Reviewed by Mike Ferraro
Let’s face it – you’re not about to watch Piranha 3DD because you think it is going to be a fantastic exercise in thrilling horror. When the slogan of the film includes the line, “Double the D’s” (and they’re not talking about dinosaurs or dwarves), you should know what to expect. And while there are certainly a fair amount of “d’s” in this picture, Piranha 3DD mostly ends up failing in creating both a campy and entertaining experience.
A year after the events in Piranha 3D, a nearby lake becomes the new home to these deadly fish. Maddy (Danielle Panabaker), a marine biology major, comes home for the summer to work at the water park she co-owns with her creepy stepfather Chet (David Koechner). For clever marketing purposes (and an attempt to bring more revenue to the park), Chet has turned this once family friendly water park into a haven for strippers. He also hired David Hasselhoff (as himself) to be a guest lifeguard on opening day (so expect a lot of jokes relating to his career).
The night before they open, some of Maddy’s friends partake in a little skinny dipping session. All goes certainly wrong, especially for her friend Shelby who has a piranha swim right into her vagina, causing trouble for her boyfriend during a sexual encounter. You can imagine what happens from here.
The film claims to be 83 minutes long but the post credits eat up almost 10 minutes of that final run-time. And even though the film actually runs at approximately 75 minutes or so, it feels a lot longer. The deaths don’t come soon enough, or frequently enough, for this experience to feel plentiful. The first hour rolls by slower than a Baywatch episode due to its extremely humorless jokes and throwaway characters. Look out for a cameo by Gary Busey that may end up being the most interesting part of the film.
Piranha 3DD isn’t going to be remembered for its glistening photography (by Alexandre Lehmann) but the film does look a lot better than its predecessor, thanks to the fact that it was shot in 3D as opposed to being converted in post. The DTS HD audio track provides a crisp mix (especially for the sound effects) and ends up being one of the disc’s highlights.
Commentary: Director John Gulager, and writers Marcus Dunstan and Joel Soisson provide insight to the filmmaking process. They reminisce humorous tales about Gary Busey, 3D, and their experiences on Feast (an infinitely better film). They discuss some of the film’s supposed humorous moments, and the sheer ridiculousness of the plot. It might be worth a listen for the technical conversations, but it might be a challenge to sit through the film again.
Deleted Scenes (2:34): Each of these deleted scenes involves Adrian Martinez’s character, Big Dave, who attempts to provide a lot of the film’s comedy relief. None of these scenes provide any amount of laughter, which explains why they were left out of the final product that didn’t provide too many laughs to begin with.
The Story Behind the DD (7:49) – This EPK feature has the cast reminiscing about how fun it was to work on set. It does focus on the crew’s feelings with working with Busey, Hasselhoff, Ving Rhames, and Christopher Lloyd.
The Hofftastic World of David Hasselhoff (2:09) – This feature has David Hasselhoff engaging in his own popular culture devices. The funnier he tries to be, the sadder it ends up being.
Busey’s Bloopers (2:04) – In which Gary Busey speaks incoherently for 124 seconds. “I hope you’re understanding me, because I’m not,” says Busey.
Wet and Wild with David Koechner (1:37) – Here, Koechner discusses his views on nudity and clips from the film (with censored boobs) are shown.
“A Lesson with John McEnroe”: A Dimension Short Film (3:53) – Tennis fans can rejoice, and watch McEnroe play a match with a nerdy spoiled kid. Perhaps the highlight is seeing McEnroe verbally assault his challenger.