‘Sharknado’ Returns Tonight, And Here’s The Kind Of Madness You Can Expect

It is happening again!

There’s a storm coming, and it is literally filled with sharks.

After rocking TV viewers and social media users last year, Syfy returns to the “Sharknado” well tonight with a sequel, “Sharknado 2: The Second One.” (Tragically, it is not titled “2 Sharknado, 2 Sharknadorious.”) If you know nothing about “Sharknado,” then all you need to know is that it features tornadoes filled with sharks, and no one but Steve Sanders from “Beverly Hills 90210″ is able to stop the storming shark chaos.

Here’s what else you need to know about “Sharknado 2,” based on what critics are saying:

The “Second One” Story
“How do you top a movie in which its lead character escaped from the inside of a giant shark? Take it to the other coast. Fin (Ian Ziering) and April (Tara Reid) have become quasi-celebrities after the insanity of ‘Sharknado.’ April even wrote a bestselling book about it. The two travel to New York City and, well, it happens again, this time with Vivica A. Fox, Kari Wuhrer and Mark McGrath in supporting roles.” — Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

Crazy From The Start
“In 27 years of watching movies, I’ve never been so certain I was watching a dream sequence as I was during the opening scene of ‘Sharknado 2.’ It had every seeming stylistic hint — a jumpy Fin (Ian Ziering) and his wife April (Tara Reid) flying into New York on a dark and stormy night, as Fin obsesses about his apparent shark-phobia and splashes cold water on his face in the airplane bathroom. Incredibly blatant parodies of ‘The Twilight Zone’ as Ziering proclaims that he sees a shark outside ‘on the wing of the plane!’ A cameo and clever little ‘Airplane!’ reference with the casting of Robert Hays as the jet captain. And the loss of a major character’s ENTIRE HAND in the mouth of a shark. All of this happens within the first five minutes.

“So yeah, I hope you can forgive me for fully expecting the sequence to end with Fin jerking awake in bed, traumatized by his previous experience battling shark-filled weather systems in Los Angeles. But no! As it turns out, the opening is all too gloriously real.” — Jim Vorel, Paste Magazine

The “Sharknado” Has Become Self-Aware
“The original film erupted as a social-media and pop-culture phenomenon, mostly celebrated for its unwitting awfulness. It was a throwback to drive-in movies of 50 years ago that you would have ignored while you and your date put your attention elsewhere. A would-be blend of ‘Jaws’ and ‘Baywatch,’ it was funny, but never seemed to be in on the joke.

“Against all odds, ‘Sharknado 2′ has wised up. Though it and its performers teem with conviction — no winking at the audience here — the film is unabashedly awash with fun. And unlike laid-back Cali, New York — always spoiling for a fight — is the perfect arena for dramatic strife, even from killer sharks cascading from the sky.” — Frazier Moore, AP

No “Sharknado” Should Have This Much Lauer
“For all the famous faces who pop up — including the ‘Independence Day’ tandem of Vivica A. Fox, as one of Fin’s high school chums , and Judd Hirsch, as a helpful cab driver — the pair that really stands out is ‘Today’s’ Matt Lauer and Al Roker, who occupy almost as much screen time as the principals, as they explain the ‘sharknado’ threat on air. While the first glimpse might make them look like good sports, the repeated visits merely underscore the impression that there’s practically no limit to the silly stuff Lauer will do, provided the asset in question (in this case, Syfy) is part of the overarching NBCUniversal umbrella.” — Brian Lowry, Variety

It’s So Bad, It’s Good
“Syfy had a couple of ways to go here. The obvious way was to make the sequel worse — which is to say ‘better’ — by adding even more low-camp, more ineffably awful dialogue, more utterly clueless performances and at least one killer shot to exceed ‘Sharknado’s’ most memorable scene, in which Fin chainsawed his way out of a great white.

“The good news is that ‘The Second One’ often is worse (in a good way) and does boast at least one viral YouTube clip, starring the head of the Statue of Liberty. (Poor Lady Liberty.)” — Verne Gay, Newsday

You can bear witness to the second coming of “Sharknado” tonight on Syfy at 9 p.m. ET/pT.

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@roundhoward