Piranha 3D

2010-11-01 09:20
 
Piranha 3D
 
What it's about:

A massive underwater earthquake reintroduces a prehistoric species of piranha with a vicious appetite for human flesh into a once peaceful lake – a once peaceful lake that is about to be descended upon by hordes of young, nubile bodies on Spring Break, the annual college hedonist holiday.

What we thought:

Piranha 3D is total trash. It's stupid, predictable, silly, unoriginal and nasty with enough gratuitous nudity to have hardened feminists everywhere reaching for their pitchforks and flame-throwers. And, oh yes, it's also an obscene amount of good, unclean fun.

You're probably not going to confuse director Alexandre Aja with Alfred Hitchcock, Jim Jarmusch or the Coen brothers but he clearly knows his way around puerile, B-movie schlock. Piranha 3D may be a remake of Joe Dante's 1978 film, Piranha, but Aja clearly understands where all of these movies spring from: Stephen Spielberg's Jaws. As such, nods and allusions to Jaws come thick and fast. The film opens with Jaws star Richard Dreyfuss and ends with, shall we say, an explosive solution to this particular fish problem and along the way we have all the fish-eye views, dangling feet and jerky death scenes that Spielberg's film popularised more than three decades ago.

I can't say, however, that Jaws was ever this full on. Jaws was really an exercise in building terror with a discreet, barely visible threat. Piranha 3D is an exercise in shrieking, explicit mayhem. It may be a lot of things but it's clearly not, in any way, shape or form, a scary movie. It's far more interested in titillation and visceral thrills than actual terror or creepiness.

More than anything, it's a comedy – a comedy that will probably only appeal to people with a twisted, macabre sense of humour, perhaps, but a comedy nonetheless. It goes so far beyond what should reasonably be considered acceptable, let alone tasteful, that it skips right past traumatic and heads directly to this weird mix of slapstick and uncomfortable, almost guilty laughs.    

Piranha 3D doesn't so much fly in the face of good taste, as much as it strings it up Braveheart-style and beats the bloody stuffing out of it - though it could never be considered immoral. All the gleeful blood-letting and exploitative, gratuitous T&A (and then some) in the world doesn't negate the fact that there is clearly absolutely no moral purpose to anything in Piranha 3D. Hell, even calling it amoral would be ascribing too much morality to what is basically the equivalent of a naughty school-kid seeing just how far he can push his teachers, headmasters and parents before getting into any actual trouble.                    
  
I suppose it's worth mentioning that this adolescent nonsense actually boasts the sort of acting talent that's appeared in "proper" films like Leaving Las Vegas and Pulp Fiction but they all take a backseat to the blood, boobs and (comically CGI) fish. All, that is, except for the great Christopher Lloyd who, in full-on Doc Brown mode, steals the entire film in the hilarious five minutes he's on screen. And please tell me I don't have to explain who Doc Brown is: if you don't get the reference, please do yourself the hugest favour in the world and go out and buy, rent or (you didn't hear it here) steal the Back to The Future trilogy.

Piranha 3D
is, as I said, total trash but there is something to be said for good, quality trash that is this efficiently put together. That it throws buckets of blood, guts and gore at the screen over its 90 minutes without ever truly descending into the dreary, cynicism of the Saw franchise and its endless knock-offs, makes it all the more impressive. Best of all though, while it deservedly and efficiently earns its 16 LNV rating, its greatest triumph is that, along with Step Up 3D, it actually deserves to be seen in 3D.

As I breathe a sigh of relief that the next Harry Potter film isn't going to have 3D shoehorned into something that clearly doesn't need it, it's good to see 3D used on a film that takes full advantage of its gimmicky origins. I may not see 3D as the future of cinema but I'm more than happy for ridiculous dance movies and equally ridiculous splatterfests to be the future of 3D.

As far as horror movies go, it's complete trash. But it's the most enjoyable, expertly assembled trash you're likely to see for a while.
Read more on:    movie  |  comedy  |  horror

Al 2010/10/29 9:21 AM
Elisabeth Shue - how sexy can one woman be?
Noel 2010/10/29 12:25 PM
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I MUST SEE IT!!!
Jason 2010/10/30 3:47 PM
Boobs? Piranhs? CGI? Boobs? Where do I get tickets?
Renee 2010/10/30 5:26 PM
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This is also one of those rare ones where you MUST see it in 3D. I mean 3D boobs anyone? I'm kinda easily grossed out but this was super entertaining. was worth all the nausea :)
Kevin in Brisbane 2010/11/01 5:04 AM
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This movie was released in Australia a few months ago and my wife (who is quite squeemish and easily scared) and went to see it. Absolute trash ..... with a plot as thin as the movie ticket. The price we paid for the tickets was scarier than the movie itself, but having seen it in 3D we actually enjoyed it. And several times we burst out laughing in the middle of a gruesome attack. Elizabeth Shue is hot and every other girl in movie looks like a Sports Illustrated Swimsuite Model. No fat chicks, no class, no plot, no suspense ....... but we loved it!
Kevin in Brisbane 2010/11/01 5:04 AM
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This movie was released in Australia a few months ago and my wife (who is quite squeemish and easily scared) and went to see it. Absolute trash ..... with a plot as thin as the movie ticket. The price we paid for the tickets was scarier than the movie itself, but having seen it in 3D we actually enjoyed it. And several times we burst out laughing in the middle of a gruesome attack. Elizabeth Shue is hot and every other girl in movie looks like a Sports Illustrated Swimsuite Model. No fat chicks, no class, no plot, no suspense ....... but we loved it!
tendani 2011/07/19 5:15 PM
are those piranha fish still available on earth
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