Before we even get started, I’ll say this. This article is a review in the same way that Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens is an earnest attempt to make a good movie. Which is to say, the world loves the Sharknado movies because they are wonderfully terrible. I do too. So, I’m just going to take this movie at face value — my expectation was that I’d see low-rent insanity, and that’s exactly what I got.
If you didn’t watch the movie, watch the trailer now for a wee taste, then we’ll get into it.
The Sharknado movies have always lived and died on viewer’s willingness to embrace nonsense science masquerading as plot, terrible dialogue and laughable special effects. Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens doubles down on these elements — and many others, including cameos and pop culture references. Some of this works out, other elements, less so.
We rejoin Fin (Ian Ziering) living with his kids in Kansas, and under the belief that April (Tara Reid) is dead. There’s a corporation that’s using gadgetry to suppress storms, so the world has been sharknado free for five years. But, I think we all know it’s a foregone conclusion that the reprieve won’t last. And indeed, when the storms arrive, they really arrive. This time out we sandnados, firenados, oilnados, bouldernados, even a ‘nado of some stripe that goes nuclear and begins to zap people into nothingness on the slightest contact.
Elsewhere, April is alive, but ignorant of her family’s survival. She is training with her father (Gary Busey) and has somehow acquired The Force, a lightsaber and Tony Stark technology. Don’t ask me, I don’t know. I also don’t know the logic behind the character’s movement around the States as they attempt to survive and maybe even save the world. It’s all pretty status quo, really. As are the cameos — as always these are so frequent that you could create a lethal drinking game based on them, but none are particularly memorable this time out.
However, Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens does distinguish itself in two ways. This installment is loaded with quality pop culture references including: “It ain’t Texas without a chainsaw massacre,” “Sharkburg, right ahead,” and “I’ll get you Fin Shepard and your little chainsaw too.” And then there is the world’s first shark-human matryoshka (I’ll save you a Google, a matryoshka is a Russian nesting doll). You read that correctly. A shark eats a human, is eaten by another shark which eats another human, and so on for what seems at least five layers. To quote a clever friend, “it was like some kind of giant shark turducken.”
And if that doesn’t sum up the fourth installment of Sharknado, well — nothing will. It’s positively terrible, you must watch it.