A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sharknado 2: The Second One is an intentionally goofy sci-fi movie about a storm that makes killer sharks fall from the sky. It's funny, and older teens likely will find it hilarious; parents will enjoy watching along for the mock-serious lines and cameos from '80s- and '90s-era celebrities. Younger or very sensitive children, however, will be terrified and possibly traumatized by the frequent shark attacks that push the limits on prime-time gore. Characters are suddenly and unexpectedly maimed and killed; limbs are bitten off and bloody bone thrust into the camera; a shark jumps out of the water and bites a woman's face terribly; and we see mutilated flesh with lots of blood. Children who are unable to distinguish between reality and fiction and between CGI and live-action film scenes may be particularly frightened of sharks who can seemingly get them wherever they may be, even places nowhere near the water.
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What's the story?
Picking up just after the events of the first Sharknado, SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE is set in NYC with the deadly storm that causes man-eating sharks to fall from the sky. Our hero Fin Shepherd (Ian Ziering) and his doughty wife April Wexler (Tara Reid) are en route to Manhattan when a freak sharknado attacks their plane, causing April's hand to be bitten off by a shark in mid-air. While waiting for her to recuperate, Fin meets some friends for a baseball game in the city, including his brother-in-law Martin Brody (Mark McGrath) and his son Vaughn (Dante Palmenteri), old flame Skye (Vivica A. Fox), and old friend Bryan (Judah Friedlander). Surprise -- a sharknado attacks the ball game! Now Fin must lead his loved ones to safety and find April, his sister Ellen (Kari Wuhrer), and his niece Mora (Courtney Baxter) somewhere in the city.
Is it any good?
In a Rocky Horror sort of "so bad it's good" kind of way, Sharknado 2 is pretty fun in its silliness. Ian Ziering is great when he delivers lines such as "I hate the subway" after a devastating underground attack. There's also a choice scene between Tara Reid and Ziering after her encounter with the hand-eating shark: "That shark! It was like he knew who I was!" Reid emotes. Ziering looks deeply into her raccoon-eyelinered eyes and says, "If he'd known who you were, he would have been running the other way." After all, she is the author of the book How to Survive a Sharknado, which, the screen's helpful chyron tells us, is available at bookstores now.
Yes, Sharknado 2 is very knowing about its cleverness. When cutting away to commercials, Syfy flashes a bumper screen that displays amused tweets from viewers live-blogging the show. But it's all fun enough that it comes off as silly and not smug. If you're the kind of person who enjoys the thought of watching Kelly Osbourne's head get eaten off by a flying shark or Al Roker explaining why a whirling tornado of deadly sharks could really happen, Sharknado 2 is for you.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether the makers of Sharknado 2 are in on the joke. Did they intentionally make a bad movie? Why?
Watch the old Saturday Night Live skit "Land Shark." How does Sharknado 2 take this premise from a comedy show and transform it into the center of a dramatic movie?
Do you recognize any of the actors in Sharknado 2 from any other movies or television shows? Does that affect how you view their performance in this movie? Do you think this is why they were cast in the role?
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