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Piranha 3D (Review)

Piranha 3D (Review)

Campy B-movie carnage
Aug 26, 2010
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Genre: Comedy, Horror Release Date: 26/08/2010 Runtime: 88 minutes Country: USA


Director:  Alexandre Aja Writer(s): 
Pete Goldfinger

Josh Stolberg

Cast: Christopher Lloyd, Eli Roth, Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell, Richard Dreyfuss, Ving Rhames
Piranha 3D (Review), reviewed by Anders Wotzke on 2010-08-26T17:07:51+00:00 rating 3.5 out of5

Piranha 3D can be summarised, and reviewed, in just two simple words:

3D boobies.

Guys, be sure to sit extra close to the front. You can thank me later. Girls, I guess it’s just you and me now.

Directed by French (mad)man Alexadre Aja (Mirrors), Piranha 3D is a tongue-in-cheek horror movie about – surprise! – flesh-eating Piranhas. And yes, it’s as tacky and silly as it sounds, but deliberately so. Just like the 1978 original, Piranha gleefully rips-off – limb from limb – classic monster movies such as Jaws to produce an equal share of giggles, gasps and gratuitous carnage. Oh, and it’s essentially soft-core porn.  For the sake of copious amounts of nudity, writers Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg have traded in “we’re going to need a bigger boat” for “we’re going to need a bigger cup size.”

The mayhem all takes place in Lake Victoria, a small country community overrun once a year by ravenous, wild and oily creatures called… teenagers. It’s Spring Break, you see, a wild week in March where shirts become illegal, under-age drinking becomes compulsory and boobs become a commodity. In other words, it’s heaven for predators, particularly predators of the carnivorous man-eating fish persuasion. As luck would have it, an earthquake has just cracked open an ancient underwater cavern beneath the lake, home to thousands of prehistoric Piranhas eager to feast on the unsuspecting college crowd.

While the cheesy CGI Piranhas are the stars of the show, often pausing in front of the camera to show off their sharp pearly whites, there’s some other characters at prey play: Elisabeth Shue (Hollow Man) co-stars as the town’s devoted sheriff Julie, Steven R. McQueen (TV’s The Vampire Diaries) her hormonal 17 year-old son Jake and Jerry O’Connell (TV’s Sliders) the manic pornographer Derrick shooting his latest X-rated video in which the busty Kelly Brook (Survival Island) is set to star. Of course, none of these characters really matter in the scheme of things; they’re just glorified bait. In a film like this, an actor’s talent is best measured by who screams the loudest, or by whose body parts protrude the furthest from the screen. With that kind of logic, Kelly Brook should win an Oscar.

piranha 3 d 241 Piranha 3D (Review)

After 45 minutes of wet t-shirt competitions, nude underwater ballet and the occasional bloody demise, the film builds up to an impressively gruesome climax where hundreds of limbs are ripped apart like Velcro as the lake becomes the very definition of a bloodbath. Memorable deaths are in abundance, as are the in-your-face 3D effects where Piranhas make a habit of jumping out at you at any given moment. As far as cheesy, sexist and violent B-movies go, Piranha 3D is a blast.

But being a B-movie is also a bit of a problem for the film. Generally speaking, the main draw of a B-movie is that they’re a cheap $4  Blockbuster rental, not a $19 ticket stub. I guess you could always see the film in 2D and save a few dollars, especially since the 3D isn’t exceptionally good – it’s not true in-camera 3D like Avatar, it’s post-production 3D like Alice in Wonderland. Then again, do you really want to be known as the guy who saw the first ever 3D film with nudity in plain ol’ 2D? No, I didn’t think so.

Of course, you could just skip the film all together and go see an extended cut of James Cameron’s Avatar that is also being released this week, apparently because the $3 billion the film made in its first theatrical run only gets you half a Death Star (you know how the economy is these days). It’s ironic that Avatar should be re-released on the same day as Piranha 3D, firstly because Cameron’s debut film in 1981 was actually Piranha 2: The Spawning, something I imagine the Oscar-winning director prefers to keep on the down-low. Secondly because one of the new scenes in the extended cut of Avatar is also making provocative use of the 3D technology by featuring a steamy Na’vi sex scene between Jake and Neytiri. Apparently they even “touch tendrils.” Yowza!

So between blueberry bestiality and the bouncing boobies of botoxed beauties – hooray for alliteration! – it’s good to see Hollywood starting to unlock the true potential of 3D.

Or should that be 3-DD?

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