aka: Piranha 3D
Director: Alexandre Aja
Starring: Steven R. McQueen, Ving Rhames, Elisabeth Sue, Jessica Szohr, Jerry O’Connell
There’s something in the water
It’s spring break in Lake Victoria, Arizona and lots of young adults are arriving to drink themself silly, show off their young bodies and have unprotected sex with whatever gender they find at the end of the night. Jake is a young and unpopular teen who meets a sleazy pornographer named Derrick and agrees to show him the good spots to film whatever ladies that shows off their body parts.
Right before the spring break party goes into full party mode, a fisherman gets ripped apart by a bunch of piranhas that are freed by a small earthquake. The bloodthirsty piranhas are on their way to the shore where the partying is going on. Jake, Derrick and a couple of hotties are out on a yacht filming, when suddenly the boat crashes and they get stuck. It’s now up to Jake’s mother Sheriff Julie Forrester to both evacuate the lake and also save her son from the killer fish.
Sometimes Hollywood truly manages to shock me. A 24 million dollar movie about Piranhas? Who and why did that get greenlighted? Surprisingly enough it’s the Weinstein brothers who created this movie which was supposed to be a remake of Joe Dante’s 1978 Piranha movie. There’s not a lot of similarities between the movies though and I wouldn’t really considered it to be a remake. The most surprisingly aspect of this at all is the fact that this was in fact a huge success and made over 83 million dollars on the box office and probably plenty more on the home market.
The movie doesn’t focus a lot on horror and is more of a splatter comedy. It does get very gory and it is a fun ride. Body parts fly all over the place and it’s the awareness of the small details and the want to do something creative that makes it go above the norm when it comes to movies like this. It’s also filled with nudity, beautiful nudity I might add, especially the underwater scene where Kelly Brooks and Riley Steele swims together in the nude is pure art for every teenage guy out there, hell even us older ones.
Alexandre Aja is the guy in the directors chair, which is also another surprise here since his past has taken him from Haute Tension to The Hills Have Eyes remake and Mirrors. None of these are exactly filled with comedy, so it’s surprising to see that he is able to do that well here. A lot of the camera work is quite good and the entire thing could have turned into a crapfest if it didn’t have a good director to balance it out. Piranha has a lot of scenes with 3D effects to fit this new 3D craze that is going on. In 2D, does same scenes does lose some power and at times it can even take away from the scenes.
The characters aren’t exactly what you can call developed. The ones who shines the most is Jerry O’Connell (Stand by Me, Scream 2) as the sleazebag video director Derrick. He seems to have the time of his life on this movie and why not, he gets to do a lot of fun stuff in it. Jake, played by Steven R. McQueen (Club Soda, Minutemen) is supposed to be the one the viewers root for, but he is basically just the average unpopular guy who in the end manages to show his balls and do good. There’s also some fun cameo’s here like Richard Dreyfuss basically redoing his role from Jaws, Eli Roth shows up for a second and also Ving Rhames has a fun role as Deputy Fallon.
Piranha is basically a Syfy movie with a good budget and talent behind the camera. It does exactly what it sets out to do and is great fun. It’s like a retarded kid running in the special olympics, he might not it’s not the “real” olympic, but he is still doing his very best to be as good as he can possibly be. And perhaps the success might make it more possible for big studio’s to invest in what would usually be a small budget b-movie.