Written by: Patick Melton & Marcus Dunstan, Joel Soisson, Pete Goldfinger & Josh Stolberg (characters)
Directed by: John Gulager
Starring: Danielle Panabaker, David Hasselhoff and Matt Bush
Reviewed by: Brett Gallman
ďBring me my legs."
Piranha 3DD might have the most clever sequel title ever; it certainly tells an audience where the filmmakersí heads were at (or where they wish they were, perhaps). Plus, like any good sequel, it seemingly has ambitions of going bigger, right down to the bust size. Unfortunately, the title might be the apex of its cleverness, as this follow-up to Alexandre Ajaís minor schlock opus from two years ago canít deliver on any such promises to consistently outdo its predecessor.
One year after the infamous Lake Victoria massacre from the first film, the former Spring Break haven is a ghost town, but everyone wonders if the killer piranha were all really eradicated. Since Piranha 3D made enough money, they have not been; instead, some rogue piranha managed to swim away and lay some eggs inside the body of a dead cow, and they literally get farted out of the carcass to wreck Gary Busey and Clu Gulagerís shit. They then turn their attention to wrecking the summer for a local water park proprietor (David Koechner) who plans to turn ďThe Big WetĒ into an adult water park, complete with strippers. I hope piranha have an appetite for silicone.
Piranha 3DD isnít so much a movie as it is a sloppily sequenced parade of juvenile stupidity (whereas the original was rather immaculately sequenced). Itís technically more of the same, albeit with a lesser quality--the jokes are flatter, the gore not quite as inventive, and the budget tighter (though Hellraiser and Children of the Corn fans would probably kill for a sequel with this kind of money invested into it). Everything about the production screams direct-to-video (despite the fact that it was originally conceived as a theatrical release), and it mostly comes off as feeling like Piranha 3D-lite. It may promise DD cups, but thereís only enough plot and silly moments to fill a B-cup at best.
Thereís definitely a lunkheaded charm to it, and screenwriters Marcus Dunstan, Patrick Melton, and Joel Soisson (apparently Hollywoodís go-to guys for sequels when the original guys canít be afforded) concoct a few inspired moments, most of which have me wondering why they're so fascinated with stuff flying in and out of bodily orifices. At times, Piranha 3DD is awesomely, howlingly bad--there are two sex scenes with absolute whoppers that somehow count as dialogue, and I was often relieved this didnít come to theaters because I would have embarrassed myself by being the one guy in the auditorium laughing Max Cady style at a movie featuring severed cocks and bondage play gone horribly wrong. Director John Gulager at least mostly gets the splatstick tone, especially early on; however, somewhere along the way, Piranha 3DD just begins to sputter out and becomes a rudderless procession of cameos and poorly-staged gore sequences. Say what you want about Aja, but he orchestrated his carnage with grace and wit, plus he didnít skimp on the actual suspense sequences; Piranha 3DD really has none of that, especially once it reaches the climactic water-park sequence that basically amounts to a bunch of extras (and, in many cases, their boobs) flopping around in the background and being attacked by the piranha.
The main characters are also involved, I guess, but youíll find fish food with more characterization than these kids. Danielle Panabaker is the lead, a marine biologist (whose knowledge never comes into play), and the step-daughter to the skeezy water-park owner. Her defining characteristics are apparently a dislike of her stepfather and skanks. Sheís caught between two guys--Matt Bush is the sweet one with the schoolboy crush, while Christ Zylka is the ex-boyfriend that became a douche-chills inducing cop despite the fact that heís probably been cited for 4 counts of date rape. Somehow, a trident settles the score here, probably because it was a one-off joke in Anchorman nearly a decade ago (that is probably the most nonsensical sentence Iíve written in a long time, but cíest la vie, Piranha 3DD).
I suppose there are some more surprises in the way of appearances--Christopher Lloyd returns in a thankless expository role where heís still basically playing Doc Brown with a fried brain, and both Ving Rhames and Paul Scheer return for a fun reprisal of their roles from the previous film (but, again, the big payoff here apes stuff that was cool in movies from years ago). Thatís really the biggest problem with Piranha 3DD: itís a movie thatís trying just a little too hard, as if it were cooked up by AV club kids who had seen the Piranha 3D, plus other stuff like Baywatch, which explains why David Hasseloff wanders playing himself, complete with a slow-motion jog. ďWelcome to rock bottom,Ē he says as he enters The Wild Wet as its celebrity lifeguard, and something tells me he didnít have to ask for his motivation there.
Thatís probably a bit harsh; Piranha 3DD isnít rock bottom, but itís maybe the sediment crusting somewhere above. Thereís not a serious bone in its body, which is a good thing, but there also isnít a brain there either--like a lot of post-Grindhouse self-aware movies, it knows the steps of the dance but not the rhythm. It can boast some squirmy, gross sequences, some impressive gore effects in the way of some mangled bodies, and lots and lots of boobs that bounce admirably, but theyíre all counterbalanced by noticeably bad CGI (the breasts arenít the only thing that are fake!) and a lack of momentum. In the end, Piranha 3DD just feels like a knotted string of dumb and gross sequences that never culminate in anything truly worthwhile. Dimension and the Weinsteins must have seen it as a sinking ship, as its wide theatrical release was abandoned (though it wouldnít have been the worst horror movie in theaters this year!); instead, theyíve dumped it onto VOD services for a limited time before itíll hit Blu-ray and DVD at some point this year. You can even see it in its native 3D if youíve ever had an overwhelming desire to have breasts hypnotically flop about in your face without having to toss dollar bills at a stripper first. I guess it's not a bad way to spend an evening with a 70 minute movie based on a boob joke made by a bunch of boobs. Rent it!
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