Syfy's 'Sharknado 2': What the Critics Are Saying

Will Hart/SyFy
"Sharknado 2: The Second One"

Ian Ziering and Tara Reid come back for the cameo-filled Syfy sequel, also featuring Vivica A. Fox, Andy Dick, Billy Ray Cyrus, Al Roker and Matt Lauer.

Last summer's small-budget, big sensation Sharknado is back. But unlike the original, Sharknado 2: The Second One will make its Syfy debut on Wednesday night with much cult-like anticipation and a stacked lineup of celebrity cameos including Vivica A. FoxAndy Dick, Billy Ray Cyrus, Al Roker and Matt Lauer, in addition to the original's stars, Ian Ziering and Tara Reid

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Screenwriter Thunder Levin told The Hollywood Reporter Sharknado became an unexpected hit because it's a "bizarre mashup title that delivered on the fun of the title." The difference this time around, he says, "was the amount of attention and scrutiny the story process was getting. On the first one, it was, 'Write a movie about a tornado filled with sharks,' and then I was pretty much left alone. On this one, everybody wanted to make sure it was everything it had to be. There was a sense of responsibility in that we had to do justice to the characters, had to keep them consistent, but we also had to provide fans with what they would be looking for." 

Read what the critics are saying about Sharknado 2: The Second One

Newsday's Verne Gay gives Sharknado 2 an F+ for viewers with "any taste" and a B- for Sharknado fans. "The good news is that The Second One often is worse (in a good way) and does boast at least one viral YouTube clip, starring the head of the Statue of Liberty. But it's also more predictable, silly and self-conscious of the legacy — absurd as it might seem to use the word 'legacy' anywhere near a review about Sharknado." He adds, "The Second One is set up as an homage to Airplane!, the great disaster spoof that inspired so many other spoofs. ... There are far too many cameos here — also homage to Airplane!, or maybe just a direct ripoff. ... Most are pointless, a couple tedious and some blatantly serving corporate logrolling."

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Paste Magazine's Jim Vorel says, "This version of the age-old sharknado film subgenre raises the stakes, cranks up the already sky-high ridiculosity factor by a few notches and will make viewers groan both in pain and pleasure, depending almost entirely on their cheese tolerance. ... What really matters is whether the film can recapture even a shred of the careless disregard the last one had for logic and remain shamelessly fun, and the answer is ... sort of."'s Brian Tallerico says the opening scene is brilliant: "Oh, it's not creatively brilliant. It's not well-staged or well-acted or well-anything really. But it's one of the first times I can remember watching something that feels entirely and completely designed to provoke a response on social media. It's brilliant marketing. ... While I kind of love the opening sequence, Sharknado 2 drags on for a large chunk after that and, honestly, doesn't have enough insane action to really say it completely works as B-movie escapism." 

San Francisco Chronicle's David Wiegand says the sequel was "thrown together so carelessly, the crew couldn't even wait for overcast days in New York to shoot location shots. While average New Yorkers go about their day in bright sunlight in the background, the actors seem to be caught in a very small weather front, kind of like Joe Btfsplk, the Al Capp cartoon character who walked around with his own personal rain cloud hovering over his head. ... Usually follow-ups to goofy films like the first Sharknado suffer because the makers are too conscious of the original. In this case, though, they just don't seem to give a shark." 

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Associated Press' Frazier Moore calls Sharknado 2 a "hilarious must-see treat. ... Against all odds, Sharknado 2 has wised up. Though it and its performers teem with conviction — no winking at the audience here — the film is unabashedly awash with fun. And unlike laid-back Cali, New York — always spoiling for a fight — is the perfect arena for dramatic strife, even from killer sharks cascading from the sky." He adds, "the film will sink its teeth into you from its first moments as you join Fin and April on their terrifying airline flight."