What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Unless what happens is this.
The new installment of the Sharknado franchise takes place 5 years after Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! There have been no Sharknados in the intervening years, but now they’re appearing again in unexpected ways.
After the first Sharknado became a viral hit, the second film had a better(ish) budget and featured loads of cameo appearances that were largely responsible for carrying the movie. The third installment featured even more ridiculous (and that is saying something) situations than its predecessors, including a pregnant woman being eaten by a shark only to be cut out and rescued after having given birth in the literal belly of the beast. On the scale of ridiculousness, Sharknado 3 peaked. And now that Sharknado The 4th Awakens has rolled around, we have gone over that peak. One might even say we have…jumped the shark.
Prepare for cameos by all of the most popular celebrities of 20 to 30 years ago. Some of these people appear as themselves, but most serve as minor characters or have very small roles. One or two of these cameos even turned out to be actually funny, which was a nice change of pace from the rest of the film. Most of these cameos are old enough that you are not going to recognize half of them if you did not spend your teenage years in the 1980’s or earlier. Even then, you will be shocked to see that some of these actors are still alive.
The subtitle of the film, The 4th Awakens, would lead you to believe the movie would be loaded with Star Wars references. Ehhhhhh, not so much. The opening sequence parodies Star Wars and there are one or two lightsaber references later on, but that is kind of it. Despite the lack of Star Wars-iness, the film is still loaded with references. But for some reason many of those references are older, well-known tropes such as “Come with me if you want to live,” or, “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” Although seriously, in a series that focuses on tornados how did it take four films to get a Wizard of Oz reference in there?
As an attempt to introduce something new, *SPOILERS AHEAD* this film has the sharknadoes combining with other things to become more deadly. Sandstorm + sharknado = sandsharknado. Thunderstorm + sharknado = lightningsharknado. Destroyed nuclear powerplant + sharknado = Nuclearsharknado. Yeah, not too original with the names there. And for whatever reason, the sharknadoes now seem capable of traveling infinite distances. The movie starts out in Nevada but these people end up in Arizona, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, and all the way up to Niagara Falls. *END SPOILERS*
Sharknado 4’s key issue was and was not that it fell in line the previous films. At movie number four, audiences fully expect Sharknado 4 to be absolutely ridiculous. While consistency can be good, we have come to expect that ridiculousness factor to reach who new factors as we go from one film to the next. This movie just did not do that. Yes it was ridiculous, but it was no more ridiculous than Sharknado 3. Furthermore, the popularity of the first film going viral has significantly died down compared to when Sharknado 2 and 3 were filmed. If there was ever a stopping point for the series, this is it.