Reviewed by Buz “Danger” Wallick
Starring Ving Rhames, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd, Jerry O’Connell, Steven R. McQueen, Jessica Szohr
Directed by Alexandre Aja
You know what’s great? Boobs. You know what’s also great? Richard Dreyfuss. You know what makes those other two things even greater? Killer fish. What movie has all of these things and more? What About Bob? Fuck no. PIRANHA 3D.
I should preface this review with the scientific fact that I over-praise aquatic monster movies so naturally I went ape-shit for this flick. If you don’t have an appreciation for the underwater mayhem, nature run amok sub-genre, though, then this movie isn’t for you. However, if everything I’ve said so far has tickled your fancy, my god Piranha 3D is a gift from the heavens.
The film is set on the sleepy little Lake Victoria in Arizona. A lake that is invaded every year during spring break with scantily clad women, raging drunk douchebags, sex, drugs, and rock and roll. All the good things in life. And every year it’s up to the town’s local sheriff department, headed up by Julie Forester (Shue), to ensure the safety of the drunken idiots and their wonderful wet T-shirt contests. Something is different this year, however. Due to some strange seismic activity, an underwater cave cracks open and unleashes jaws … lots and lots of jaws. At this point the furious prehistoric piranha begin to make their way around the lake until ultimately showing up at the massive spring break orgy that’s taking place. While this story doesn’t seem all that new, the movie knows exactly what it’s going for and revels in its ridiculous nature run amok bloody goodness.
For a movie of this kind of cheesy proportion, the acting is surprisingly very solid. Everyone goes in knowing what the film is and has fun with it. Elisabeth Shue rocks as always, and Ving Rhames is the ultimate badass (and could indeed be considered the Obama of Piranha). There’s also a surprise performance from Kelly Brook, who plays British bombshell Danni (one of the “Wild Wild Girls”), who instead of just being a ditzy chick with big boobs actually has some ethos and pathos (for a killer piranha movie anyway) with big boobs. The two lead kids, “The Vampire Diaries”‘s Steven R. McQueen (yes, there is a relation) and “Gossip Girl”‘s Jessica Szohr (as Jake and Kelly, respectively), while usually irritating in this kind of film, are tolerable and have some rather good scenes together.
The cast standouts, though, are Adam Scott (from the hilarious show “Party Down”) as the seismic scientist guy who also happens to be a badass with a quick wit; Christopher Lloyd as Doc Bro … I mean Doctor Goodman, the prehistoric piranha expert (great scott!); Jerry O’Connell as Derrick Jones, the douchey yet utterly hilarious “Wild Wild Girls” host; and Richard Dreyfuss as Matt Hooper. Yes, you read that right. Richard Dreyfuss reprises his role as Hooper from Jaws in a killer piranha movie. While the credits may have him as Matt Boyd, he is singing “Show me the way to go home” at one point and is dressed as Matt Hooper (denim and all). If there is one reason to see this movie, that’s it. Well, that and Jerry O’Connell, who literally had me in tears every time he was on screen. Now these aren’t Oscar-winning performances by any stretch, but for a film about killer fish in a lake, they are damn entertaining and just all around fun.
For being a post-conversion 3D movie, Piranha‘s 3D is excellent. They didn’t exactly have the budget for 3D while shooting, but it was always the intention to have the film in 3D so they shot it as such. You have piranha flying out of the screen as well as boat propellers, breast implants, bloody body parts, and a lone penis. And it all looks beautiful. With any Alex Aja movie the cinematography is top-notch. This one has a wonderful warm glow to it that contrasts well with the bloody gore. And while the piranha are all CGI, the gore effects are practical and look insanely awesome thanks to the talents of KNB Effects. The pacing of the film is well done and moves quickly with a cool running time of 90-something minutes. It never drags, and there is always a kill every fifteen minutes or so. Aja definitely knows how to keep a film entertaining.
In all honesty, this is the best movie of the summer, if not my favorite horror film of the year. It literally has every single thing you could ever want in a movie. Killer fish? Check. A slow motion underwater make-out scene set to the classic song “Flower Duet” between two naked women? Check. Ving Rhames shooting said killer fish with a shotgun? Check. Jerry O’Connell in a Speedo? DOUBLE CHECK. It’s a great movie to see with a crowd as you will be cheering, screaming, laughing, and gasping at the levels of insanity that this flick throws at its audience. When the shit hits the fan, it really hits, and it hits hard. Also, for a theatrical release it has more boobs in it than a late night Skinamax marathon. Hell, there is porn out there with less T&A.
Run, don’t walk or swim to see this movie. It’s a bloody good time and sure to be a crowd favorite. I give it 5 out of 5 spring break tits, Jerry O’Connell coke lines, exploding Eli Roth heads, and, yes, 5 out of 5 fucking knives.
I loved this movie.
5 out of 5
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