Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015)

Rating: C

Dir: Anthony C. Ferrante
Star: Ian Ziering, Cassie Scerbo, Frankie Muniz, Tara Reid

I’m not sure if this is guilty of trying too hard, or not trying hard enough. Might be a little from Column A, a little from Column B. While the second entry succeeded in building on the loopy premise of the first, exaggerating it nicely for comic effect, and doing a nice job of integrating the celebrity cameos, this seems to think that more = better. Which may be true when it comes to the titular bio-meteorological phenomena, it’s less the case for celebrity cameos, most of which appear to have been plugged in on the day, depending on who was visiting the set. The production values are kinda impressive, with some significant partners, in particular Universal Studios, which seems to be the location for about one-third of the movie.

The rest deals with Fin Shephard (Ziering) and his efforts to get down the East coast from Washington to be reunited with heavily-pregnant wife April (Reid), then on into space with his estranged father, the only place from which the brewing super sharknado – a sharkicane – can be stopped. I’ll say no more, except that you have to love any Wikipedia plot synopsis including this: “In an unprecedented turn of events, the laser beam which purposefully destroyed the sharknadoes, propels the sharks into space. The space shuttle is attacked by sharks.” Unfortunately, it just isn’t as amusing as you feel it ought to be, unless you are dedicated enough to contemporary pop culture and able to identify the stream of celebs, many of whom would be honoured to be called C-list, that stream across almost every scene.

Ziering does his best, and Scerbo, returning after skipping the previous installment, makes a decent impression as a vengeful vixen, now dedicating her life to tracking down and destroying sharknados. There are some amusing moments of shark-related carnage, and a birth scene which certainly is unlike any other you’ve seen. However, this makes for slim pickings when spread over the breadth of an entire 90 minutes, and I can’t help feeling that the series has now… Er… Jumped the shark. Regardless, two billion Twitter impressions can’t be wrong, apparently, with the end credits promising – or perhaps, threatening – Sharknado 4, and giving us the chance to decide whether April lives or dies. If only they would do the same for the entire franchise, we might be in a better place.