There are probably better ways to spend a summer evening than watching Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, but I’ll be damned if I can think of one. In the ranking scale of third sequels, this movie is funnier than Lethal Weapon IV, more logical than Jaws IV, and more believable than Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. It picks up the story five years after last year’s Sharknado 3: Oh, Hell No! where we were left in suspense regarding the fate of Tara Reid’s character April (no way, spoiler-boy, I’mma let that story unspool for you when you see it for yourself). After the first round of Sharknados devastated Los Angeles, the second one brought a hurricane full of sharks to New York City, and the third wave rocked the eastern seaboard from DC to Florida, what more could be left to threaten? Strap on your money belts and your sequined jumpsuits, Sharkadians (I made that up, I claim it!)! We’re going to Vegas! Unfortunately, what happens in Vegas doesn’t exactly stay in Vegas. By the end of this movie, one would be hard-pressed to find a plot of real estate anywhere in the continental US that won’t require sharknado coverage on one’s homeowner’s insurance. For that matter, there will likely be riders for various other types of ‘nados as well. What stands out in all of these movies is the madcap inventiveness, with regards to dispatching murderous airborne ocean predators as well as its use of cameos and pop-culture references. Sports stars, reality show stars, talk show hosts, and D-list celebrities sweep through the movie at a breakneck pace like some kind of cameo-nado. I don’t want to spoil too much for you, dear reader, but prop comic Carrot Top will be your Uber driver this evening, Paul Shaffer will provide musical diversion, a cycloptic Natalie Morales and Al Roker will be your TV hosts, and Vince Neil will appear briefly as a strangely puffy version of Vince Neil (new from Build-a-Bear!). The story makes glancing passes at a dizzying number of pop culture touchstones. Star Wars and the Wizard of Oz are the most obvious. Pay attention, though. There’s a smack of Terminator. A bit of a Baywatch reunion. And bonus points for anyone that catches the expertly-placed line of dialogue lifted directly from Amy Heckerling’s Clueless. But it’s not all cameos. Some surviving members of the cast of the previous movies have united with franchise newcomers to form the core cast. Ian Ziering’s return to his character of Fin somehow manages to make every line of dialogue sound like a Defining Textual Moment of the Script. The Hoff has returned to Hassel us as Fin’s dad Gil. I mentioned Tara Reid earlier, and that’s all I’ll say about that. Cody Linley and Ryan Newman appear as Fin and April’s children Matt and Claudia, respectively. Imani Hakim joins the cast as Matt’s skydiving squeeze Gabrielle. Masiela Lusha runs and jumps around as Fin’s cousin Gemini. But this all pales in the face of the casting of GARY MOTHEREFFIN’ BUSEY!!!! With the release of each new installment, I fully expect this series to… Uhh… Wait. What’s that term for when a series takes things too far and loses its credibility? You know, like when David and Maddie got together on Moonlighting or Cousin Oliver joined the Brady Bunch or when Fonzie went water-skiing in his leather jacket that time on Happy Days? There’s some snarky entertainment industry term for it, but I can’t for the life of me recall it. If my editor weren’t breathing down my neck to get this in, I might be able to find it. I’ll be up all night trying to think of it… The point is, with every installment since the first one, I’ve expected the Sharknado movies to be nothing but train wrecks. And they have not disappointed me one little bit. Glorious, impossible-to-look-away-from train wrecks. It can’t really be denied that such expectations have been continually met for this franchise. I mean, if one arrives for a first date carrying a bottle of cheap bourbon and a box of condoms and gets through the door, it’s a pretty clear indicator of the direction the relationship will take. So, if you opened the door for the first Sharknado and came back for second and third helpings, this movie will most likely be everything you want it to be. If you view the Sharknado phenomenon as an indicator of the cultural downfall of western civilization, this installment will be unlikely to sway your opinion in any way (and you really need to get over yourself). My final word: More of the same (though not in a bad way), but this time with more BUSEY!!! Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.