Piranha 3DD lets its audience know what it is up to within the film’s first five minutes. Gary Busey and his onscreen backwoods buddy are wading into the lake water… in search of what? Honestly, we’re not told. But, given the title of this film, you can guess what happens next. They’re baaaaack...
David Koechner and Danielle Panabaker are a stepfather and daughter who do not get along, but have to because when Panabaker’s mother died, she left the family water park to both of them. Koechner’s Chet has hired “water certified” strippers to serve as lifeguards and has turned the facility into an adult-centric playground. He’s not a monster -- there’s still a child friendly area for the families. But, what he is... is a capitalist who is seeking to turn a profit, regardless of the price. As soon as we meet the new lifeguard staff, the audience also knows what it’s in for with Piranha 3DD.
I guess what is trying to be said here is no one goes to see the sequel to 2010’s smash hit Piranha expecting terse suspense that you don’t see a mile away. It’s also to be expected that the exploitative nature of the film is what is wanted from a fan of the series that began with the original in 1978. But let’s be real, this is a film that pushes its sex appeal with thunderous aplomb along with the craziness of seriously sick killer fish. In that way, 3DD succeeds.
Probably the most cringe-worthy moment in the film (which works for the humor it was intended for) is the cameo by David Hasselhoff. The former Baywatch star embraces his inner lifeguard when he is hired to be the celebrity life saver for the water park’s opening. It’s hard to believe this alcoholic would film a scene where he is playing himself utterly sloshed singing to the accompaniment of a Casio keyboard that he's playing to two female admirers in a cheap hotel. When Hasselhoff swings into action when the inevitable happens -- the piranhas' attack during the opening -- it is one of the most hilarious moments of the film.
What else will fans appreciate? Well, the 3D is as equally exploitative as the movie itself. Everything comes at the audience, and again, if that is something that is enjoyed by the viewer, then director John Gulager has created an operatic opus of carnage and camp.