These words have been uttered countless times in terrible sequels to terrible movies. But sometimes, very rarely, we get to see this line utilized in a movie where it actually fits, and feels natural. A movie where the story that takes place leaves you baffled, as if what is happening on the screen is just so absurd and ridiculous, that the fact that it’s happening at all defies all logic. And yet “not again” seems like the most appropriate thing that could possibly be said in a situation where a bizarre anomaly takes place not once, but numerous times in a short period. Sometimes any words besides “not again” just won’t capture the essence of the situation properly. Welcome to ‘Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!.’
‘Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!’ is the threequel that everyone demanded after the amazing ridiculousness that was ‘Sharknado 2: The Second One.’ Our story picks up with our series hero Fin Shephard in Washington DC, receiving a prestigious award from The President himself as a “thank you” for all of his help in defeating the Sharknados besieging Los Angeles and New York in the first two films. But the celebration doesn’t last long, as a massive storm is on the rise and a literal wall of Sharknados is forming all along the east coast! Nowhere on this half of the country is safe, as the Sharknados descend upon Orlando, Daytona, and of course our nation’s capital, Washington DC. Can Fin and his rag tag group of friends and family stop the Sharknados from wreaking havoc on the entire nation? Well you’ll have to actually watch ‘Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!’ to find out, but we’re going to give you our thoughts on the movie first.
Much like the first two films in this series, ‘Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!’ is just pure fun, plain and simple. It’s a big gory mess that fully embraces how ridiculous the entire concept of itself is, and that’s a huge part of what makes it so enjoyable. The story, effects, and acting are dangerously cheesy in the best possible way, to the point where you just wish it would never actually end. I mean, the movie opens with Fin and Sugar Ray fighting off a Sharknado alongside The President of the United States, with all of them packing machine guns before finally impaling a great white shark on a massive American flag as “God bless America” plays in the background. And mind you, this is all the opening sequence!
The cast this time around is comprised of quite a few familiar faces from this franchises history, with a few new favorites peppered in to fill out the gaps left by those who didn’t survive to see the end credits of the previous films. Ian Ziering is having a blast returning to his role of the film’s hero, Fin Shephard. He is clearly loving the amount of attention these films have been getting, as he hams it up for an hour and a half. The reason Ian works so well in this role, is that he plays it incredibly straight, so that the insane events happening in the film come across even more ridiculous than they normally would. Tara Reid isn’t seen much this time around, although when she’s on screen she’s sharing it with Bo Derek, who plays her character’s mother. The two of them are a surprisingly good pairing as mother and daughter, with recognizable on screen chemistry. Plus Tara Reid has a robot hand now! That’s cool right?! Ryan Newman plays Fin and April’s daughter Claudia pretty blandly, but it isn’t like they gave her much to work with either so it seems passable.
Other characters Returning to the screen from previous entries include Cassie Scerbo as Nova from the first film (who when we last saw her, had just been rescued from inside the belly of a shark) and Mark ‘Sugar Ray’ McGrath as Fin’s brother in law Martin. Nova’s return seemed a little over the top and she serves little to no purpose beyond being eye candy for most of the film; although the movie will try to imply otherwise. Mark McGrath is enjoyable in his brief time on screen, I just wish we had gotten to see more of him. The only other new characters of any relevance are Lucas, played wonderfully by Frankie Muniz (it’s great to see him getting work!); and Fin’s father Gil (these shark puns are getting out of hand), campily played by David Hasslehoff. This movie is a “who’s who” of C-list celebrities, but movies like this are truly where they shine brightest.
Keeping with the same pattern as pretty much everything else in this movie, the number of celebrity cameos is pretty high up like that of ‘Sharknado 2’, although this time they’re a little less fun and even lower quality celebrities. Its almost like they got most of the good ones already, and aside from a few really choice appearances, they are really scrapping the bottom of the barrel here. Lou Ferrigno and Jerry Springer get some fun cameos, but the majority of the random celebrity appearances either feel forced or completely miss the mark. Thankfully the sharks make sure most of these D-listers don’t last long on screen.
The real stars of this movie are the sharks themselves and all of their wonderful kills. While the sharks have become sort of ‘par for the course’, the kills were amped up a bit more this time. My personal favorite kill of this entire franchise is in this movie, with *SPOILER ALERT* Frankie Muniz getting ripped limb from limb slowly one piece at a time before finally just being a limb less body before he uses his head to hit a self destruct button on a large vehicle. *END SPOILER ALERT*. Its scenes like this that make movies like ‘Sharknado 3’ so enjoyable!
The soundtrack is fun as always, pop punk and surf rock are ruling the day and there are more songs about Sharknados than seems humanly possible! It’s really great to see a genre film like this with a full soundtrack, as many of them don’t even get more than one song licensed for the film.
‘Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!’ Is definitely more of a road trip movie than any previous installments, by but that gives us a lot more opportunities to see the Sharknado in a ton of different places. Some of these scenes feel a little forced (the obviously sponsored Nascar scene comes to mind), while others are stupid fun (like when the Sharknado wrecks Universal Studios Orlando)! The endgame of the film involves launching David Hasslehoff into space to blow up the sharknado from there, and wraps up with our hero jumping into a shark, IN SPACE, and riding it back down to earth through the atmosphere, punching a hole through its stomach and deploying a parachute through said hole to land safely. This is all a thing that happened, and it is all entirely plausible. Also plausible, was Tara Reid’s pregnant character also going up into space on a space shuttle. That totally seems like something a pregnant woman should be doing, right? The whole film ends on a cliffhanger, leaving us wondering whether or not April will live or die (which you can vote on using the hashtags #AprilLives and #AprilLives), and we won’t actually find out the answer til next year when we get ‘Sharknado 4‘.
Overall, ‘Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!’ is a really enjoyable stupid movie. There is just something magical about these Sharknado films that nothing else can quite get right, and these movies definitely benefit from being the only series that has been able to capture this magic. While it isn’t quite as good as the first two, ‘Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!’ is definitely a film worth checking out, if only to see how many D-list celebrities you can count from scene to scene. We cannot recommend this third helping of Sharknado enough!