Director John Gulager attempts to follow up the fishy fun of Alexandre Aja’s Piranha 3D with the innovatively [?] titled: Piranha 3DD. One year on from the toothy terror that unfolded at Lake Victoria, Piranhas are sucked, through some dodgy plumbing, into a wet and wild park. In case you care the water park is co-owned by sleazy step-dad Clayton [Gary Busey] and long-suffering step-daughter Maddy [Danielle Panabaker] who are ever in confict: Clayton thinks it’s okay to replace Lifeguards with ‘Water Certified Strippers’, Maddy isn’t so keen but her mother is dead and thus not there to back her up [we're never told how or why and we're not really fussed about finding out] .
There are a swarm of reasons why this film is vastly inferior to 2010′s perfectly-pitched Piranhathon, but perhaps the most obvious is that the film only lives up to half of its tagline: “Twice the Terror, Double the D’s.” Big boobs do get top billing but there are no real shocks or starts here. Any punter who buys a ticket for a film with the word ‘Piranha’ in the title expects to see at least one person have their flesh gnawed off to the bone, preferably Jerry O’ Connell but if he’s not available any old chump will do. Not once is the glorious goriness of Aja’s film recreated; there are floating bodyparts aplenty but not nearly enough flesh-feasting.
Off the hook moments in this film are ten to the penny [ever seen a Piranha come out of a virgin's bajingo mid-first-time?] but the highlight is undoubtedly watching David Hasselhoff [playing himself] run in slow motion to the Baywatch theme tune. Does this give you a sense of how inane the rest of the film is? Ving Rhames making a return appearance as Deputy Fallon [with shotguns for legs a la Planet Terror's Cherry Darling] is also, admittedly, a treat but he and Christopher Lloyd are the only cast members to return, which leads me to the most important thing about Piranha 3DD: it reminds us all why the world needs Elisabeth Shue. Whether battling an invisible Kevin Bacon, singing the Babysitting Blues or fending off the remnants of Project Razortooth she brings a warm and charismatic edge to any project she works on and this film was made instantly inferior by her absence.
James Cameron’s Piranha 2: The Spawning remains the weakest of the Piranha pictures, but only just.