Sharknado 4: The Joke’s Over, We Can All Go Home

Sharknado 4 Poster

Sharknado: The 4th Awakens Plot Summary:

There have been no sharknados in nearly five years thanks to the president of Astro-X’s technology (Tommy Davidson). To celebrate this success he plans to open a shark-themed hotel in Las Vegas. He invites Fin Sheppard (Ian Ziering) as a special guest for the opening — but as luck would have it the ‘nados return, and in big, unexpected ways.

Show’s over folks. You can all go home now.

Photo Credit: Tyler Golden/Syfy
Photo Credit: Tyler Golden/Syfy

Sharknado: The 4th Awakens is terrible. It’s not funny. It’s not fun. Frankly, it’s a complete waste of your time.

Yes, the Sharknado films aren’t supposed to be high art. They aren’t thought-provoking social commentary. This isn’t Shakespeare. This is a movie franchise about tornados with sharks in them.

Yet if you go back to where it all began, I’ve got to admit it — the first film was enjoyable. It was teeming with self-aware campiness, wink-and-nod pop culture skewering, and most importantly, fun. And yes, it did warrant a second film. Sharknado 2: The Second One, took us all by surprise. It was chock full of quick pop culture cameos that caught you off guard. It had tons of cleverly placed “dad joke” puns, and the action was so absurd that you couldn’t help but laugh.

Did it warrant a third movie? It didn’t, but we were all too busy laughing to object. And we probably should’ve.

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! was the beginning of the end for this “franchise.” It felt like there was effort put into half of the film, but the rest felt like the team behind it said, “Oh these people will laugh at anything we do. So let’s just throw stuff against the wall, and see what happens.” The film was a big success, and it was apparent that more movie were to come, and this “they’ll laugh at whatever we show them” mentality would continue.

Photo by: Tyler Golden/Syfy
Photo by: Tyler Golden/Syfy

This fourth installment of the Syfy series proved the joke is over. Outside of a few chuckles, there wasn’t anything terribly funny here. The cameos were pretty lame — mostly Bravo-lebrities, and YouTube stars. Nothing ironic, or witty really. The story is barely comprehensible, and it’s obvious that the writers didn’t care if you understood it or not. It’s Sharknado, why should anything make a shred of sense? As for the pop culture skewering? It’s bad, high school level Star Wars, Wizard of Oz, and Terminator references that seemed to have been picked off the cutting room floor of a bad Leslie Nielsen movie from 1998.

To be fair, the first 15-20 minutes of the film, where Ziering and company have to navigate through Las Vegas battling sharks is the highlight of the film. The best cameos, and celebrity deaths come in this sequence. You get some “hey is that?!” like when Slipknot’s Corey Taylor shows up, and or when Married with Children’s David Faustino turns around when Ziering yells, “Hey, bud!” The Bud Bundy jokes was the most clever thing in this film, which is a shame since the writers have proven, particularly in the second film, they be smart, subtle, and snarky.

Of course there’s going to be a fifth movie. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were four more Sharknado-related film. However, I think the tidal wave of popularity this franchise was riding is starting to peter out. The pop culture relevance of this series is seeing the clock edging toward 14 minutes, 59 seconds. The joke has been told so many times that it’s worn thin, and become unfunny.

If you missed Sharknado 4 on its first run, don’t go out of your way to watch it. You’ll find yourself bored after the first 15 minutes.

Rating: 1 out of 10

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site’s podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites