There are few fish-based-natural-disaster film franchises in the world, and that is a good thing… because it means Sharknado is the very top of an exclusive mountain.
Admittedly, it’s a mountain of nonsense that revels in its own silliness and, very much like the cinematic franchise, Fast & Furious, it’s at its best when it doesn’t take itself too seriously and, importantly, when the viewer doesn’t either.
Entry five in the soon to end series sees Fin Shepard, played with aplomb by Ian Ziering, return to save the whole planet from a global sharknado event, the likes of which has never been seen before.
Starting with a discovery of a warning from history of a sharknado led apocalypse, Fin is taken away from meeting the Prime Minister in London, whilst April discovers the extent MI6 will go to in order to protect the world. It doesn’t help that Fin inadvertently starts off the events that he’ll end up having to stop – but, he’s a hero, he’s got this.
With London destroyed by a Level 10 Sharknado Event, it’s only a matter of time before the weather front consumes the rest of the world, but Fin, April and Nova are on hand to save the day and save Gil, Fin and April’s son.
With the help of the Hindenberg XP 3000 blimp, our heroes leave England to stop the threat, heading to Switzerland (where we get an escape on skis to The Offspring’s The Kids Aren’t Alright) before we end up in Australia (it’s best not to ask) where April gets a cybernetic upgrade (oh, did I forget to mention she’s part cyborg following her near-death at the end of Sharknado 4?) After that, it’s a global trip to landmarks around the world to piece together the puzzle, save or sacrifice a few celebrity cameos and cut apart a few sharks along the way.
Things just keep getting worse, though, with a nuclear fuelled ball of sharks cutting a swath of destruction across the planet and Gil remaining just out of reach and trapped in a sharknado. Thankfully the discovery of ancient artefacts could end the devastation, if only Fin can figure out the riddle before it’s too late.
It becomes clear that this global catastrophe will end where it all began and it certainly is an epic showdown as Fin suffers losses, the world is reduced to ruins and the inexorable force of nature that is Sharknado continues, unabated… into a sixth, time travelling entry that will be the last.
Ian Ziering and Tara Reid are on top form and perform with a seriousness that adds to their charm, it’s knowingly tongue-in-cheek and it works. Joined by Cassandra Scerbo as Nova, it’s a formidable trio navigating an seemingly endless stream of cameos and pastiches.
James Bond, Godzilla, The Da Vinci Code and Indiana Jones, little is beyond the parody of Sharknado. Throw in the likes of former Page 3 Girl and pop star Samantha Fox, Katie Price, Geraldo Rivera, former male model Fabio, as well as Olivia Newton-John, Star Trek legend Nichelle Nichols, rock star Bret Michaels, skateboarder Tony Hawk, diver Tom Daley, dancer Louie Spence, wrestler John Hennigan and an array of other overacting, tongue in cheek cameos from across all walks of entertainment, including morning television from around the world, and this is an entirely different level of pop culture awareness across the decades and world. Even the dialogue is riddled with silly throw away references – “our advice to Australians, you better run, you better take cover!” – that will either hit home or just seem daft.
Very much like the previous four films, Sharknado 5: Global Warming has a hefty blend of adequate and over-the-top CGI that firmly set this in TV movie territory, and it’s unashamedly excessively used. It adds to the scenery chewing, hammy performances that have made this film series the cult phenomenon that it is around the globe (I kid you not, search for it, go on… cult of Sharknado).
Five films into the franchise and Anthony C Ferrante and Scotty Mullen take Thunder Levin’s Sharknado concept to new heights and know exactly what they’re delivering. It’s a fun, frenzied and fantastical 93 minutes of entertainment.
Sadly, the DVD contains just the film.
So, it’s not a dreadful film if you’re a fan of silly, cheesy TV movies and you will laugh at the outright outlandish moments whilst being caught up in the sheer silliness of it all.
The four star rating is spot on if you’re ready for a film about shark-infested tornadoes threatening the world or have seen the previous four entries in this franchise; take off two and a half stars if Sharknado 5: Global Swarming is the first Sharknado you’ve seen and you’re expecting an avant garde exploration of humanity and its relationship with the environment.
Dir: Anthony C Ferrante
Scr: Scotty Mullen (based on characters by Thunder Levin)
Cast: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid,
Runtime: 93 mins
Available on DVD and digital download now.