You just go to your room and you sit and you think about what you’ve done, Piranha 3DD. Because you’ve really disappointed us.
Piranha 3DD, why can’t you be more like your older, more successful, more popular sibling, Piranha 3D? Why? Because that movie was a jolt of ridiculous pleasure, like being hit by lightning and realizing you enjoy it, an honor student of a horror-comedy about a furious army of flesh-eating piranha that organize their razor-mouths and execute an attack-from-all-sides agenda, shredding hundreds of attractive, nearly naked college students. It was a seamlessly satisfying package of self-aware horror, deadpan comedy, loving references to T&A comedy conventions, the novelty roots of 3D and all the Jaws that came before, while its emphasis on extreme gore pushed its shocked audience to new levels of breathless, grossed-out shrieks and laughter. It was brutal and fun-loving at the same time, a punk rock movie meant to smash old ideas about what constitutes grindhouse fun.
But you, the sequel, gifted with that extra “D” in your title, with so much opportunity and potential, so much promise of extra everything, you’re just 80 minutes of sad, lifeless nothing. I’d call you garbage but that’s a badge you have to earn; that’s what Piranha 3D was: hilariously awesome, gnarly garbage.
I’ve been wondering just how you went so wrong, Piranha 3DD, how you failed to live up the demented levels of a horror hit that really packed a punch, one that delivered all the stuff horror fans wanted – blood, boobs and obliterated bodies and then more of the same, whipped into a frenzied comedy-plus-intestines tornado. How did you screw up so completely when you’d been given a title that’s like an idiot-proof cake waiting for someone extremely hot to pop out of it? How do you deflate and depress and degrade a title like Piranha 3DD? How?
Well, first thing, you get Celebrity Rehab star Gary Busey to set fire to a dead cow’s farts. And then you get some fish to eat him. This, by the way, is not a creative extrapolation of events on screen. It’s what happens in your opening moments. And then you let those fish invade the chlorinated water of a water park staffed by naked strippers. And from that point forward every passing event forgets all of Piranha 3D’s lessons in how to be cool, funny, smart, scary or sexy. Scenes of killer fish chewing off genitalia or decapitated heads motorboating blood-soaked Russ Meyer-level breasts don’t elicit WOW! or GROSS! or EWWW! They just make for some extra-big yawns. And that’s because those moments are suffocated by and sandwiched between endless boredom, long stretches of zero action, watching earnest young people talk about nothing.
Remember that one episode of America’s Next Top Model when Tyra yelled at the girl for not trying hard enough? She was an audience favorite but she was never arching her butt properly or smiling with her eyes the right way, failing at modeling like a top model in almost every way. Tyra was really upset, too, if you remember. “We were all rooting for you!” she cried. That girl is not a top model today, thanks to her inabilities and refusals. Well, that’s you, Piranha 3DD. We were all rooting for you. And you wouldn't smize.