Piranha 3D (2010)

August 19, 2010 - 8:48pm | Johnny D
  Tags: 3-d, 3d, Alexandre Aja, blood, Christopher Lloyd, Dimension Films, fish, gore, Jerry O'Connell, Joe Dante, Kelly Brook, piranha, re-imagining, reboot, remake, The Weinstein Company, Ving Rhames

Your rating: None Average: 7.8 (31 votes)
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Alexandre Aja
Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Ving Rhames, Richard Dreyfuss, Jessica Szohr, Jerry O'Connell, Christopher Lloyd, Riley Steele, Kelly Brook, Ricardo Chavira, Dina Meyer, Brooklynn Proulx

An earthquake beneath a lake unleashes a school of prehistoric piranhas just as the local town becomes invaded by spring breakers.  Yeah, that’s about it for the plot.  The next 80 minutes that follow are filled to the brim with nothing more than an onslaught of gory, creature carnage and beyond gratuitous nudity.  To make a long story short, Piranha 3D fucking rocks!

If you’ve paid attention to the marketing of the film, or the fact that it’s a loose remake of a Roger Corman camp classic, then it should come as no shock that there is absolutely nothing frightening about this movie whatsoever.  Those who are familiar with director Alexandre Aja’s work  will undoubtedly notice that  he’s traded tense, mutant rape and bat shit murderous lesbians in for a balls to the wall, campy monster movie and pulls it off flawlessly.  With a storyline befitting of a SyFy channel original movie, this could have been a disaster.  But Aja, working from a script by Sorority Row’s Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg, keeps the pacing and laughs coming at lightning speed.  Never before have I seen a movie embrace its B movie-ness with open arms, but still manage to be thoroughly entertaining, as much as Piranha 3D.

Now, I am far from the biggest fan of 3D films.  I think it can be utilized very well for certain films, but the current outbreak of 3D movies is not only ridiculous, but unnecessary as well.  Piranha, however, is an audience participation film where its best viewed with a theater full of people who have shut their brains off and are prepared for a good time.  And in that respect the 3D works to its advantage.  It’s true, this was filmed in 2D and then converted in post, but it was honestly the best conversion I’ve seen so far.  Perhaps because it was planned from the beginning to be converted and not a last minute cash in.

The brutal death effects are a mixture of practical and digital and are clearly one of the highlights of the film.  The twenty minute or so massacre scene is a gift from gorehound heaven.  The piranha themselves are full on digital creations and are more than adequate.  There were a few questionable shots, but like most CG creatures, they worked best in quick, minimally lit shots.  Which thankfully is how they’re shown the majority of the time.

Aside from the never-ending streams of blood, Piranha is also chock full of boobies.  Lots and LOTS of boobies!  In 3D!  From the unbelievable water ballet between Kelly Brook and Riley Steele to the parasailing topless chick, never before has so much nudity jumped off a movie screen before.  I was two seconds away from motor boating the air and any movie that features a hot chick being devoured all the way down to a skeleton and floating silicone implants gets the thumbs up in my book.

For a movie about killer, prehistoric fish, they definitely racked up a talented group of actors to portray the bait.  Richard Dreyfuss has a great opening cameo which is pretty much just a nod to his Jaws character, while Christopher Lloyd’s role as the delusional energetic scientist had the audience screaming out Back to the Future lines.  Elisabeth Shue and Adam Scott play well off of one another, but it’s Jerry O’Connell jackassing it up as a fictionalized version of Girls Gone Wild founder, Joe Francis, who easily became the crowd favorite.  Oh, and those two kids from The CW are good too I suppose.

As for the film’s downfall, I feel as if there are a lot of deleted scenes featuring supporting characters who ended up as all but glorified extras.  Especially resident badass Ving Rhames.  Since this is a Weinstein Brothers production we can only assume that any kind of minor character development was wiped away by meddling executives.  There’s also the local bad boy teen who‘s character suffered a similar fate.  Despite having one of the most laugh out loud moments during the massacre, I can’t remember his name or even what he looked like to find him on IMDB.  The movie runs under 90 minutes as is, would a couple more minutes of character motivation really have bogged it down that much?

Forget about Iron Man, Salt, The A-Team, or whatever else recent disappointment that comes to mind.  Piranha 3D is the embodiment of what a fun, summer film should be.  It’s fast, bloody, chock full of nudity, and does it all with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

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