I’ve not seen any of the other Piranha movies, either the original three from the 70s-90s, nor the 2010 reboot. So, by all accounts going in with Piranha 3DD immediately is a sensible choice. I certainly don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything in doing it this way, I’ll say that much.
So we begin with a recap of the events from the 2010 film before we jump to the present and the first of many, many cameo appearances in the form of Gary Busey. He is the first to encounter the piranhas that will soon bring the pain to The Big Wet, a nearby water park. The majority owner, Chet (David Koechner) has introduced an adult element to the park in a bid to keep it open. This is something that the minority owner, stepdaughter Maddy (Danielle Panabaker) is not happy about.
Now, the whole purpose of this film is to show off some cheesy 3D effects. Thus, watching it in 2D means it lacks a lot of the initial appeal of seeing it in the cinema. It doesn’t work quite as well without that 3D filter. Make of that what you will.
Most of that appeal is, admittedly, aimed at teenage boys. Gratuitous nudity and lots of women wearing very little is the order of the day.
Suffice to say, there isn’t much of a plot beyond the arrival of the piranhas and that lots of characters are going to die in a number of gruesome and increasingly silly ways. Trust me, the methods of death start silly and get more and more ridiculous as we progress.
Aside from Maddy there are no female characters who appear capable of managing any situation by themselves. All of the women featured, including Maddy, exist as objects of lust for the male characters and, by extension, the audience.
For me it was more fun enjoying the random cameos – Busey, Christopher Lloyd, David Hasselhoff and the like. They must have had a blast making the film, and their performances show it. Everybody else with a speaking role are equally enjoyable, however the characters are mostly cardboard cutouts with no depth to them. Which, in honesty, is what you’d expect from this sort of film.
And, to be fair, the humour is very self aware and knowing. There are spoofs of other big creature features aplenty, mostly Jaws. Plus, if there’s a piranha problem at your water park, who else is better to have on hand than The Hoff?
It’s not a great film and never tries to be. The jokes and gore are enough to keep things ticking over. But if it was me, I’d have placed more emphasis on the jokes and less emphasis on the nudity. Because, you know, it could have been even better.
As it is, the most amount of laughs come from the outtakes and bloopers in the end credits. That is usually a bad sign. Here, it’s more an indication of what could have been if a little more time had been spent getting the script into better shape.