Piranha (2010)

DVD Cover (The Weinstein Company)
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Overall Rating 66%
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Connections: Piranha

After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area's new razor-toothed residents. --IMDb
Review by bluemeanie
Added: August 21, 2010
So this is my first film critique in a long while; please excuse me if I am a little rusty. When I started critiquing films back in 2000 it was something I was doing for fun - to pass the time. Over the next few years it started consuming more and more of my time. My blog grew. I started contributing to various websites. Before I knew it, film criticism was defining me, to some extent. My personal and social life eventually became too hectic to support blogging and writing criticism anymore, which has been difficult for me ever since. So I am pleased to announce that this review will mark my return into that arena and I hope to keep it up for many more years to come.

There is something about watching someone's titties getting eaten off by a fish that looks like a dinosaur that always makes me smile. Alexandre Aja must have realized this when he was conceptualizing "Piranha 3D", a remake of the classic 'fish eats man' scenario where a school of blood-thirsty piranhas are unleashed on the human race after an earthquake opens up a cave that has been untouched for thousands, maybe millions of years. And these are not your average piranha - they look wicked as hell, tear through flesh like a fat man tears through ribs and seem to have endless appetites. For such small fish, you'd think they might eventually explode with all that human flesh. You'd think one human would satiate them for a while, let alone one hundred.

The plot is fairly simple. The Spring Break resort town of Lake Victoria is under siege from these blood-thirsty carnivores and it's up to the local sheriff (Elisabeth Shue), her gnarly deputy (Ving Rhames), a seismologist (Adam Scott) and an overly-knowledgeable pet store owner (Christopher Lloyd) to stop it! Elsewhere, the sheriff's son (Steven R. McQueen) is living it up on a yacht with a "Girls Gone Wild" type baron (Jerry O'Connell) when the boat becomes stranded and the piranhas start attacking. Everything else is just oh so much blood and carnage. Richard Dreyfuss has a small appearance as a local fisherman and Eli Roth pops up as the host of a wet T-shirt contest.

These is a lot to admire about this film, from a horror standpoint. Alexandre Aja, as he has demonstrated with previous films, has no problem with sex and violence. "Piranha 3D" is all about sex and violence. The film exists to show us graceful underwater shots of naked women dancing followed by pseudo-erotic scenes of naked women being devoured by the piranha. The 'attack sequence' at the dock is more than a little impressive and showcases some of the best uses of practical make-up effects I have ever seen, brought to us by Nicotero and Berger with KNB who just know what they're doing. That sequence alone makes this film worth watching and I really can't remember a mainstream horror film that throws so much carnage at us in such an entertaining way.

My biggest problem with the film was the use of the 3D. A film needs to either be shot in 3D (i.e. My Bloody Valentine) or have enough 3D elements thrown in to make it worthwhile. Piranha 3D did neither. It felt like a film that had no business being 3D - I think there might have been two times the technique was used effectively. I have a problem paying such an elevated ticket price when the product I am watching is really being misrepresented. What made My Bloody Valentine so enjoyable was that it was shot in 3D and it always had this rich depth to it, something that elevated the film about others I have seen. Had it been tackled in the same way, Piranha 3D would have become an instantly more successful film. Right now, it stands as an entertaining and creative use of modern-day make-up effects and a testament to the insane awesomeness that is Christopher Lloyd.

Speaking of performances, let's dish. No problems here really for this type of film. Elisabeth Shue does a good job with the material, as do Rhames and Scott. They basically told Christopher Lloyd - "Remember that character you played in Back to the Future? Do that!" And he does. And it is amazing. They basically told Richard Dreyfuss - "Remember that character you played in Jaws? Do that!" And he does. And it is amazing. The highlight of the film, however, is Mr. Jerry O'Connell who has more fun with this role than I've seen any actor have with any role in recent memory. He gets to go wild for two hours and it's pure magic.

So, my recommendation of this film is restricted to horror fans and people who just want to have a good, blood soaked time at the movies. I would have recommended it more but the 3D really gets to me in a big way. 7/10.
Lucid Dreams #1: Lucid Dreams - added 08/21/2010, 05:20 PM
This looked like crap to me, so I'll probably wait for it to come on Netflix.
benloveshorror #2: benloveshorror - added 08/22/2010, 01:17 AM
I want to see this movie so bad. It just sounds like b-movie wet dream come true. Too bad I live in a small town surrounded by other small towns and our cheap theaters didn't get it, so I guess I'll have to wait for dvd.
Ginose #3: Ginose - added 08/22/2010, 02:46 PM
Dying to see this one, but been a bit too busy with school and work to really get a chance to go out. This one I'm going to make an exception for. I will see this movie. Aja has an extremely good track-record thus-far, and this looks to be the most wonderful kiss to b-movie fun that I have seen in so long.
...good to see you back, Billy Ray... there, I said it...
Chad #4: Chad - added 08/22/2010, 04:56 PM
I just got back from this one, and I had a fucking blast. I agree that the 3D was a little lackluster throughout half of the movie, but there were some scenes where the 3D was shockingly good. "Decent" would be one word to describe that element of the movie, but as for the movie itself... well, skip if you're wanting a "real" horror movie, but if you want to see tons of cameos, tons of nods, gallons of blood, great gore effects, and more titties than you can shake a stick at, get cracking on seeing this.
Nirrad #5: Nirrad - added 09/01/2010, 12:09 AM
Holy fuck this is the most fun I've had watching a movie in a long ass time. Richard Dreyfuss's cameo was sweet. Loved the song he was singing ;)
C L #6: C L - added 11/29/2010, 02:55 AM
Just finished watching it in 2-d, but I loved this movie. As stated above, it was the most fun I've had watching a movie in a very long time. Almost constant nudity and/or gore, and a lot of the nudity was Kelly Brook. For me this is an instant 10/10.
benloveshorror #7: benloveshorror - added 01/13/2011, 12:59 AM
Who would have thought that a movie about killer fish would have more gore and a bigger body count than any movie in the Friday the 13th series. And more nudity too! 8/10 for the gore alone. Would have been higher if the first half wouldn't have been underwhelming in my opinion.
Crispy #8: Crispy - added 02/24/2011, 01:34 AM
Agreed with the role, but I felt it took a little longer than I liked to get rolling. Once it did though, balls to the walls entertainment.
Christopher #9: Christopher - added 08/07/2011, 03:34 AM
Just what I wanted to see in a twenty four million dollar horror movie... an hours worth of tits with some of them being porn stars. Certainly can't see that anywhere else. Easily one of the worst remakes ever.
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