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Sharknado 2: The Second One (Blu-ray Review)

Sharknado 2Summer blockbusters are always a thing to look forward to.  Big movies are like events to hit up.  Well, the small screen now has its own movie event tradition in the summer.  Sharknado took viewers and social media by storm last July.  A second film was inevitable.  This past July, Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and director Anthony C Ferrante returned for Sharknado 2: The Second One.  This time SyFy was ready and had this thing ready to be the social media viewing experience of the year.  They even named the film from their contest to tweet them your idea for a title.  They went with this one, even though I thought Patton Oswalt’s Shaknadeux was far more fun and clever.  For a third go around, I’d like to throw my idea for it to be called Sharknado! Sharknado! Sharknado! into the basket.

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Film 

Fin and April are on a flight to New York to promote April’s new book that was an account of the original Sharknado attack seen in the first film.  As fate would have it, another Sharknado is making its way to the Big Apple.  But, its not just the city that’s going to need saving.  Fin’s sister and her family have become separated and are needing the ex-surfer to come to their rescue.  This time, its not just one Sharknado, there’s two of them attempting to converge and become something much more deadlier and much more shark’lier.

Sharknado 2: The Second One starts off quite amazingly.  The opening plane action sequence gets thing off to a rip roaring start with thrills and laughs.  Its perfect and really gets you back in the seat of the Sharknado ride and ready to go again.  Unfortunately, while this film is still fun, I’m not quite sure it ever gets itself back up to the enjoyment level this opening moment sets the stage with.  You start off thinking they might actually top the first one immediately, as the plane sequence is possibly the best thing to come from both films.  But what we end up with is seemingly a bit beefed up standard affair with a bigger backdrop and more self realization and cameos galore.

It must be stated that Ian Ziering is fantastic in these movies.  And he really steps it up for the sequel as well.  There’s a perfect relationship between playing it straight and being self aware that comes off flawlessly in his performance.  The man completely commits and gives himself to this material and its pretty awesome.  Tara Reid is fine too, and enjoyable, but we’re pretty much getting Tara Reid here and what you’ve come to expect.  Ziering is otherworldly.  Their new cast members are a mixed bag of fun.  Kari Wuher is solid here as she brings her B-movie expertise to the forefront.  Sugar Ray front-man Mark McGrath is fine, but the combo of the way he’s dressed and his aging makes him look like some creepy grandpa.  Vivica Fox is basically Vivica Fox, except the years don’t look like they’re starting to get kinder.

On top of our main cast getting a little bit more “has been” notable, there are cameos aplenty in the film.  From the obvious like Andy Dick, there’s also blink-and-you’ll-miss-it ones like Will Wheaton (very beginning, as a passenger on the plane for a few frames).  They range from pretty funny, to eye rolling like Subway’s Jared in the subway scene (yok yok yok).  What it all means is that Sharknado has realized in the past year, its popularity and what it was, where the first film had the innocence of thinking it was just some other schlock movie for the SyFy channel.  The first didn’t become a “thing” until it was already finished and the advertisements got peoples’ attention.  I think a lot of the integrity still manages to stay intact, but there is a degree of extra awareness now present.

Sharknado 2 is still quite an enjoyable movie if you were into the first one (and these sort of features in general).  This time around, though, the film understands what sort of phenomenon it has become and there’s a little less genuine “playing it straight” kinda vibe.  Also, as the film goes on, it starts to feel like the whole agenda with these two films is starting to wear down and run out of gas.  Not that its out of gas by the end of the film, but you could sense that they’re definitely going to need to find some new direction for the third one or possibly suffer a bit of a fatigued film.

Sharknado 2: The Second One

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  As good as some of the best modern digitally shot films have to offer.  The image is crisp and sharp.  Detail is pretty great as clothing fabrics and surfaces look terrific.  The digital effects do look a bit obvious but that’s the nature of the beast when it comes to high definition and low budget television affair like this.

Depth: Surprisingly a little bit flat of a picture, but blurriness is only present in backgrounds sparesly.

Black Levels:  Blacks are well balanced and help enrich the image.

Color Reproduction:  Colors pop and prove to be very bold and rich.  The city scenes prove a bit dull, background-wise and the clothing and object colors really light the place up.

Flesh Tones:  Natural and accurate.  Every detail is accounted for.  Wrinkles, cracks, gashes and makeup are all clearly visible in enormous detail.

Noise/Artifacts:  Rather clean.

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: N/A

Dynamics:  From the opening plane sequence, this track roars and buzzes into your living room.  Its pretty awesome.  Sometimes the effects, score, voice sound unnecessarily on top of one another.  Just a part of the craziness.

Low Frequency Extension: The score is enhanced greatly by the subwoofer, hitting some key low notes.  Much of the mayhem gets a boost as well.

Surround Sound Presentation: Some solid ambiance and score coming from the rear.  During chaotic scenes they can be active as well.  The front speakers have plenty of left to right and right to left action going on as well as plenty of appropriately places sounds and volume.

Dialogue Reproduction:  The main film portion with our lead actors is consistent, loud and crisp.  There are varying degrees of volume changes when we switch to cameo “news” programs and the like, but nothing too distracting.

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Extras 

Audio Commentary

  • With Director Anthony C. Ferrante and Actors Ian Ziering and Tara Reid
  • With Director Anthony C. Ferrante, Writer Thunder Levin, Editor Ana Florit, Visual Effects Supervisor Emile Smith

The Making Of Sharknado 2 (HD, 10:41) – A full run look at how Sharknado started, where to take this story and characters and some of the visual effect work.

Chomp: The Evolution Of Sharknado 2 Visual Effects (HD, 4:08) – Focuses on the advancement of the effects from the first film.  It also shows the crew preparing and planning how to shoot scenes with digital effects.

Shark Chum: From The Cutting Room Floor (HD, 8:36) – Deleted and Extended Scenes.

Cameos: I Can’t Believe They Got… (HD, 10:57) – Talks about all the cameos in the movie and how they worked all of them in.

Gag Reel (HD, 5:38)

Trailers – Trailers for other films available from The Asylum.

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Summary 

Sharknado 2: The Second One comes at you with a great picture and video quality.  This release also comes stocked with plenty of extras this time around to keep you busy for a while after the film finishes.  While I don’t think it stacks up quite evenly with the original, its not that far off.  The opening is something of excellence that I think is hard for the film to live back up to.  I’m looking forward to Sharknado 3, but I worry of the possibility of the gimmick becoming a little fatigued or too self aware on this next outing.  No matter, I’ll be there and ready to read the tweets as the cast gets dismembered!

Sharknado 2-Blu-ray

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

2 Responses to “Sharknado 2: The Second One (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Little disappointed that I wasn’t considered for this review…I would have had so much to say.

  2. Eric Ashley

    I echo a lot of the comments in the review. The first one was fun, but this one just seemed to try a bit too hard. Not saying that this wasn’t fun, but it was a different kind of fun – a self mocking and winking at the audience kind of fun doesn’t quite compare to the “straight” tone fun of the original.

    I hope for the inevitable sequel that they change it up somehow, although how you can change up something with this kind of premise to begin with has got to be a challenge.