Piranha 3DD

Dir: John Gulager
Star: Danielle Panabaker, Matt Bush, David Koechner, Chris Zylka

I'm quite surprised this one has come in for quite as much critical hate, given the generally favourable reaction to the original. Because to me, they're basically two slices from exactly the same cinematic pie: indeed, possibly even the same slice, as in terms of plot and characters, there's not a lot to differentiate them. First half, prehistoric piranhas nibble on minor characters, before all hell breaks loose in the second, during a mass attack on unwitting water-goers. Oh, and there are breasts, here courtesy of an adult-orientated water-park, 'Big Wet', operated by Chet (Koechner), an approach sternly disapproved of by his stepdaughter, Maddy (Panabaker). She discovers the threat, but as in all good monster flicks, is unable to convince anyone of the risk, in time to stop the park from opening, under a certain celebrity life-guard. "Oh, look," go the piranhas. "A buffet. Thank you very much!" Let the munching commence.

Yes, it's shallow, exploitative trash. And, this would differ from the original how, exactly? Actually, I think I enjoyed this slightly more, simply because the pacing is better: its predecessor had a first half that had me wondering if I was watching the wrong film, before exploding into an absolute orgy of splatter. This never quite reaches the same delirious heights, but sustains itself rather better through its (short) running-time, with scenes like the one redefining vagina dentata, helping to keep things ticking over until the main course. There are some fun returnees from the previous edition (with a riff on Planet Terror therein), and a couple of unexpected new faces. Really, even if fractioanally disappointing on the hard-core gore. this delivers all I expected and then some in the way of cheerily low-brow entertainment. Even Chris enjoyed it more than she'd probably admit she expected.

[June 2012]

Fins ain't wot they used to be
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