Sunday, January 6, 2013

Piranha 3D (2010) Review

Piranha 3D poster
Director: Alexandre Aja
Stars: Elisabeth Shue, Ving Rhames, Steven R. McQueen, Christopher Lloyd, Jerry O'Connell, Richard Dreyfuss, Eli Roth
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Exploitation

One of Piranha 3D's slogans is "Sea Sex and...Blood." That is what you will get. If you are expecting anything more then go watch a different film. Piranha 3D comes as advertised.

Piranha 3D is a remake of the 1978 B-movie Jaws rip-off of the same name (minus the 3D) which was produced by Roger Corman and directed by Joe Dante. This remake is directed by Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes remake, Mirrors).

The movie is about, well, it's about piranhas that attack during spring break. Seriously, what'd you think it'd be about?

I guess I'll start with the film's strong points. There's a whole lot of nudity. Okay, that's not really something that should make or break a film, and I'm sure it's even a detractor for many, but goddamn there's some great nudity in here. And I don't just mean there's an abundance of nudity, there's also a variety of nudity. There's your standard nudity, then there's your underwater nudity, then you have your parasailing nudity, and of course your bloody nudity. So we have abundance and variety, but is it quality nudity? Well, considering that famed pornstars Riley Steele, Gianna Michaels, and Ashlynn Brooke and model Kelly Brook all make appearances I'd say that it's safe to answer with a yes. Avid porn viewers are sure to recognize a few faces...or breasts. I've just realized that this is the longest I've talked about nudity in a review so to avoid sounding obsessive I will move on.

Piranha 3D Gianna Michaels parasailing
Piranha 3D Kelly Brook and Riley Steele nude swimming

The effects are mostly computer generated. It's no secret that I'm not a fan of CGI in most cases. The CGI here looks...well, to be honest it looks pretty decent at some points...but at most points it looks pretty bad. If it was a B-movie I might be able to pass it off as decent CGI; "But, Mr. Reviewer, Piranha 3D is a B-movie," you say? It had a budget of 24 million dollars. That does not fit my definition of low-budget. For 24 million dollars I expect damn good effects or at the very least damn good CGI. The original Piranha in 1978 was made for well under 1 million dollars, and even with inflation that comes nowhere near 24 million.

It's not only that the CGI is decent at best, it's also the fact that if they had gone with traditional effects it would have greatly added to the camp value and cheesiness (which they were clearly going for). I mean, if this is supposed to be an homage to older B-movies, or even a parody of them, shouldn't they at least get the effects right? With such a large budget they could have done some interesting stuff. Plus Gregory Nicotero was credited as a Make-up Artist; Nicotero is a special effects master. I couldn't even begin to name all the stuff he's worked on, just look at his Wikipedia page. The effects could have been really out of this world had they chosen to go the traditional route.

Piranha 3D 2010 Jessica Szohr

Despite the generally poor effects some of the kills are actually pretty cool and dare I say creative. The parasailing one was great, the Ashlynn Brooke bra kill was cool, Eli Roth dying is great, there was just some pretty solid deaths in here.

The cast is pretty great...though the acting, for the most part, isn't. First off there's some really awesome cameos. Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Ving Rhames (Marsellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction), Jerry O'Connell (the white guy from Kangaroo Jack), Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws), Elisabeth Shue (The Karate Kid), Eli Roth (director and actor), not to mention again all the pornstars. Plus Eli Roth gets killed in here, and any movie where Eli Roth gets killed is a movie worth watching...especially when his head is crushed by a boat. But yeah, all the cameos are awesome and definitely make the movie much more enjoyable. And they all do a pretty good acting job.

Piranha 3D Christopher Lloyd

The rest of the cast however ranges from awful to decent and you probably won't recognize any of them. Steven R. McQueen (yes, he is the grandson of Steve McQueen. Yes, I do mean the Steve McQueen) is a fucking awful actor. And I hate his face. Okay, I'm sorry. I do hate his face though. Jessica Szohr wasn't terrible, and I definitely didn't hate her face.

Piranha 3D Ving Rhames

The soundtrack is awful. Nothing else needs to be said. It's just goddamn fucking abysmal. Trash. Garbage. Rubbish. Absolute 100% shit. Not even regular shit, I'm talking mushy, wet, sick shit. Who composed this shit? Hold on, let me look it up...Michael Wandmacher. Hey, Michael, fuck you. You know all that good music they play at spring break parties? Oh, that's right, there isn't any. I will say one thing though, that kid had some great fucking band posters on his wall. They were all your typical teen posters (Nirvana, Lou Reed, Radiohead, Ramones) but why couldn't we have some music like that instead of the annoying trip-hop or dubstep or whatever in the world it's called. The kid even wore a Pixies shirt! I apologize if I'm offending anyone's taste in music but seriously, fuck you. To be completely honest there were a few parts that had some decent tracks but for the most part it was pretty bad.

Piranha 3D Ashlynn Brooke

Well, I've gone on about nudity and music quite enough. My conclusion is that Piranha 3D isn't a good movie. But it isn't awful either. In fact it's quite enjoyable, especially if your a heterosexual male (or I suppose a homosexual female). There's some cool cameos, a few cool kills, tons of nudity. It could have been a lot better and there was so much missed potential, but it also could have been worse. I'd even say it's better than the original in some ways. For me it was worth watching, and if you think you can place all seriousness aside and watch this as pure nonsensical entertainment then maybe you should give it a shot too. There was also a 2012 sequel Piranha 3DD.

2.5/5 stars
Pros:
+Lots of nudity
+Some cool kills
+Awesome cameos
Cons:
-Bad effects
-Bad soundtrack
-Some bad acting
-Missed potential

Purchase Piranha 3D on Amazon: Blu-Ray - Blu-Ray 3D - DVD - Stream
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