‘Piranha 3DD’ Review


Film Pulse Score

Release Date: June 1, 2012
Director: John Gulager
MPAA Rating: R

Two years ago audiences and critics alike were pleasantly surprised when they went to go see the remake of the cult classic 70’s flick Piranha.  The film was funny, clever, outrageously violent, and made very good use of 3D technology. Clocking in a very respectable 73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and banking over $83 million worldwide, the film was a sleeper hit. Of course, with the success of the first, a sequel was inevitable, and most people surmised it would not be as a critical or commercial success, but what people didn’t know, was how horrendous it would actually be.

The plot set up of Piranha 3DD is nearly the same as the first- prehistoric piranha go crazy in a lake and kill everyone.  The twist with this installment, is that they invade a water park.  If you find yourself scratching your head, wondering how this could be explained logistically, you’ll still be scratching by the film’s conclusion, because none of it really makes any sense.

But many movie goers don’t really care about silly things like plot when it comes to movies like this.  Some may just want to see some nudity and some violence, two things that are in abundance in Piranha 3DD. As far as gore, there’s nothing new here and with the exception of maybe one scene, all the kills are generic and bland. Regarding the copious amount of nudity, it feels as though at least a third of the film is comprised of montages of topless women, or women in bikinis running in slow motion. While some may argue that this is clearly an exploitation film and that’s what those films do, successful exploitation cinema relies more on the clever and stylistic use of sex and violence, rather than just showing topless women for no reason. There also seems to be a recent trend in these types of films becoming parodies of themselves, something Piranha 3D reveled in.  While there are comedic moments in Piranha 3DD, they are few and far between, and never cause any real laughter, except maybe for how horrible it is.

The majority of this humor is sought after by using cameos by Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, Gary Busey, Paul Scheer, and David Hasselhoff (as himself). Overall, this concept worked in the first Piranha, but fell flat with the second outing.  Most of the cameos were uninteresting and frivolous, however Hasselhoff poked fun at himself several times, which proved to be some of the only enjoyable moments in the movie. Which is a shame, considering the stars of the film, Danielle Panabaker, Matt Bush, and David Koechner, are all decent actors, it’s just hard to give a good performance when you have nothing to work with.

Piranha 3DD is a sad joke on people that pay money to see it, especially since it’s in 3D and costs extra.  Even the most fanatical horror fans like myself, will barely be able to make it through this pile. If only the piranha would have actually jumped out of the screen and bit my head off, then I wouldn’t have had to suffer through such a ridiculous mess.