Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens (2016)

(On TV, September 2016) I lasted longer than most, but with Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens I’ve reached the end of the joke as far as the Sharknado series is concerned. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise: it’s in the nature of series to last as long as they don’t dip below a certain quality threshold, even if Sharknado’s said threshold was comfortably lower than most. Here, even the forgiving standards of the series aren’t even met, jumping from Las Vegas to Niagara Falls with plenty of dumb pit stops along the way. The plot’s incoherence seems worse than ever, the celebrity cameos are more intrusive (especially if you’re not a reality TV aficionado), and the low-budget aesthetics feel even cheaper than usual. (Take, for instance, the Gary Busey scenes, obviously filmed away from the rest of the cast even when they’re supposed to be in the same room!) The panache of the first film has degenerated into noisy “-nado” nonsense that the low budget can’t properly execute, and there’s very little joy left to the result. The dumbness has been pushed far enough to go from charm to irritation. Hopefully everyone involved in the series, including stalwart protagonist Ian Ziering, are seeing the writing on the wall as well and should quit. I won’t say “never ever again”, because I may be bored next summer with nothing but Sharknado 5 on the DVR, but making it through Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens was annoying enough that I’m not exactly holding my breath until the next.

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