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‘Sharknado 3’ is another wild thrill ride

Don’t watch “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” alone. No, it’s not that it’s too scary – cartoonish is more like it. It’s just too much fun. So grab some friends to watch the premiere at 9 p.m. Wednesday on Syfy. Set up a “Sharknado” drinking game. Play “Sharknado” bingo. Live tweet it with like-minded fans across the country. It’s the ultimate communal experience for a reason: It’s just too wild a ride to take – and enjoy – alone.

Director Anthony C. Ferrante and screenwriter Thunder Levin, both returning for a third film, clearly made a movie with that in mind. First, they didn’t limit themselves to one sharknado in one city. There are now multiple sharknadoes blanketing the East Coast.

They’ve changed a few rules of the game, too, brought back a character from the original film and added so many hilarious cameos that you won’t be able to keep track. (As a start, look for former Bills’ player Marcellus Wiley, “Housewife” Kim Richards, former politician Anthony Wiener and WWE star Chris Jericho in a comical turn as a rollercoaster ride operator).

When we last met our heroes Fin (Ian Ziering) and April (Tara Reid), they had saved New York City in “Sharknado 2: The Second One.”

As with “2,” our third movie opens with a bonus mini-film, a 13-minute short Ferrante has called “White House Down with Sharks.” Finley Alan Shepard is in Washington, D.C., to get the Medal of Freedom from the president (Mark Cuban) and to become the first member of the Order of the Golden Chainsaw – his weapon of choice – from the mayor of New York (Robert Klein).

It’s a working chainsaw, too, which will come in handy as a sharknado settles right over the White House, setting up a hilarious “Die Hard” send-off with Cuban and Ziering and an over-the-top finale.

Meanwhile, April and her mom (Bo Derek) are in Orlando for the 18th birthday of daughter Claudia (Nickelodeon star Ryan Newman). Fin promises to meet them once he finishes with that pesky sharknado.

But, wait – there’s a sharknado in Orlando, too, and more that threaten to merge into a super sharknado that will make a giant sharknado wall across the East Coast. It’s up to Fin and his family to save the day again, this time with help from Fin’s dad (David Hasselhoff), a former astronaut who lives nearby.

The body count will be higher, the carnage bloodier, deaths more inventive and the one-liners funnier and more absurd. (“You’re playing ninja for two, now,” mom tells pregnant April.)

Best of all – everyone is in on the “Sharknado” joke. Celebrities aren’t afraid to poke fun at their reputations, including Ann Coulter as the vice president (“I feel for the sharks, but they’re wrecking our schools, our hospitals, our roads”) and Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, who just go for it playing themselves.

Nothing tops the finale in what we can call – so not to spoil the fun – the ultimate location. Clearly these guys aren’t afraid to go anywhere, bringing the audience along for the ride which we’ll get to take again in “Sharknado 4.”


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