Piranha 3D

Rating – ****

In 1975 Matt Hooper narrowly avoided becoming shark chum in Steven Spielberg’s timeless masterpiece, Jaws. Hooper 1, Fish-kind 0. Well, the opening minutes of Piranha see the score settled in spectacular (and ludicrous) fashion. Richard Dreyfuss reprises his iconic role in a fanboy pleasing cameo. We see Hooper’s presumably blissful retirement come to a swift and bloody end on the shores of Lake Victoria. Is there time to morn? Hell no, bring on the 3D boobs! As you put on those dorky glasses and begin munching your popcorn, sit back and prepare to smile.

Piranha 3D delivers everything you could ever want from a schlocky B-movie about porn-star-munching prehistoric fish!  Alexandre Aja directs the non-stop carnage with genuine wit and a clear love of tasteless trash. It’s easy to dismiss such lowbrow thrills, but how often are you genuinely entertained to the point where you want to cheer, laughing so hard you’re forced to simply give up wiping away the tears. That’s a real achievement, and it takes somebody intelligent to craft something so wonderfully “dumb”, and actually make it work this well. Remember how much you wanted to love Snakes on a Plane? Well this is the movie you’ve been waiting for. Aja has also done something even James Cameron never managed; he’s made a great Piranha movie! I expect Cameron himself will be first in line to give Aja a pat on the back, especially as this is also a glorious showcase for the 3D medium. Not to mention the several nods to Titanic scattered amongst the mayhem. Stereoscopic thrills were born of this genre, and it still fits like a glove. After all the lofty ambitions of Cameron and Zemeckis, perhaps this is what 3D really does best… it allows murderous CGI fish to regurgitate a severed penis, which floats gracefully above the audience, constantly threatening to brush the tips of their noses. Not to mention the far more welcome onslaught of Kelly Brook and co’s wonderfully rendered boobies. Fancy some underwater lesbian ballet? You got it. At one point we see a topless girl parasailing across the lake. She dips into the crystal clear water and it quickly turns claret. Once she remerges, she’s become bottomless too, and I’m not just talking about her lack of bikini. The gore in this film is very strong, and truly marvelous. Inventive, sickening, tasteless, very bloody and constantly hilarious! A face is ripped off by a boat propeller, bodies are sliced in half, and the eponymous piscine critters munch their way through many orifices, or simply gouge out new ones. Another treat comes courtesy of Christopher Lloyd, where the hell has he been lately?! His cameo as the local fish expert is a joy. Lloyd dials his trademark nutball persona up to 11 and beyond, Emmet Brown is alive and well!

Criticisms? Occasional flaws in the 3D conversion are apparent. The opening titles will give you a headache, it impossible to focus on them and the pin sharp background at the same time! Another word of warning to all other would-be 3D filmmakers, don’t attempt a shot with defocused wire mesh fencing in the foreground, it will really screw up the audience’s depth perception. Aja stated in a recent interview that he wanted the killer fish to be “photo-realistic”. Frankly he has failed, but if anything, their cartoonish appearance just adds to the fun. They come across as aquatic gremlins, appropriate as Joe Dante also directed the original Piranha. Things come to an end all too abruptly, but by that point you’ll be too delirious to care. Piranha is a sick and silly treat, recalling the joys of last year’s Drag Me to Hell. This is mandatory viewing for every teenage boy, student, and those of us just craving some simple guilty fun at the cinema. Oh, and bring on Jackass 3D, as glimpsed in a trailer beforehand.                        

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~ by thewholebuffalo on August 22, 2010.

3 Responses to “Piranha 3D”

  1. Roberts, the topless parasailing girl you mention is none other than real life porn star Gianna Michaels. A bit worrying that I was able to instantly recognise her ; )

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