. Just saying.
So now I close my serial review of the Sharknado franchise*. I will always look back fondly on this day. I shall wear this feat like a badge of honor, a testament to my self-perceived bravery to tackle all these films in one sitting for no reason and because nobody asked me to. My head held high, I will move on to reviewing other sharksploitation masterpieces such as Ghost Shark, Sharkenstein and Shark Exorcist. Get excited.
See ya next time!
*This is not the last Sharknado movie. It was at the time but I will have the “pleasure” of reviewing the sixth installment soon. Oh boy.