Friday, August 3, 2012

Review: Piranha 3DD

There are experiences that shake your foundation  - make you doubt your belief system and re-evaluate things that you believe to be true.  Whether it was the time you found out wrestling was fake and subsequently asked yourself how you ever like Hulk Hogan or the last time you saw a picture of Lindsey Lohan and it made you look back at Mean Girls a little bit differently.  In sports, entertainment, religion, or values – we all have a seminal moment that forces us to question things that we accept as true. 

I recently had one such moment, and it occurred while watching Piranha 3DD, because this movie was so bad that it made me question why I enjoy watching movies.  I had watched the first one and hated most of it – despite the clever prologue featuring Richard Dreyfus (Jaws reference, anyone?) and the ridiculousness of Jerry O’Connell – because it was cinematic trash.  So you may be wondering then, why I went back for seconds?  Well, the filmmakers brought back Christopher Lloyd (aka Doc Brown from Back to the Future) and Ving Rhames and also threw some David Hasselhoff into the mix.  Did it sound like a train wreck?  Yes, but an entertaining one.

There really is not much of a plot to this movie.  Ancient piranhas are on the loose and have miraculously found a way to terrorize a risqué water park. That’s it - the premise, the plot, and the development; nothing more and nothing less.  In a lot of ways, this movie is  like eating movie popcorn.  There’s not really a lot of substance to it and at the end of the day it is really just a vehicle to deliver button and salt to your system.  In the same way, Piranha 3DD is a cinematic vehicle to deliver gore and nudity to your screen.  Nothing makes sense about this movie unless you frame it with this understanding, but even then that doesn’t make the film very appealing unless you’re a young man or woman between the ages of sixteen and twenty-two.

The biggest problem (amongst so many others) with this film is that there are things that go on that are completely asinine and make absolutely no sense.  If you are one of the unfortunate few who have seen it then you know what I am talking about.  I would say that even my six year old nephew could write a script of this level, but that would be insulting…to him.  Writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan should have their WGA cards revoked and director John Gulager should have to put this movie atop of his resume for life.  That would be suitable punishment for the cinematic blasphemy that is this film. 

The cast in this film is appalling but fortunately, I suspect that most of the younger members will not be long for Hollywood.  As for the more seasoned veterans, David Koechner is always hit or miss (mostly miss) and in this film he crashes and burns.  Likewise for GaryBusey, Christopher Lloyd, and Ving Rhames who look as worn and tired as I feel having now watched three bad movies (Goon, Mirror Mirror, and now Piranha 3DD) in a row.  You would think that seasoned veterans would be above such work, but then one can never underestimate the lure of a straight cash grab.

Well, there’s no reason to dwell any longer on this movie.  It’s terrible in every sense of the word.  Don’t rent it.  Don’t buy it.  In fact, you would probably earn some brownie points with the big guy upstairs if you parked yourself outside a Best Buy or a Red Box machine to dissuade people from watching that movie.  It would truly be an act of selfless community service.  I would suggest in closing that if you like these types of movies and are intent on watching people get dominated by a danger lurking in the water, check out the mildly underrated Lake Placid.  It’s a bit dated now, but still a decent B-level film that tries to tell a story.

Standout Performance: As much as I hate to say it, David Hasselhoff definitely wins major points with me for embracing the caricature that he is as a public figure and really having fun with it.  


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