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Movie Review Piranha 3D
 August 24, 2010
 
Grade:  B
Director:  Alexandre Aja Released:  August 2010
Writer:  Pete Goldfinge, Josh Stolberg MPAA Rating:  R
Players:  Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell, Steven R. McQueen, Jessica Szohr, Adam Scott Running time:  89 minutes
Ratings Methodology


 

Piranha 3D promised to be the goriest, most exploitative movie with the most bare breasts and over-the-top scares since Showgirls. Imagine my disappointment when it didn't quite meet those lofty expectations.

My complaint is that it didn't go far enough. There's one stand-out sequence with a topless parasailing girl that represents what the entire movie could have been. It includes underwater shots of her ample breasts as she skims the water's surface. It's entirely gratuitous, and brilliant. The scene ends in her grisly demise (of course!) with her half eaten body lifted out of the water, boobs still gloriously intact (of course!). That scene accomplishes in spades what this movie set out to do. There are other good examples (the much discussed underwater nude ballet, for instance), but there are also twice as many missed opportunities.

The celebrity cameos didn't work for me. The Richard Dreyfuss segment could have been great, but ultimately there was no reason to cast him in that role. Any old dude could have played the part just as effectively. They had one of the stars of Jaws and did barely anything with him. Same goes for Christopher Lloyd. Why bother casting these guys if you're not doing anything interesting with them? And I don't even know why Eli Roth is getting so much press for this movie, he couldn't have been on screen for more than 60 seconds.

Still, despite these problems, the film is kind of an instant classic. At the least, it made an attempt where most movies don't even try. Piranha is way better than any other recent attempt at a campy horror film.

Jerry O'Connell plays an epic douche, and plays it perfectly. O'Connell really went to town with this part, put some gusto into it, and made something unexpectedly great. He created a pretty meaty role out of pretty thin material.

The gore is pretty good. It's relentless during the main attack sequence, almost overwhelming. There is flesh chewed to the bone, faces missing, bodies falling apart, you name it. For about 20 minutes it is pure carnage and mayhem. Curiously, we are never shown the details of an attack. We see people in the water, we see the water churning, and then we see half eaten people pulled out of the water. But we never see a fish actually sink its teeth into some flesh.

If you want to see boobs in 3D (and who doesn't?), this movie is for you.

- crocoPuffs

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