If summer TV has left you desperate for real substance, nuanced performances and sophisticated special effects, well, “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” isn’t going to save you.
But the SyFy channel’s annual exercise in nonsense, airing Wednesday at 9, is as over the top and enjoyably bad as ever. Maybe even more so.
This year, the entire East Coast is threatened by three ginormous sharknadoes which, if they join together, will really make a mess of things.
The film wastes no time before wasting actors as Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) shows up at the White House to receive a presidential medal from the commander in chief himself, played by Mark Cuban. Meanwhile, Fin’s pregnant, one-handed wife April (Tara Reid) is in Florida with her mother (Bo Derek) and her teenage daughter Claudia (Ryan Newman) at Universal Orlando Theme Park.
Why aren’t they at Disneyworld? Because NBC Universal owns the SyFy channel, silly, and the whole movie is like one shark-infested infomercial for Universal Orlando Theme Park. Can’t wait to ride the roller coaster’s shark cars.
The plot sickens, so to speak, as sharks come swirling out of nowhere to munch on many famous faces in cameos. Unfortunately for liberals and admirers of factual journalism, the vice president isn’t on the menu. That’s probably ok, because there’s not enough meat on Ann Coulter to make an appetizer for a guppy. Among the other cameos are Anthony Weiner, Jackie Collins, Penn and Teller, Holly Madison and Kendra Wilkinson. Those who do get the bite include Jerry Springer, Harvey Levin and Lou Ferigno.
Frankie Muniz shows up to play rogue shark hunter Lucas, who becomes a hero as he struggles against considerable odds to push the launch button allowing Fin and shark hunter Nova Clarke (Cassie Scerbo) to take off in a jet fighter to save the world. As Lucas crawls toward the launch button, he’s repeatedly attacked by sharks, losing one leg, then the the other, than one arm, then the other, until nothing is left of him but “Malcolm in the Middle.”
This year’s film is actually better than last year, and, no, I can’t believe I’m saying that either. But when I went to Little TV Critics’ School, I remember some wizened wise guy, with a wreath of cigarette smoke circling his head, tell us that the basis of all criticism is determining what the artist was aiming for and then deciding if he or she got there.
The makers of “Sharknado 3,” including director Anthony C. Ferrante, were aiming to make a terrible movie and have succeeded brilliantly.
Last year’s “Sharknado” was off. It wasn’t that the film jumped the shark, but that the shark jumped the film. It wasn’t as hilarious ridiculous as the first “Sharknado” in 2013. At times, you almost thought the filmmakers were taking themselves seriously.
Fortunately, all of that is behind them this year. Ridiculousness reigns in “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!”