Starring: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassandra Scerbo
Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Running Time: 90 mins
The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time is an American film and the sixth in the Sharknado series. After travelling back in time to prehistoric times, Fin discovers he must stop the very first Sharknado to prevent the many catastrophes of the future.
It’s been six years in the making, and we’ve finally reached the end of one of the most bizarre and yet often surprisingly entertaining franchises of recent years. Having seen Fin battle sharks all over the world, this film takes an even bigger leap, sending him and his gang through time as they try to stop any of the Sharknadoes from ever happening.
That may sound like an even bigger and sillier premise than ever before, but I have to say that I did find The Last Sharknado a little disappointing. It’s strange to think that I would have any sense of expectations or standards going into a movie about shark tornadoes, but the way in which the franchise has improved and changed so significantly over the last six years made me hope for something even better for the last instalment.
Of course, the increased budget is one of the things about this movie that isn’t a problem, with the characters’ journey through time complete with a whole range of surprisingly well-produced settings, costumes and more, all the while keeping that homemade, low-budget green screen that helps to keep things a little bit more planted.
In that, The Last Sharknado might be the most impressive of the series, far surpassing the previous instalments in terms of scope and ambition, in a way that’s at times rather entertaining to watch.
However, while that may prove a positive in one regard, I also feel that that’s a part of the film’s downfall. Over the course of this series, the films have increasingly embraced their silliness, playing on the so-bad-it’s-good factor really well on a consistent basis, intending to make you laugh at all the ridiculousness on screen without ever getting too caught up in trying to make a genuinely impressive movie.
This time, though, it feels like the franchise has gotten a little too big for its boots. While it’s by no means the worst of the series, there’s far too much emphasis on characters that we really don’t care about – even after spending six years watching them – with overlong breaks of dialogue that take away from the gleefully idiotic fun of watching flying sharks being sliced to pieces by chainsaws.
What’s more is that the movie takes a move away from the franchise’s basic formula that has served it so well in previous editions. Over the course of the last five films, the premise was simple: a tornado full of sharks is coming, and it’s going to kill everyone. No matter where on the planet the movie took place, that basic premise was always there, and that extreme simplicity was what allowed to make the films at times surprisingly enjoyable, whether it be in an ironic or genuine fashion.
With The Last Sharknado, however, there is the impending threat of a Sharknado, but it’s thousands of years in the future, and that means you don’t have the basic stakes of innocent lives in danger. Instead, there’s too much focus on the characters in this movie, and the film’s finale tries to use its own narrative stakes to grab your attention, rather than the simple threat of the sharks once again, meaning that even when the movie finishes on an explosive note that’s sillier than ever before, it’s simply just not as entertaining when you have to take things a little more seriously, and pay a bit more attention to the actual story.
In the end, I did like parts of The Last Sharknado. Its production quality is really rather impressive when compared to previous instalments, the return of the likes of Ian Ziering means there are still a good few charismatic performances on display, and it does have its moments of blissfully moronic fun killing sharks.
However, as the title suggests, it really does seem that it’s about time that this bizarre franchise came to an end. Moving away from a basic premise that’s worked so well over the past six years, The Last Sharknado is a bit of a mess, failing to grab you in the same way with its own story, and ultimately ending the series on a strangely disappointing note, which is why I’m giving it a 5.5 overall.