Much like its title suggests, Piranha 3DD is a joke that isn’t funny any more.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, along comes a new wave of ravenous, pre-historic critters to munch their way through a bevy of bikini-clad hotties with surgically-enlarged hooters.
Aesthetically, things remain pretty much the same as the original, with splatter effects and jiggling breasts very much the major focus. Something, however, clearly hasn’t translated. This one feels tamer and less sure of itself. Yes, the boobs bounce right on cue and half-chewed faces are given extreme close-ups, yet not even a smirk is raised.
The set pieces are now so out-there that they lose all effectiveness. A castration scene involving a piranha chomping down onto an unlucky guy’s johnson during a sexual encounter isn’t as amusing as might have appeared on paper. Alexandre Aja’s original, with its superior effects work overseen by Howard Berger and Greg Nicotero, offered plenty of blood-soaked moments that felt truly hardcore even when provoking belly-laughs.
Piranha 3DD – there’s a pun coming – is a different kettle of fish to Aja’s boobs-and-gore extravaganza. The concept was only ever a one-joke, one movie deal until box office success dictated otherwise. The French director clearly understood this and wisely bailed on the follow-up. So, too, did the majority of the cast that weren’t killed off.
"Actor" David Hasselhoff is clearly game for a laugh at his own expense with nods to his cheesy pop career and Baywatch heyday. He’s introduced in a rundown motel composing a song ('Love Hunter') when two sleeping floozies disturb his 'artistic' moment. "Welcome to rock bottom," he sighs upon entering the water park he’s opening, going on to pose with fans and sign autographs.
Piranha 3DD never plummets to quite the same sorry depths as poor Hoff, but there’s very little here which Aja didn’t do before – and much, much better.
For all the trashy exploitation silliness on display, John Gulager’s lame sequel fudges the modicum of good will the original generated. Its use of female bodies is cynical, Neanderthal and utterly banal. Much like its title suggests, Piranha 3DD is a joke that isn’t funny any more.
More boobs. More gore. More 3D!
Unlike its prehistoric monsters, this sequel hasn’t evolved.
Not even The Hoff can save this one.