Piranha 3D

6 Sep

Title: Piranha 3D
Year: 2010
Director: Alexandre Aja
Writers: Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg
Starring: Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Jerry O’Connell, Ving Rhames, Jessica Szohr, Steven R. McQueen, Christopher Lloyd, Richard Dreyfuss
MPAA Rating: R, sequences of strong bloody horror violence and gore, graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use
Runtime: 88 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 6.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%

Piranha 3D is nowhere near good, but I liked it because this was a film that never intended to be good, it just intended to be a cool hour and a half of campy fun, and as that it does succeed, serving up gore and nudity alike, so at least this one lived up to the expectations surrounding it. I mean, really, as ridiculous as it might have looked, there’s no way any other movie could have a mass dismemberment spree in the middle of a wet t-shirt contest look as cool as this one did.

If you don’t like B-movies, and many people don’t, then Piranha 3D is not for you. But at least this is a film that advertised itself as such, so there’s no chance you’ll go to a theatre to see this one thinking otherwise, this one really wanted to be the sort of film so bad that it’s good. However, what keeps this one from being a really good crappy B-movie is the fact that it seemed, or at least it did to me, to be trying too desperately to get the cheap laughs these sort of films usually get. In most of these campy type of flicks there are some scares, or at least the film tries to go for them, only to afterwards make something look cheesy and get some good laughs. This one seemingly focussed too much on the laughs that it actually forgot to approach the scary part of it all, so there’s that to dislike about this film, though, all in all, it delivers some fun moments.

What I did like about the film, and got much of my fun out of, is the talent of the castmembers. Elisabeth Shue is an Academy Award-nominated actress, Adam Scott is a guy who can seriously act (just look at his turn in two painfully short-lived TV series: Tell Me You Love Me or the recently cancelled Party Down), Christopher Lloyd has three Emmy’s, and that’s not to mention Richard Dreyfuss, who’s kind of revisiting his legendary Jaws character for a cameo in this film. So yes, the talent pool for a movie this ridiculous kind of added this false sense of seriousness that was just fun as hell to watch.

The concept is pretty simple, and is developed in its entirety in the two-minute trailer. There are lots of women dancing around in bikinis, and sometimes not even in that, and then a hungry lot of piranhas come around and there’s a whole lot of blood and breasts and killing. And it’s all in 3D, which of course adds to the amazingness of it all.

That’s why I really can’t say that many bad things about Piranha 3D, other than the already-stated fact that it goes easy on the scares even though B-movies usually try hard to get those, but other than that it’s exactly the film it advertised itself as. And that’s something I appreciate, nowadays films that know they’re a bit bad try and do stuff on their trailers and marketing campaigns to lure audiences into thinking the movie offers something it really doesn’t. Piranha 3D was clear that it would show a lot of naked or severed flesh, and that’s exactly what it served us, and sure, it won’t be for everyone, but at least people that liked the trailer won’t be disappointed. This is your typical R-rated film designed for mid-teens that like boobs and blood and have barely enough facial hair to get into R-rated films in the first place.

I do have to pause for a bit before ending my review to congratulate whoever came up with that Richard Dreyfuss moment I referenced above. The film just starts with him as a guy named Matt fishing and singing the same song his character in Jaws, also named Matt, sang. That has to go down as one of the best cameos in film this year, unfortunately that was also by far the wittiest moment this film had to offer, and it occurred way too early into it.

I won’t go into the “main plot” because, as I said, all you really need to know if you are thinking about seeing this film, is that digitally created swarms of predatory fish go and eat up lots of people, mostly pretty ladies with their breasts uncovered, and there’s a lot of blood and assorted dismembered body parts flying around. That’s seriously all there is to this film, don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. Just go see this one if you think you’ll have a kick out of that or, like me, out of seeing some serious actors in supporting roles doing some ridiculous things. There are some laughs in that, I guess.

Grade: B-

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