Synopsis: After the events at Lake Victoria, the pre-historic school of blood-thirsty piranhas makes their way into a newly opened water park.
Stars: Danielle Panabaker, Ving Rhames, David Hasselhoff, David Koechner, Katrina Bowden, Matt Bush
Director: John Gulager
Running Length: 83 minutes
Random Crew Highlight: Dying Bikini Girl ~ Livia Milano
TMMM Score: (1/10)
Review: Any movie named after a bra size can’t be all that bad right?
Your answer to that question will dictate what you think of this vapid sequel to 2010’s remake of Piranha. While the original remake was nothing special, this goes further and becomes unmemorable. Even at 83 minutes the movie leaves no lasting impression whatsoever to the point that its lamentable anyone involved with this was compensated for their work. It’s a movie devoid of any of the life, talent, and humor that it’s preceding movies capitalized on.
The original 1978 Piranha was a surprisingly effective B-Movie schlock fest that boasted a good director (Joe Dante of Gremlins), an infamous producer (Roger Corman), and a strong script (courtesy of John Sayles who would go on to write/direct his own films). Making no bones about the fact that it was yet another Jaws rip-off, Piranha succeeded because it owned up to what it was. Its trouble sequel, Piranha II: The Spawning, was directed by James Cameron and even though it wasn’t poorly made it was missing the in-jokey humor of the original. 2010’s 3D remake came via French shock-director Alexandre Aja who went full tilt with copious amounts of skin and gore…operating without a filter the movie was pure trash and you either loved it or hated it (I hated it).
With the modest success of the remake a sequel was green lit and I’m convinced the title was used as a selling point to get financing. What we have ended up with is a movie that doesn’t deliver on what it seems to promise in spades – nudity and gore. Sure, there are lots of topless women running around in slo-mo but they hardly relate to anything that is going on onscreen. It’s almost as if this movie was made and then another director came in an added a bunch of boobs to, um, pad the running time. You can visualize a couple of nerdy guys sitting behind the camera giggling at all the silicone on display.
This is a movie that chickens out when faced with “going there”. As revolting as Aja’s remake was, he at least cast his leads with people willing to doff their skivvies for the camera. None of the women with speaking roles in Piranha 3DD show their birthday suit which is totally fine…but the film is marketed as something different.
Even the gore seems second rate when compared to the 2010 movie. Aja created some really horrifying bits of violence that inspired laughter because they were so over the top bloody. That’s all absent here as many bits seemed recycled and you can only show mutant killer fish nibbling on body parts in so many ways before you are full up on the visual.
All of this is too bad because there’s a halfway decent storyline here in the realm of the B-movie world: killer fish moving through the pipes of a new water park to feast on the bathing beauties that think chlorine is the only thing to worry about. You of course also have your B-movie MVP characters: evil businessmen that care more about money than human lives, corrupt police on the take, the beautiful heroine who tries to tell everyone of the danger but is ignored. All the ingredients to a tasty cheesy stew are on the table but wind up in the garbage under the direction of Gulager and some truly atrocious acting.
There’s not a good actor in the bunch and to single any of them out would be insinuating they’ve done enough to be memorable…but I’ll make an exception for one. Bowden proves why she’s given 1 line every 16 episodes of TV’s 30 Rock. She gets every line reading so wrong that you wonder if she was purposely coached to be that bad. The ensemble of actors are all in the Bowden boat in that they have absolutely no clue what they are doing or saying.
Gulager was the winner of the television series Project Greenlight in 2005 and whatever promise he showed in his first feature Feast is long gone as he directs Piranha 3DD with no imagination, creativity, or style.
To give a greater idea of how little effort went into the movie…the film is essentially over at the 73 minute mark…that leaves 10 full minutes of credits that include a huge amount of outtake footage and bloopers. Even seeing actors mess up or cameo star Hasselhoff riff on his Baywatch character holds no entertainment value.
It doesn’t surprise me that the movie is as bad as it is…I’ve seen worse…I just can’t believe that this was made at all. It’s beyond lazy and can’t even be forgiven for it being made looking to make a quick buck. The movie has had a limited release and is available On Demand…though most people will be demanding their money back.