“Sharknado: The 4th Awakens” had me wondering how it was possible to top sharks in space being sliced in half by laser swords. The answer is to provide ninety minutes of nonstop action. Despite the Star Wars pun in the title, the latest entry in the Sharknado franchise still takes place on Earth. There are still new ways that sharks can wreak havoc and even more absurd ways to kill sharks. Did you know it is possible to blow up the Grand Canyon? This movie gets crazy in a fun and cheesy way. Prior viewings of the other three Sharknado movies are required to get the most enjoyment out of “Sharknado: The 4th Awakens” as there is continuity between the movies that will make the plot easier to follow. Fans of Sharknado will find a lot to like here.
This movie takes place five years after the events of “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!”. A company has developed a way to stop all forms of tornadoes. I was worried when the camera panned to a research facility as it is always a boring plot device in Asylum movies. Luckily, not a lot of screen time is spent on the research facility. What we do get to see is some Iron Man-like propulsion devices and mech suits that foreshadow some of the crazy weapons that will be seen later in the movie. The movie wastes no time getting to the action, even using a Star Wars crawl at the beginning as exposition. The protagonist is still Finn Shepherd who just seems to have no luck with experiencing good weather conditions. While he is at a Shark themed hotel in Las Vegas a tornado forms. All of the technology developed to stop tornadoes cannot prevent this one. The tornado reaches the hotel and creates a sharknado. This happens about five minutes into the movie and the action does not stop from there.
If there is one complaint I have about the beginning of the movie, it is the opening credits. “Sharknado 3” ended on a cliffhanger that left the fate of one character in jeopardy. The name appears in the opening credits, sort of ruining the mystery. Also, this character was featured in the trailer. It could have possibly been a clone as cloning people does not seem like a far-off reality in these movies, but after watching this movie, I can confirm that it is not a clone. I get why the name has to be included, but considering that continuity is something Sharknado movies try to focus on, I would have thought there would be more secrecy about this character’s outcome.
Once again, there are plenty of celebrity cameos. A quick Google search will bring up a complete and in-depth list, but one cameo that sticks out is Steve Guttenberg. He makes a reference to “Lavalantula” which confirms my suspicion that the universes of Lavalantula and Sharkndo are connected. Ian Ziering’s cameo in “Lavalantula” was not enough proof for me at the time. While on the subject on cameos, it is baffling that Alfonso Ribeiro did not make an appearance. Maybe what I should be wondering is why Alfonso Ribeiro keeps appearing in commercials as a stunt driver for the movie.
Anyways, “Sharkndo: The 4th Awakens” delivers on what makes the other Sharknado movies entertaining to watch, absurd action. Can the magic be repeated with the next installment? I hope so.