Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981) [review]


Being somebody who has enjoyed many of James Cameron’s films, I’d like to say more favourable things about this film than I feel I will… maybe the fact that some of the stories of the making of this film are more entertaining than what we see on screen, stories which explains why this film suffers in ways which it shouldn’t.

This may be credited as a James Cameron film, but clearly there are scenes which do not look to be in his style and seem a little sloppy, nor do they seem to be his sense of humour. Ovidio G. Assonitis is an unaccredited co-director of this, which I can only imagine that those scenes which look to be more humorous or feel a little more European, feel to be more like his handiwork.

Not to say they are bad, maybe funny for the wrong reasons in that they feel out of place in this film and could benefited from being edited out into some other film. Which may sound like this is a terrible watch, but there is something entertainment here, mainly for how the film doesn’t really fit that well together in its atmosphere that jumps back and forth in trying to figure out which genre it wants or should be. It is not a film which blends any of the genres well.

James Cameron giving us his trade make strong female lead in Anne Kimbrough (Tricia O’Neil) is great to see that this element was in his work from the start. But the relationship with her son Chris Kimbrough (Rick Paull Goldin) does seem a little off once you realise they are mother and son. Her relationship with husband Police Chief Steven Kimbrough (Lance Hendriksen) does seem a little clichéd these days, but is still enjoyable.

This sequel sadly suffers from some ideas that seem too ridicules, which are trying to heighten the tension or reason to care for those we see on screen. The supposed scares are deflated in moments in which those emotions are supposed to exist, and maybe you’ll find yourself with a smile on your face or laughing due to the fact that the makers of this tried to go a step further than the original. In the hope of not simply remaking the original… but I’d say this is more to do with the ideas of the writers of the script than the directors.

Unfortunately this looks a little silly and falls flat on its face in certain places. This really is a film which you should shut your mind off and not really care whether or not characters survive or if they find themselves injured. If you do care, it is bare minimal, which leads to this film being fun without  having tension.


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