Sharknado 2 was light-years better than its predecessor. Delivering in every key area from the leveled-up CGI effects to the laundry list of celebrity cameos, the sequel to last summer's surprise cult classic was perfection.
As a fan of the original, Sharknado 2: The Second One was everything I hoped for and more. The difference between the first movie and the sequel is that Syfy actually knew that people would watch this one. They filmed the first Sharknado in a same vein that they film all of their movies — under the assumption that very few people outside of Syfy's small, dedicated audience would actually watch it. But they actually spent time on the details of this movie, from including different species of sharks to filming laughably-detailed death sequences.
I'm not alone in this opinion. It seems like everyone watching it last night really enjoyed the movie, not so much for its content but its self-awareness. Sharknado's whole shtick is that it's supposed to be a bad movie. Syfy's business is the deadpan parody of the disaster movie genre; the sequel parodied the parody and did it masterfully.
If the cultural value of the movie is measured in the amount of celebrities who made cameos, then Sharknado 2 is a solid silver coin that Rick Harrison would pay you half-price for. Kelly Osbourne was the purple-haired flight attendant who claimed the title of first gruesome shark death. Judd Hirsch from Taxi drove the taxi, of course. Wil Wheaton was one of the passengers in the plane, and Biz Markie won the night as the deli owner when he casually stabbed a shark and chucked it in a pizza oven.
Sharknado is big business, and it's here to stay.
Much like politicos have the White House Correspondent's Dinner to let loose one night a year, Sharknado premiere night is turning into "nerdprom" for weather geeks. A huge amount of buzz about both movies came from meteorologists and weather enthusiasts — even The Weather Channel got in on the action — but a movie that causes such a stir evokes strong emotions on both sides of the storm. On one side, we have the people (like myself) who went all-in and had a blast making fun of the movie on social media. On the other side, we have the Very Serious Meteorologists who felt the need to constantly post through the movie that they were not, in fact, watching the movie, as if there is no room for fun in the field of meteorology and confirming the suspicions that viewers have about the wound-up nature of their unfriendly neighborhood weatherman.
The fact that Sharknado 2 got so much buzz, so many product placements, and so many celebrity appearances proves that it's here to stay as an annual midsummer event. Sharknado is now the network's cash cow, its very own Spongebob. Sharknado 3 was greenlit long before last night's airing of the second film, signaling Syfy's desire to continue this July tradition for as long as people will bite.
[Images via Syfy]