Much can be said about Piranha 3 DD in one statement: In the first one, the secret big star in the opening scene was Richard Dreyfuss. In this sequel, the big star in the opening scene is …Gary Busey. Yeah, just not the same, is it?
Back in 2010 there was this remake of the 1978 film Piranha, and at the time one might have wondered why the Hell such a film would be remade at all. But low and behold, I was taken by it’s quasi tongue-in-cheek tone, its’ over the top gore, and great, fun, performances. It was, indeed, lots of fun. It must have been felt by the cast and crew to be a lightning in a bottle situation, because so few have returned to participate in this so very uninspired sequel. Much can be said about Piranha 3 DD in one statement: In the first one, the secret big star in the opening scene was Richard Dreyfuss. In this sequel, the big star in the opening scene is …Gary Busey. Yeah, just not the same, is it? And so sets the tone for the next mercifully short 83 minutes.
In Piranha 3 DD, a new water park is opening with a lot at stake, obviously, but the carnivorous fish from Lake Victoria have managed to find their way right there to threaten the opening of the park – and some other openings that are not so savory.
The good things? There are a few good laughs in this. Like, out-loud laughs. But they are punctuated by lots of off-color, low brow cheap shots of the sexual nature. And those are kinda off-putting. Let’s face it, the multiple writers on this includes a guy that makes his career writing sequels to films you never thought you’d see a sequel of, like the last three Saw films and the Feast movies. That’s logical I suppose, seeing as John Gulager directed this, and that Feast trilogy, of which only the first was really good. One of the other writers is partly responsible for movies like Hollow Man 2, Mimic 2, Pulses 2, Dracula 2 AND 3…it goes on. So you see what we’re dealing with.
Did I say good things? That should have been singular. There are some funny moments. Then a lot of not-so-much. When you cast David Hasselhoff in your film, it may be a sign that you’re trying too hard. Sure, he gets a few funny lines, but he ain’t saving this. I’d say that the acting is fine, but when all you need are a handful of adequate people and a ton of hot strippers to make the “DD” in the films’ title to make sense, well, how much acting talent are you really going to expect? There are a couple people that I was surprised to see do this, mostly the return of Christopher Lloyd and Ving Rhames. Sure, their parts are small, and they likely took most of the budget, but still.
The script is, obviously, uninspired. TONS of cliched plot machinations abound, that seemed to take nothing from the unmitigated fun spirit of the first. And instead of taking off where the first left off, with the piranha getting huge in size, they just make another version of the same film. Of course, they leave us with the same kind of ending, open to a third installment with yet a different sort of mutation in the bitey fish. One that, fortunately, made for an amusing last shot.
But alas, Piranha 3 DD has only about a quarter of the rollicking spirit of fun the first one had. Everything about this sequel is third rate. The CG fish are acceptable, but not special, and the gore is toned down some, especially of the practical kind. There are a couple beheadings with lots of CG blood – the last of which is most satisfying in a general sense. And the 3D is only ok. I would have expected more gratuitous use of it, frankly. But this is barely half the film the first one was, unless you count the boobs. Lots more boobs here. If you have to add THAT many boobs to your movie, then maybe you should rewrite it. Or classify it under a different genre. Only two kittenhands. And I gave a half for the funny bits.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, sometimes hard to tell the difference between the bloopers reel during the credits and the actual movie.