Piranha 3DD (2012) – Movie Review
A year after the events of Piranha 3D, the town of Lake Victoria has become a ghost town due to their lake being infested with prehistoric man-eating beasties. Just outside the town, a new water park named Big Wet is due to open, but mere days before the big opening, there are signs that show the evil fish may have found a route into the local drainage system and are making their way to Big Wet. It’s up to Maddy (Danielle Panabaker) to convince the authorities of an impending attack before a repeat of the Lake Victoria massacre takes place.
There were many who were pleasantly surprised by Piranha 3D back in 2010. It was a film that successfully balanced its trashy nature with legitimately exciting monster movie troupes, culminating in a movie experience that was more a genuine pleasure rather than a guilty one. Two years later and the inevitable sequel arrives, promising more excitement, more gore and more tits (hence the DD moniker). Yet whilst there is an abundance of female nudity on show (portrayed in the same letchy manner as the first, without the grounding of the equally letchy Jerry O’Connell), the film is sorely lacking in just about everything else.
The problems with the film are numerous, yet the main crux of its failure is its inability to function as an entertaining trash-a-thon. There is trash a plenty but, however, it comes across as embarrassing rather than funny. The film-makers are so preoccupied with demonstrating their knowingness of how an exploitation film works that they completely forget how to build any sense of tension, let alone a standard B-movie. The lack of any discernible budget is also a fatal weakness, as Big Wet looks like a cheap set built in the director’s back garden, with the action seldom taking place outside of its premises (bar the adjacent lake, which looks more like a small pond).
Yet all this would be forgiven (kind of) had the film’s climax delivered at the same level as the ferocious massacre of its predecessor. Where the original had the ability to shock its audience with just how brutal its third act was (the scalping comes to mind), Piranha 3DD features no memorable moments at all. The water turns red and obligatory mangled bodies are seen, yet there is no sense of threat or shock value. The reason for the first one’s effectiveness was the tonal change from stupid comedy to no-holds-barred monster horror. Here it feels that there was no interest in the climax at all, rounding things up in a hurried and uneventful fashion.
The advertisements promised us ‘more excitement’. What we actually got was a rushed, uninspiring sleaze-fest with half the viciousness and none of the fun of the original. If you absolutely have to see it, wait for DVD. In fact it should have avoided a cinema release completely.
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