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Review: Piranha 3D

Piranha 3D
8 10

Plot: An underwater tremor releases thousands of prehistoric, man-eating piranhas, who proceed to dine on the population of a small resort town, which also happens to be hosting thousands of horny co-ed's on spring break.

Review: PIRANHA 3D is exactly the kind of cheese I love. It's an affectionate throwback to the old-school, blood n' boobs movies that producers like Roger Corman (who produced the original, Joe Dante directed PIRANHA) used to churn out by the dozen in the seventies and eighties. There's absolutely no pretention here. All director Alexandre Aja wants to do is give audiences eighty minutes of gore, sex, and fun, and boy howdy- does he deliver or what?

I really can't for the life of me understand why the Weinsteins held off on screening this film for the online press, as I really have a hard time believing anyone could actively dislike a film where we not only get Richard Dreyfus re-creating Matt Hooper from JAWS (sporting the exact same wardrobe, and warbling “Show Me The Way To Go Home”), but we also get a 3D, underwater make-out 'ballet' featuring the unfathomably sexy Kelly Brook (not to mention porn star Riley Steel). By the time Ving Rhames says “eat this muthfuckas” while using a boat propeller to slaughter hundreds of piranhas, you'd have to be one hell of a wet blanket not to be having at least a bit of fun.

Let's face it, PIRANHA 3D is trash cinema- and gloriously so at that. It's the cinematic equivalent of a happy meal at McDonald's. Sure it's bad for you, and you'd be better off eating a salad, but dammit- sometime you just want a fuckin' Big Mac! PIRANHA 3D is that Big Mac.

To give Aja some credit, he's managed to pull together a much more credible cast than a film like this usually gets, and for once, everyone seems like they're in on the joke. Elizabeth Shue, who's been one of my all-time cinematic crushes ever since I saw ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING as a rugrat, leads the cast as the drop-dead sexy, and tough small-town sheriff who has to deal with these piranhas. Is it just me, or does Shue look like she hasn't aged a day since LEAVING LAS VEGAS? She's still smoking hot, and a couple of tantalizing glimpses of her in a wet tank-top proves she's still got the bod that ushered Ralph Macchio into puberty in the original KARATE KID.


Funny-man Adam Scott turns up as the hero, and I love the way he seems totally in on the joke throughout. There's no winking at the camera per se, but you'll notice in his scene with the great Christopher Lloyd that this guy's found EXACTLY the right vibe to ride with in a film like this. As for Ving Rhames, well- he's Ving Rhames dammit, which is awesome!

Of course, the thing that's going to get a lot of asses in theatre seats is sex-goddess Kelly Brook, who plays a bi-curious porn star. Now, I'm not usually a 3D fan (in fact after seeing double in the poorly designed opening credits I almost had to bolt from the theatre), but when it comes to a 3D nude Kelly Brook- hell, you got my four extra bucks! I also really enjoyed Jerry O'Connell, as the coked-out-of-his-mind “Girls Gone Wild” style producer, who hires Shue's teenage son (played by Steven R. McQueen- grandson of the legendary Steve) to take him and the gals out for a sexy shoot.

Overall, I had a bloody (pun intended) great with PIRANHA 3D. The last twenty minutes are completely insane, and you're unlikely to see more gore on-screen in any other horror flick this year. While it's not particularly scary (although I did cringe when one cast member lost a vital part of his anatomy that rhymes with "his sock") it's still an absolute blast, and definitely a film to check out, preferably after sharing a case of beer with some friends. Heck, if they make a PIRANHAS, I'll be first in line!

Grade: 8/10





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