Film Review: Piranha 3DD
“Welcome to rock bottom” is one of David Hasselhoff’s most memorable lines in this sequel (that nobody asked for) and it’s so juicy that it had to be a plant given the quality of the rest of the film, that’s not just a recoil against Piranha 3DD’s own shamelessly kitschy and gross-out approach (the additional ‘D’ in the title is an indication, if you’ve not been paying attention at this point) but the overall quality. As far as sequels go, it retreads the ground that its 80’s forebears would have equally shamelessly trod before it; this time, the bar is lowered.
Once again, we’re not just talking about the supposed increase in mammary appeal (more on that later) but the overall value of the production. The slim box office of the last Piranha outing means a shaved approach to the action; despite the fact that the film is ostensibly geared towards higher stakes. The film is almost bloodless in comparison to the first’s Private Ryan style teen-feeding frenzy, this is made even more remarkable by the fact that this is set in a water park. The location, the potential of water-slide blood-geysers is never taken advantage of; we’re simply shown rehashed images of panicking victims stumbling around as fish nibble their toes (alongside what is, in all likelihood, stock footage from Piranha 1) and a fat man stomping on a puddle of fresh vomit. As you do.
The film stinks of a straight to DVD quickie, featuring jerky underwater photography and strobing camerawork. The image is often grainy and ugly and the 3D is some of the worst since Clash of the Titans, several shots simply don’t work and you’ll wonder what’s wrong with your glasses. The appearance of cult fave The Hoff is the only thing the film takes advantage of, if only to recreate the slo-mo Baywatch run (a gag which is admittedly old hat even before it takes place). Gary Busey’s cameo is a waste, somebody as nutty as him deserves far madder material to play with and this is ultimately the overriding symptom here: a premise full of empty promises.
Worse than the feeble production values, shoddy 3D and embarrassing waste of talent is the sheer lack of visceral appeal. 3DD’s predecessor out-bosoms and out-bloodies this edition of Piranha pap by several hundred fathoms. Even with the lowest of expectations, it’s acceptable enough to expect this to deliver for the red-blooded gorehounds. What’s the most important thing with bevies of buxom babes on display if you’re going for that market share? Making them sexy, so it’s remarkable that this is about as steamy as a seaside resort in Blackpool (shudder). Awkward, grimy and miserable. Where’s Russ Meyer when you need him?
Piranha 3DD fails to deliver the terror, it fails to deliver the gore and it fails to deliver the D’s. It fails to entertain, to thrill and it fails abysmally to deliver anything sexy. The result is destined for the bargain basement, where it belongs. Bloody awful.