All great film sagas have their day, including this one. The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time closes out the franchise as appallingly as ever.
I must confess to not being entirely familiar with the Sharknado franchise, but I can’t imagine that matters. As I understand it, the one-joke premise of a tornado plopping innumerable chintzy marine predators in locations that range from Los Angeles to New York to Las Vegas to outer space lost some of its lustre about ten minutes after debuting on the SyFy channel in 2013. How such a thing became on annual cult phenomenon is anyone’s guess, but thankfully, with The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time, we can look forward to new summer traditions, such as observing how a doomed citizenry deteriorates without schlocky made-for-TV nonsense to distract it.
In the meantime we can attempt to enjoy another entry into the resurging sub-category of “films about sharks” seeing as Jason Statham’s disappointing The Meg did some reasonable business this summer and we’re still in the mood for it. So, in The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time, seasoned hero Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) arrives in an unconvincing prehistoric era thanks to some time travel business that I assume is explained in at least one of the prior films (this is, incredibly, the sixth.) His task is to stop the first sharknado, and he’ll be aided by his long-suffering wife April (Tara Reid), his buddy Bryan (Judah Friedlander), and a fellow sharknado battler, Nova (Cassandra Scerbo). One or perhaps all of these characters have died in previous instalments but, you know, time travel isn’t just for teeing up Back to the Future references.
Such references and a parade of thoughtless Z-list cameos comprise the bulk of the humour in The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time, thus proving that the concept of humour is a nebulous one and that it is, indeed, about time. The various ropey historical backdrops excuse the odd discount dinosaur and some cheerfully anachronistic gags, but really only serve to highlight how little money was spent on the production. And while I know that’s seen as a positive in some quarters, I can’t imagine why. Perhaps some people take it as a commentary on the general ludicrous overspending of Hollywood franchise-filmmaking, but really it’s the entertainment equivalent of laughing at the high-end Michelin-star restaurant from the window of McDonald’s.
Stupidity is often a fine thing, and I’m a tireless advocate for proudly dumb movies. But The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time isn’t just stupid – it’s lazy, uninspired, and dreadfully dull, not energetic enough to entertain even the clearly misguided audience who still go out of their way to watch these things. It won’t be the last, of course. We had two “final” Friday the 13th movies, and three more after that. The same people will gather to watch and will bleat eagerly to be spoon-fed regurgitated slop like baby birds. Donald Trump will sit imperiously on a throne of Mexican bones, and we’ll emerge squinting from the rat mines as Sharknado: The New Beginning is displayed on the glassy face of interminable soulless skyscrapers. And we’ll weep, for we did this to ourselves.
Blimey, I’m going to look pretty fucking stupid if they don’t do a reboot now.