With the airing of the sixth and final installment of the Sharknado franchise, I can hear many folks muttering, “It’s about time.” What they mean is they’re glad this silly but popular film series is coming to an end. What they should really be saying is, “It’s about time” we were given another Sharknado movie.
CAUTION: While being “Spoiler Free” plot points are discussed. Enter at your own risk.
For those unfamiliar with the series, let me catch you up fast. The far-fetched premise of each film is that a shark-filled tornado threatens a particular city and/or state. From California to New York, from Florida to the dusty plains of Kansas, nowhere is safe from this toothy weather anomaly. With each film, the storms get progressively worse, and it’s up to Fin Shepherd and his crew to defeat the storms, which they manage to do successfully—until the next time. However, at the end of the last chapter, the sharks finally won and the world as we know it was destroyed, leaving Fin as the sole survivor. At the very end of Global Swarming (Sharknado 5), we see our hero whisked off to another place in time by his time-traveling son, Gil. His mission? To seek out and destroy the very first sharknado. Only by doing that can he save the world and everyone he loves.
The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time picks up where we left off, with Fin exploding onto the scene…right into the path of a bunch stampeding dinosaurs. That’s right, folks. As with every Sharknado film, there are eye-rolling nods to pop culture, and here we have our first: a tribute to Jurassic World, with Fin in the Chris Pratt role. But how is one man supposed to outrun a bunch of panicked dinosaurs and stop the very first sharknado? He can’t, unless he has a little help from his friends. Enter Nova. She…
Wait a minute. Wait just one cotton-pickin’ minute! Nova? Didn’t she die in the last installment?
Time travel, baby. Remember, It’s About Time. And when you travel through time, all things (well, almost all) things are possible. Joining them in their battle against the sharknado is April—
But didn’t she…?
Time travel. Remember?
—flying in on a pterodactyl (or is it a pteranodon?) in a nod to Game of Throne’s Dragon Queen, Daenerys. And this is only the beginning.
Over the course of the next hour and a half or so, we travel through time with Fin and friends as they battle one sharknado after another.
Our first stopover is King Arthur’s court, where we are treated to the first of many cameo appearances. The highlight of this segment is the winner of RuPaul’s All Stars 2, Alaska as Morgana. Also appearing at various periods in time are Twisted Sisters’ frontman Dee Snider, Gilbert Gottfried, Tori Spelling, Marina Sirtis, Jonathan Bennett, and a host of others. As with previous installments, it seems anybody and everybody is dying to get into the action.
And with The Last Sharknado, the action never ends. At least not until the final credits roll. But during that time, you laugh, you chuckle, you groan as the action unfolds before you and you witness impossible death-defying feats and foolish acts over bravery (stupidity?). And you sit there, maybe with a tear in your eye, and you realize that this is it. This is the end. Never again will we be treated to (tormented by?) another sharknado. Whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you. Personally, I think it’s a sad thing.
What? Don’t give me that look. I’m not going sit here and defend the films, claiming they’re the greatest cinema of all time, because they aren’t. What they are, though, is fun. Good, mindless fun that can, at least for a little while, make you forget about the world outside. Admit it. You watched the first one and made fun of it, called it stupid, complained about how you wasted two hours of your time on that piece of garbage. But you know what? You came back for more. Again and again, through four sequels. And now this, the final chapter. You’re here, watching, wanting to know how it all turns out. And that, to me, is the sign of a good, entertaining movie. It gives you a taste, and it keeps you coming back for more. You can lie to yourself and say you’re a glutton for punishment, but deep down inside you know this is a guilty pleasure. But good or bad, you can’t deny that Sharknado has left its mark on pop culture.
And so we bid adieu to Fin and friends.
Or do we?
The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time airs Sunday August 19 at 8pm EDT only on SYFY
-Michael J. Evans