Monday, 4 June 2012

Review : Piranha 3DD (2012)



John Gulager

After the events at Lake Victoria, the prehistoric school of blood-thirsty piranhas make their way into a newly opened water-park.

I gotta admit, I'm one of these lower life forms who got a hefty amount of kicks from Alexandra Aja's PIRANHA remake. (You can read my review right here, troops!) It hit all the B-movie sweet spots, and in the right mindset, and with the right buds, (and beers), it was a shamefully enjoyable throwback to the gory glory days of old. Naturally, when I heard there was a sequel coming down the pipe, I was pleased as punch. A good creature feature is always a fun few hours, and this sequel is directed by the guy behind the FEAST Trilogy, which seems like a perfect fit for the tongue-in-cheek material we're dealing
with here.

Not to mention all this shit :

More gore.
More tits.
More Christopher Lloyd
More Ving Rhames.
David-fucking-Hasselhoff playing himself.
No post-converted 3D eyeball rape-age.
And its called PIRANHA 3DD

'How could this possibly be fucked up?', thought I, in my youthful naivete, 'It's time to round up my bro's and give this babe a seeing to!'. Alas, don;t let the classy title fool you, folks, nor the goodwill that the cast inspires. What should have been a mindless, hilarious exploitation film somehow manages to fall almost completely flat.

 All the elements are in place. A colorful location, lots of T&A, great cameo's, buckets of blood, and an attractive cast headed by the somewhat delicious Danielle Panabaker. Yet it just doesn't gel.

As an audience, we're going into this sort of film with certain expectations; gore, girls and good-times. We're bot looking for Shakespeare, depth of character or a plot driven by intellect. We're looking for huge half-chewed dicks in 3D. Put a smile on our faces, man. Is that too much to ask? I mean, how hard can it be?

Apparently, what PIRANHA made look effortlessly simple is actually something of a chore, as 3DD gamely attempts to recreate the fun-factor of that film beat for beat, yet misses almost every target.

There's a dick-chewing scene that tries to up the ante, yet never even raises a chuckle. There's an opening scene in which a 'Hollywood Name' becomes dinner, yet it has none of the charm of Richard Dreyfuss' scene that came before. There's a final-act bloodbath that lacks anything close to the viciousness and chaos we witnessed in PIRANHA. There are copious tits, but they ain't Kelly Brooks tits. You get the picture.

The verve and sparkle of the original are all but dried up. Theres no sense of a party going on here, whereas PIRANHA felt alive and exuberant. With 3DD, its all about going through the motions.

The special effects are a huge step down too. Now, I know this was created as a straight-to-video movie, but Ive seen far better effects in films far cheaper. The CG is awful, and while in the original it wasn't exactly WETA-WORKSHOP, it served its purpose. Here, it looks very poor. The scenes of in-shot gore are handled with a little more aplomb, but are few and far between. We actually see very little carnage compared to the first film. Look, we all expect horror sequels to be mostly lackluster exercises in bottling lightning twice, but they usually up the gore factor significantly. Its practically tradition. Just give us the fucking gore and we'll keep the pitchforks in the garden where they belong.

What you don't do is spend three quarters of your movie building us up in anticipation to the last act lunacy, and then not deliver on the promise. That's like jerking us off till we're almost over the rainbow, and then getting out before we get off. Don't do it, filmmakers. Its fucking rude!

Not to mention the run-time is extremely short. If you cut off the ten minutes of outtakes that make up PIRANHA 3DD's end credits, the film barely scrapes by the 70 minute mark. Don't get me wrong, it feels far longer, (mostly due to that aforementioned anticipation i was dribbling on about), but when you hit minute 55, and realize nothing has happened, (including a plot), your gonna feel that little old heart of you sink, folks. There'll be no exploding Eli Roth heads on the menu tonight.

On the plus side, there are a few laugh out loud moments, courtesy of Hasselhoff and Rhames. Both a great fun, and do the best with some less than stellar dialogue. Rhames is very funny, and 'The Hoff is game as all hell, sending himself up in high style. Panabaker is charming in her undercooked role as a....girl, and its always nice to see Lloyd do his thing, even if it feels a bit tired this time around.

I wish I could say that there's enough here to keep a pubescent teen entertained, what with all the naked flesh, boobs and bikini's, but to be honest, teens these days have access to far more extreme and effective titillation than they'll find here, (I think its called the 'Interwebs'), so I can't, in good faith, even recommend it to the young and overly horny.

Like most of you, I wanted this to be great. Sadly, its dead in the water, and serves only to illustrate just how much talent, effort and savvy went into making Aja's film. Making trash is easy, making good that takes skill.

3 Virgin-Births out of 10


  1. I wasn't looking forward to this anyway. I suppose THE film of this year will either be "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" or "Paranormal Activity 4" but I'm not expecting much of either anymore. At least the year will end with "Breaking Dawn: Part 2".

  2. Good review Kyle. I thought this movie was so bad and even though I knew what to expect, I felt like they weren't even trying with this one. Thankfully, I didn't even need to go out and spend my money on this crapola.

  3. I need to see THE DARK KNIGHT RISES just to feel some faith in cinema again...dammit.