Piranha 3DD (2012)

Let’s be real here, it’s not like “Piranha 3D” was a cerebral ride in to the inner depths of human complexity. It was a basically ridiculous and absolutely brain dead film that, in spite of my original negative review, is something of a movie I can sit through for ninety minutes to pass the time. “Piranha 3D” is watchable in spite of its awfulness because it knows how to balance humor and terror and makes use of its throwbacks. This sequel however fails on every conceivable level and is practically the antithesis of entertainment. It’s a black hole of nothing sometimes, with a premise that goes nowhere when it’s going everywhere.

Rather than continue where the last one left off and keep the blood bath going, John Gulager instead lays his focus on a new series of characters. And boy are they bland. Granted, Danielle Panabaker and Katrina Bowden supply a hefty amount of eye appeal for audiences, but “Piranha 3DD” is so ill conceived and monotonous it makes the ninety minute run time feel like a grand total of six hours. The plot is so utterly idiotic that it’s hard to suspend disbelief, especially when Gulager tones down the gore, splatter, and nudity for people who originally came to the first film for those elements.  The gratuitous nudity is basically reduced to nothing more than a few throwaway scenes of women swimming, while the gore is used to a slightly less enthusiastic degree. This of course becomes the film’s downfall because there’s not much of a story to go on. So the writers must pad the film about as much as possible when they’re forced to hold back on the gore and blood shed. Moves are made by characters and the title villain that are never explained, and the sub-plots for the individual characters are paper thin and used as filler for the climactic bloodbath that’s utterly yawn inducing.

This time around the piranhas have found a home in a nearby lake and after munching on cheesy celebrity cameo number one (Hey, it’s Gary Busey!), they’re prime to take over the local water park which is incidentally sapping its water from the lake. Now the piranha are super intelligent as they can travel through pipes and find their ways in to pools, all the while finding the capability to nest in someone’s innards without actually eating them from the inside out. Granted, it makes for a demented moment with Katrina Bowden delivering a hell of a funny one-liner, but it just makes no sense when you step back. Along the line we’re introduced to more celebrity cameos (David Hasselhoff channels Baywatch… again) and even more monotony as Panabaker tries to bring some sense of dignity to the events that unfold. The film lacks a real direction to it with much of the money shots either poorly edited or blurred while never really sure if it wants to be taken seriously as a creature feature, or just be laughed at as a satire.

When it tries to be a comedy it’s flat and often forced with the same old gags we’ve seen before paired with attempted physical humor that is absolutely dead on arrival. When it tries for straight up horror, it has potential but fails to deliver on any terror or atmosphere whatsoever, opting instead to completely rob us of a pay off or just avoid splatter altogether. So it takes both themes and dives in head first leaving a pretty rancid genre mess behind after the credits have rolled. When we finally do enter in to the bloodbath at the water park it’s so hopelessly void of entertainment value, that it feels like Gulager is just killing time to make it to the end credits and nothing else. It’s hard to believe this film takes the fun out of ravenous piranhas chomping down on naked women, but it succeeds. This is ninety minutes of my life I would like back and I should be offered some compensation for mental damage as well. “Piranha 3DD” completely misses the point of the first movie by dodging everything that made the first such a guilty pleasure to begin with. Granted Panabaker and Bowden do offer up some prime curves, but the film is an absolutely tepid genre offering.