Sharknado 2: The Second One

The Matthew Broderick version of Godzilla had a lot of plot and character problems but its most annoying oversight was actually geographical in nature. The prologue clearly showed that the titular beast was born in the Pacific Ocean, and yet the bulk of the movie took place in New York City... which is on the Atlantic Ocean. So how did a skyscraper sized monster cross from one ocean to the other without anyone noticing? There is no way it cleared the Panama Canal without making any waves. And why it would silently stalk around the tip of South America to specifically attack New York City anyway? I'm guessing that Rio and Miami and the Big Apple all probably look pretty similar to a giant angry lizard.

Sharknado 2: The Second One doesn't quite have that problem, but its biggest loophole is comparable. You see, the first Sharknado took place in L.A., while the sequel takes place in New York. The mechanics of how the shark-filled tornado relocated from coast to coast are fairly straight forward - they are two separate freak weather occurrences that just happened to hit America's two most famous cities. What is less clear to me, however, is why these scaly cyclones seem to be so hell-bent on hitting celebrity-filled areas at the expense of everywhere else. What does flyover country have to do to earn a bit of the wrath of God?

I know that (as with Godzilla) focusing on Sharknado's geographical implausibilities is silly because many of the film's other problems actually have plot ramifications. For example, Sharknado 2 doesn't ever explain how a tornado would know to inhale sharks exclusively, nor does it explain how the sharks manage to stay alive inside the tornado for so long. Furthermore, I don't understand why the sharks are so consistently hungry for human flesh; I would imagine that being tossed around like cement in a cement mixer would be bad for the appetite, even if you are nothing more than an eating machine. And of course we can't gloss over the fact that this film is trying to tell us that there are two ways to tame a tornado - throw homemade bombs into the eye of the storm or freeze its outside using electrified Freon - even though neither of those possibilities jibes with common sense.

But while those are valid concerns they are also fairly easy to wave away. Why are there no dolphins in the Sharknado? Because this isn't called Dolphinado. Why are the sharks so interested in chomping on human flesh and so disinterested in trying to return to their normal aquatic surroundings? Cause sharks are gonna shark. And yeah, the "bombs stop tornadoes" idea seems dumb, but I'm not a meteorologist so I'm not going to pretend that I know what can and cannot kill a tornado. All of those ideas are definitely half-assed, but they still pale in comparison to Sharknado 2's biggest bit of bullshit: there is no reason for the world's worst weather events to be exclusively interested in attacking iconic locations. Simply put there is no way in hell a flying shark gives a fuck about Brooklyn. 

Then again I might be misunderstanding the Sharknado's motivation. Maybe it isn't trying to destroy America's entertainment capitals; maybe it is just trying to destroy Fin Shepard, the former surfer who stopped the first Sharknado. After all, New York was having a nice sunny day until Fin's plane hit New York's airspace, but once that happened suddenly there was a sharkening going on. 

This revenge hypothesis might sound preposterous - after all, how would a mass of swirling atmospheric conditions be able to pick out a specific person on an airplane, even if that person happened to have a window seat - but it is a possibility that cannot be ruled out. You see, Fin's wife April makes eye contact with an airborne chum-chewer right before it swallows her hand, and something in its glance lets her know that this was a personal attack. If April's gut feeling is true, then the island of Manhattan might have been mere collateral damage in the eternal battle of Fin versus Nature...

Enh, I don't really buy it. While there is an established cinematic tradition of seemingly psychic sharks seeking revenge on the people that killed their families, I have never heard of a tornado that lusted for justice. In fact, strong winds are generally not credited with possessing the level of sentience it would take to have a thought at all, much less the level of intelligence it would take to plan a future action based on a past occurrence. But then again, a Sharknado is obviously a lot more powerful than your average stiff breeze. It might be possible that all the sharks that are swarming in the tornado's tummy have pooled their smarts to form some sort of mega-mind... But even if they had wouldn't it still be pretty dumb? Ten thousand pennies still doesn't add up to a particularly big chunk of change.

Of course the real answer to my complaint is obvious - the reason why Sharknados hit New York and L.A. and nowhere else is because our cultural elite are so navel gaze-y that they think that there are only two cities on the entire planet that matter. (Yes, I know that calling the people who make SyFy channel movies the "cultural elite" is a bit dubious but work with me here.) I generally get kind of mad when I see a work of art (...again: work with me here...) that marginalizes most of the country, but this is an instance where I think us flyover-people should actually feel grateful for being excluded. After all, isn't comforting to know that aberrant weather patterns aren't going to drop man-eating monsters onto your doorstep any time soon? Those selfish bastards can keep their cronuts and their Donald Trumps and their Sharknados to themselves for all I care...

(That said: if they do decide to loan us Godzilla for awhile that would be cool. I still want to see him in the flesh someday even if his last couple of movies have kind of sucked.)

Winner: Draw

Sharknado 2: The Second One on IMDB