I unapologetically love Piranha 3D. Director Alexandre Aja's mindless gore fest may not be what I'd like to call quality, but it's over-the-top body count, gleefully gimmicky 3D effects, and 100% self-satire made the film (well the second half at least) one of the most entertaining movie-going experiences I've endured. Enter Piranha 3DD, the John Gulager helmed follow-up promising to 'Double the terror and Double the D's'. How could it possibly go wrong?
Boy, where do I start? Piranha 3DD is an unforgivable sh*tfest from start to finish. Everything about the production from the acting, to the camerawork, to the effects just screams LAZY. There is not one single memorable moment in this movie and if you've seen the brief 30-second teaser released about nine months ago, you've seen it all. I swore I would never utter these words as I knew they couldn't possibly be true, but I could have made a better film with my cheap underwater camera in my neighbor's pool.
The sequel picks up two years after the events of the first film and follows Maddie, played by Danielle Panabaker (a.k.a the only likable person in the movie) starting her summer job at her step-dad's (an irritating David Koechner) waterpark. And guess what, he's added an adult pool, where strippers boasting basketball sized breasts do their thing. (Note to filmmakers: that's not even attractive). When the remaining piranhas who survived the intoxication of Lake Victoria make their way into the park it all sets up to be another giant bloodbath.
Only......it isn't......at all. Piranha 3DD has doubled the D's alright, but, compared to the first, it contains a fraction of the gore, an ounce of the humor, and none of the fun. While the first film thrived on it's subtle self-awareness (by that I mean taking it self just seriously enough), the sequel simply goes for the jugular hoping for the same reaction. There's a difference between satire and stupidity, but no one seems to have told John Gulager that. I could give countless examples, but I'll stick with one: Piranha swims into girl's vagina, girl tries to have sex with boyfriend, piranha bites. Need I say more.
The movie attempts to overcome these many many obstacles with a non-stop barrage of cameos and re-appearences. Christopher Lloyd is shoe-horned back in just to re-iterate his entire speech from the first film. David Hasselhoff performs the thankless task of 'self-parody', in this case being a washed-up has-been who tries to feel better about himself by asking kids about his Spongebob cameos. Only Ving Rhames' return has SOME potential, but it all amounts to hearing him say 'punk-ass' about fifty times in his five minutes of screen time. Oh, and did I mention the piranhas themselves are copied and pasted from the first film?
I'm gonna let you in on a little secret. If you have no recollection of seeing this film advertised at your local theater, it's because it received showings in a whooping 90 theaters across the world. Why? Because early reviews and test screenings failed so poorly, hardly any theater chains had the balls to screen it. I watched this movie on freakin' ITUNES. That's how bad it is. It went directly to iTunes where it can be rented for a mere six dollars.
So I think I've done my part. Needless to say, Piranha 3DD is the worst film I've seen this year and many past years. In fact, I'd say it is sitting comfortably in my top ten worst movies of all time. And coming from me, the guy who liked Battleship, that's saying quite a bit. It's one saving grace: Without credits it's only 72 minutes long, but as Roger Ebert once said: "No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough".