Starring: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, David Hasselhoff
Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Running Time: 84 mins
Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens is an American film and the fourth in the Sharknado series. Five years on from the last Sharknado, a surprise sand-based Sharknado devastates Las Vegas, only to split in three and threaten the entire United States. However, Fin Shepard and his family are on the case once again.
Last year, I said that the Sharknado franchise was getting better and better with each new instalment. That’s definitely true with The 4th Awakens, and the series has now grown very confident with its insanely stupid identity, but there are flickers that suggest it is running out of ideas, and could be about to head backwards come next year.
Before I get into that, however, let’s talk about the best thing about this movie: the action. Now fully embracing its silliness, Sharknado 4 goes all-out into insanely preposterous sci-fi territory. Not only playing on a variety of species of Sharknadoes, but taking a hugely liberal view on the laws of physics to provide some of the most incomprehensible but hilariously over-the-top action sequences you’ve ever seen.
With a bigger budget, Sharknado 4 does well to put as much action as possible in the story. It starts off with a bang, ends with a bang, and is pretty jam-packed with good, fun action throughout. Anthony C. Ferrante confidently directs some laughably bad CGI sequences, and the entire cast, particularly Ian Ziering, put in some hugely energetic performances to make the action as entertaining as possible too.
Put simply, if you’re on board with the silliness of the Sharknado franchise, you’ll be on board with The 4th Awakens. However, if you’ve not yet got to grips with the more manic moments of the series, and want to see something different, this film really isn’t for you.
Whilst the action is genuinely entertaining, this film falls flat on its face every time it tries to tell an actual story. There is a relatively coherent narrative, which is a step up from the last movie, but the film does try unnecessarily (and unsuccessfully) to bring familial drama and scientific intrigue to fill the gaps between Fin attacking sharks with chainsaws.
Now, I should never be expecting effective storytelling from a franchise like this, but the reason that it’s such a pain to see is because it makes Sharknado 4 a really boring watch whenever there’s no action. Of course, we can’t have non-stop action for the entire runtime, but without decent writing, this franchise is never going to improve beyond its current status. Sure, it’s so bad it’s good, and there are a lot of laughs to be had, but that’s definitely going to tire sooner than later, and that’s why Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens gets a 4.9 from me.