It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the fifth installment of the Sharknado franchise, and the series still hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down. While these films may have their detractors, you can’t deny that a loyal fanbase has risen up from the deep over the years, craving more ridiculously over-the-top shark-related fun, and Sharknado 5: Global Swarming is here to deliver.
Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and Cassandra Scerbo reprise their respective roles as Fin, April and Nova as the rag-tag group of shark-slaying survivors is forced to travel the world in order to battle a new Sharknado menace. Facing teleporting storms, mutating sharks and worldwide intrigue, Fin and his family must uncover the supernatural origin of sharknados in order to save the planet from a watery doom.
With a plot like this, I think it’s pretty clear that nearly every story beat serves to indulge Sharknado fans with copious amounts of flying carnivorous fish in new and interesting locations. Sure, there are running themes regarding loyalty, family and even some semblance of an environmental message, but the movie makes it quite clear from the Indiana-Jones-inspired opening that the so-bad-it’s-good special effects and laughably contrived celebrity cameos are the focus of this story.
After all, IMDB does list these films as “comedy” before “horror” and “Sci-Fi”, so you can’t necessarily criticize Global Swarming for not taking itself very seriously. Incredibly cheesy dialogue exchanges like “Man, every time there’s a Sharknado, you’re right in the middle of it. What are the chances of that?”, followed by a snarky “100%,” make it clear that the film series is as self-conscious as ever, and viewers should know what they’re getting into by now.
Nevertheless, our lead characters remain as charming as ever, with the banter between the shark-hunting trio oftentimes being more entertaining than the constant barrage of hungry fish raining from the sky. That being said, the Sharknado franchise has accumulated quite a bit of lore and quirky side characters over the years, so new-comers will probably have a hard time adjusting to certain peculiar aspects of a movie that’s already bizarre enough.
The visuals look about the same as they did in the other Sharknado films, though it’s obvious that they really went all-out with some of the locations this time. Global Swarming definitely lives up to its name as we’re treated to sharks raining down from the sky in London, Sidney and even Rio. Of course, many of these scenes contain some not-so-clever usage of stock footage and lots of set dressing, so you can’t quite forget that this is still a television budget.
Either way, I’ve always felt that you should judge a movie according to what it’s trying to be instead of basing your criticism on your own personal expectations. By that logic, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming is a success. The overabundant cameos and silly kills can get boring after a while (though I admit to having chuckled at quite a few of them), but it’s hard to resist these schlocky charms, even if you’re not a fan of these movies. It might not convert those who have already spurned the series, but Global Swarming is still guaranteed fun for fans of the franchise.
Sharknado 5: Global Swarming will be playing in select Cinemark theaters on November 16th as part of Thursday Nights at The Asylum!