Directed by Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes, Mirrors)
Starring Elisabeth Shue, Steven R. McQueen, Jerry O’Connell, Ving Rhames, Kelly Brook
After an underwater earthquake tears the ocean floor a new a-hole, a swarm of big, prehistoric eating machines get released from their deep sea Jurassic park. A research team is sent in to investigate the quake and are led by the local sheriff (Shue) to the location. Meanwhile, her son (McQueen) decides to skip out on babysitting his sister to work with “Wild Wild Girls” owner Derrick Jones (O’Connell) on his latest spring break shoot. Care to guess what will happen next?
Well, well, what do we have here? A remake (actually a remake of a remake but I’m just flexing my nerd muscle) of an older horror movie in 3D! Shocking in this day and age, but if there’s anything that’ll get me to plunk down the extra three bucks for a 3D movie, it’s a horror flick. Just seems to work much better with horror films than other such movies…but I’m probably biased. The benchmark for 3D horror is My Bloody Valentine and while Piranha doesn’t quite match the awesomeness of the 3D horror scenes in MBV, seeing piranha munching on severed heads coming towards you is pretty cool. But I’m getting ahead of myself for the moment…
The movie doesn’t seem to try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the story, location, plot, but it just works with it in excess. The movies’ main draw and focus is of course on the lovely ladies parading around in the nude or pretty damn close to it, and giant fish with teeth sinking them into the very flesh you were just focusing on. Once the party gets started, there’s no shying away from what you’re going to see.
Usually these days you’ll catch a few brief glimpses of bare breasts, but since this is during Spring Break, the women just toss em out saying, “How do you like me now?” Needless to say, you’ll probably get more flashing than you bargained for and that’s never a bad thing. The scene of the movie may just be watching Kelly Brook and Riley Steele swimming nude underwater to calm, soothing music…you know, to class the movie up a bit. In fact, if you haven’t seen enough of Kelly Brook, take a gander at what Tommy has put up here, you’ll be very happy you did.
On the other end of the marketing spectrum, the gore in store is absolutely disgusting and I loved it. This part of the film doesn’t come into play into the last third of the film, but once the fish find the swimmers, all hell breaks loose. People get literally torn to pieces with limbs and other body parts chomped off. It’s not even just the fish causing havoc, watching the college kids go nuts trying to survive also leads to some horrifying results, including Eli Roth in a disgusting cameo which he seems to like doing often.
The movie has a nice bit of casting, even if it’s mostly just cameos by the bigger names. They really could’ve casted anyone because the acting is definitely taking a backseat to everything else. Elisabeth Shue does well enough in her role as the sheriff. Jerry O’Connell seems to have had a blast as the dirty smut peddler. Ving Rhames plays another bad ass cop in a small role. Christopher Lloyd plays another crazy doctor and even Richard Dreyfuss shows up briefly to make the obvious Jaws connection to Piranha (the original Piranha being one of the better rip offs of Jaws.) The cast provides just enough to avoid the movie becoming really campy and to get some cred from genre nerds such as myself.
On the negative side, the movie is pretty predictable, as is often the case for remakes. The only new things that you’ll see is in the originality of the filmmakers and how they want their swimmers killed. Again, you’re not watching for the plot, but you may get a little restless knowing what’s going to happen as you’re waiting for the next attack (or next hot woman to pull her t-shirt off.) The pacing is kept deliberately slow during the course of the movie up until the final act where all the real good stuff happens, but at least when something does happen in the first half or so of the movie, it’s worth the wait. Also, the movie just ends suddenly with a blatant set up for a sequel…which I will watch.
Overall, the movie obviously tells you there are two things you should look out for, naked women and blood. The movie has them in spades as isn’t shy in showing you either. If you like both and think that you will be entertained by seeing both together, this is the movie to see, otherwise, I wouldn’t have a clue why you’d be there.
Story: 5 – Strictly average, the movie takes no chances with the story and just gives you more of what you expect.
Blood: 9 – I can’t even begin to list the ways you see people in various states of teethy mutilation, just know that it’s disgusting and you’ll love it.
Boobs: 9 – There are tits….EVERYWHERE!
Overall: 7 – Well, don’t know what else to say, there are two things you’ll be entertained by. Anything else you get out of the movie is secondary.