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Sharknado Sharknado 5: Global Swarming
3.5/5
dir Anthony C Ferrante
scr Scotty Mullen
prd David Michael Latt
with Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassandra Scerbo, Cody Linley, Billy Barratt, Olivia Newton-John, Chris Kattan, Geraldo Rivera, Clay Aiken, Samantha Fox, Greg Louganis, Dolph Lundgren
release US 6.Aug.17
17/US Syfy 1h26
Sharknado 5: Global Swarming
Make America bait again: Reid and Ziering

newtonjohn kattan cho
See also:
Sharknado 4 (2016) Sharknado 4 (2016)
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Sharknado 5: Global Swarming More ambitiously referential than before, this sequel spoofs everything from Indiana Jones to Back to the Future, making it a lot more enjoyably nuts than the past few movies. If director Anthony Ferrante had even a whiff of talent, this might have been witty and even tense. But each scene is flattened by his direction, even though the cheesy effects and snappy dialog keep a smirk on our face.

In London for an emergency Nato meeting, Fin (Ziering) is called to Stonhenge by sharkhunter Nova (Scerbo) to see ancient cave drawings nearby showing that sharknados are nothing new. This discovery triggers shark chaos during which Fin and April's (Reid) young son Gil (Barratt) is sucked into the storm, so they get a lift from Dr Angel (Rivera) to a snowy ski run before finding themselves in Sydney, where Dr Orion (Newton-John) helps repair April's cyborg enhancements. But this sharknado has nuclear properties, pinging them to Rio, Rome and Tokyo for a showdown with Sharkzilla.

British fans will enjoy ludicrous cameos from Katie Price, Louie Spence and Tom Daley, plus some crazed destruction involving the London Eye, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, covered by the UK press with typical understatement. The titles even feature a random Monty Python joke. And every cameo comes with its own pun, from David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London) and Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek) to Charo as the Queen and Fabio as the Pope.

As before, Ziering gives an unnecessarily committed performance as the expert whose family is entangled with the mayhem. Everyone happily belts out their insane dialog with gusto. "Now you want logic?" April asks, after a bit of typically preposterous exposition. Later, she cries to Fin, "I'm gonna stop the vortex, you stop the tsunami!" Most performances require little more than shouting this kind of rubbish then staring blankly at whatever insanity the effects team adds in later.

While the narrative makes no sense, the dialog is peppered with hilarious lines that poke fun at the genre and the cast members. Some super-random cameos (Brett Michaels! Tony Hawk! Margaret Cho!) are so stupid that they're amusing. And there's a basic through-line that actually holds the interest, playing on ancient civilisations from the druids to the pharaohs while lampooning Hollywood B-movie history, like a Roland Emmerich movie on crystal meths. Make no mistake, it's a terrible movie. But replacing the screenwriter has made this franchise fun again. Try replacing the director next time.

cert 12 themes, language, violence 10.Aug.17

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© 2017 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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