Thursday, January 28, 2021 11:02

Piranha 3D: mini-review

The plot of Piranha 3D was obviously never highest on the list of priorities for director Alexandre Aja and his writing team. Instead, they’ve gone for all-out bikinis, the emphatic overuse of the word ‘boobies’ and copious amounts of gore. Their premise is quite simple: an earthquake ruptures a lake bed and creates a tunnel which leads to a subterranean lake chocful of prehistoric (read: bigger and hungrier than normal) piranha. The piranha are then able to swim towards a huge Spring Break party, whilst local sheriff Forester (Elisabeth Shue) and Deputy Fallon (Ving Rhames) try and fail to get people out of the water. Meanwhile the sheriff’s children are unfortunately out on a boat themselves, after older brother Jake ditched babysitting and joined a once-in-a-lifetime excursion as a location scout for some hawt ladies (including Kelly Brook) and their coke-brained ‘director’ (the very funny Jerry O’Connell).

And that’s basically it. You can imagine what ensues and, as this remake was made with 3D in mind, the types of perspective-happy shots which the team uses. I will say that I thought a lot of the underwater photography was good and although the film is naturally heavy on the CGI, none of the effects were disastrous and most of them were well-executed. Nicotero and Berger did good work on the make-up effects. There was enough convincing gore to entertain and enough T&A to satisfy even the most ardent enthusiast. The film was definitely fun, then, and I was delighted to see cameos from Richard Dreyfuss and the brilliantly-earnest Christopher ‘Back to the Future’ Lloyd.

That said, I’d argue that even deliberately cartoonish exploitation cinema needs to pay attention to things like basic human physiology! During one (nude, lesbian, underwater) scene the girls are swimming below the surface for about four minutes. Nude and lesbian they may be, but how are they alive? (A similar thing occurs at the end of the film! Maybe the folk in this film are actually Innsmouth types). There are also incredibly ham-fisted issues with the pace, and there was a stop-start-stop-start feel to the film which had me scratching my head at times (for instance, it might take the piranha four minutes to gnaw on one guy, and then fifteen seconds to do eat through a woman’s legs, bone and all. Unless of course, men and women are made of drastically different material…)

So, Piranha 3D certainly delivers in terms of heaving bosoms and bloody remains, but at times was tripping over itself to provide such immensities of both that it forgot some important basics, both of filmmaking and biology ;)   It’s definitely a beer movie, and to tell the truth it wouldn’t really matter if you didn’t see it in 3D because – shh – you sort of stop noticing it after a while…


2 Responses to “Piranha 3D: mini-review”

  1. Rippermatt says:

    I found the 3D to be distracting for the most part. In the action scenes, it was fun and it was grin-inducing to see big splashes of 3D blood and the odd floating 3D body part, but outside of those scenes it seemed like they’d somehow manage to turn it onto a lower setting. It was still 3D, but it wasn’t as in your face as when the fun stuff was on screen, and I found that jarring.

    Of course, this was my first 3D film experience, so it could just be down to my expectations (and, I’ll admit, prejudice towards 3D) colouring my experience, but I can’t say I’m excited to go see another 3D flick.

    This one was fun, though, even if Kelly Brook and the other woman should have drowned.

  2. Miss K says:

    Yeah – I know what you mean, but I suppose I assumed that was just me getting used to the effect. I suppose they could alter the levels somehow!

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