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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Piranha 3DD - Review (2012)

Who would have ever guessed that one day I would long for a film to be more like "Piranha 3D?"  Upon viewing "Piranha DD" that day as arrived.  "Piranha 3D" was an enjoyably witty, gratuitous romp that was made all the better with the presence of Elizabeth Shue and Christopher Lloyd.  It delivered exactly what you were expecting and did so in a surprisingly admirable so-bad-it-is-good way.  "Piranha DD" takes any progress made to start a tongue in cheek horror franchise and flushed it down the toilet.

The film is directed by John Gulagar (you may recognize him from "Project Greenlight.")  I have routed for him since that reality show where many of his creative decisions were being questioned.  Even when it seemed as if the producers were correct, I kept rooting for John Gulagar because he came across as an underdog whose unorthodox ideas may just pay off.  They did not then and they don't now.  Turns out the guys is a hack.

His sense of plotting is so off, this barely qualifies as a film.  If I did not know better I would have guessed the editors were given random scenes and asked try to make a film - if that was the case they failed.  There is barely a storyline and even within individual scenes there is just a lack of cohesion.  I understand suspension of disbelief, but this film is so poorly constructed it is impossible to slip into that brainless entertainment mode.  The flaws are so glaring any elements that would keep you interested are outshined.

A fatal flaw for a film of this nature is to not deliver laughs or thrills.  What else are we there for?  The humor in this film is completely off the mark, coming across as amateurish, immature and obvious at best.  Even the film's name "Piranha 3DD" is a tipoff to the lack of refinement to the humor.  Much too obvious.  With any successful joke there is a certain amount of setup needed to earn the laugh.  If that foundation is not established then jokes fall flat and feel out of place.  The humor here is just so random and lazy it never earns the laugh.  By just dong something that is awkward or outrageous they must feel they will get laughs - it does not work that way.  I can imagine the director and his buddies laughing their asses off while everyone around them in the room sit in silence rolling their eyes.  There are plenty of time you will recognize the filmmakers are putting jokes on the screen, you just won't laugh.  The "Cooch Cam?"  Hilarious.  Oh yeah, then there's David Hasselhoff and Gary Busey - talk about lazy filmmaking.  Let's add these two walking punchlines to the film and they will provide instant laughs just based on who they are.  Sorry, but simply referring to a pop culture reference is not comedy... sorry "Family Guy."

The same goes for the thrills... no setup, no execution.  For a moment to be thrilling you must be able to anticipate what's going to happen, by doing so connect with the character, putting yourself in their shoes.  The thrills have to be gradually built up  so your heart rate rises and when the payoff comes you wince, turn your head or get the butterflies in your stomach.  Without a level of connection with the character there is no thrill, there's just random violence on screen.  Again, a payoff without the proper setup does not work.

Gulagar even does the impossible - he makes boobs boring.  Being the genre of film it is you expect a good deal of boobs in the film.  They are there but they are somehow rendered boring.  Loading up a film with countless boobs is not the way to go about it, but like his thrills and the jokes, Gulagar's boobs are effortless and lazy.  Effortless boobs are no fun.  FAIL.

The film fails on so many levels.
No scares
No laughs (maybe a chuckle or two... maybe)
Terrible screenplay
Terrible acting
Atrocious CGI
Poorly executed thrills
effortless boobs

It is a witless, hallow shell of what "Piranha 3-D" had put into motion (the original is sounding like a masterpiece - I gave it 6 stars.)   Once the bloodbath begins in the second half, the film does improve, but nowhere close to what it would need to recommend it.  If not for the original film being entertaining I would have totally skipped this one based on the title alone, but thought 'how bad could it be Christopher Lloyd is in it?'  

Warning: This may be longest feeling 82 minute movie you will ever see.  Even when 10+ of those 82 minutes are dedicated to blooper reel mixed into an extended credits sequence it seems to take forever to come to an end.

2 out of 10 stars

P.S.  Watching Christopher Lloyd in this just made me sad.

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