Piranha 3DD takes pains to retain many of the elements of its 2010 predecessor: topless women, copious piranha’s-eye-view shots of endangered camel toes, a lopped-off penis set piece, and, for human-interest purposes, a star-crossed nerd-hottie crush. All of this cannot conjure anew the anarchic esprit of Alexandre Aja’s Piranha 3D, whose slaughterhouse spring break was a marvel of show-stopping apocalyptic libertinage, pureeing dumb young Americans in an extended seminar on the ways and means to dismantle the human body. Rather than dare to one-up the uncensored imagination of Aja’s film, 3DD relies on the supposed amusement of celebrity cameos: David Hasselhoff, playing himself; a returning Christopher Lloyd; Gary Busey; and Clu Gulager, father of sequel director and former Project Greenlight subject John Gulager. 3DD lays its scene near the infested Lake Victoria of the first film, where marine biology grad student Maddy (Danielle Panabaker) returns home to discover, with horror, that her trashy stepfather (David Koechner) has overhauled her late mother’s water park business, replacing the lifeguards with strippers, installing an underwater “Kootchie Cam,” and rechristening the park “Big Wet.” Add to this that it takes place in the town of Merkin, and you’ll get an idea of the labored spirit of dirty-old-man humor that prevails.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 30, 2012