In comparison, I suppose Piranha 3D is a less subtle title than films like My Bloody Valentine 3D or Snakes on a Plane. Like those movies this is one that begs you not to take it seriously. Immediately a tone is set when Richard Dreyfus is fishing on a lake and he accidently drops a beer bottle. The bottle slowly falls to the bottom where it cracks open the lake and unearths a lake within a lake. Inside lie thousands of 2,000,000-year-old cannibalistic piranhas. Oh yeah, it’s spring break.
Like any good campy horror movie, there are plenty of plotlines going on at once. Elisabeth Shue plays the sheriff who is working with Adam Scott and the other marine biologists to figure out what is going on in their lake. Meanwhile her kid, Jake, is neglecting his babysitting duties so he can go out on a boat with a porn producer (Jerry O’Connell), some “actresses” (Kelly Brook, Riley Steele) and his love interest (Jessica Szohr). Also Jake’s little siblings are randomly on a little fishing island and hundreds of nameless college kids are in bathing suits off the shore just waiting to be slaughtered.
Oh they shall be slaughtered. In a brief scene, Christopher Lloyd explains to us that these are really vicious piranhas. That’s all we need to know. Limbs shall be mangled, blood shall paint the waters, and there may or may not be a torn-up CGI penis thrown at the screen. (Of course there is.)
The film knows how to have its ridiculous moments, but it’s difficult to maintain the moments beyond the blood and breasts. I’m not wanting character development or even characters, but just let the actors have a good time. Scott, O’Connell, and Paul Scheer are all fun comedians and they should have just been allowed to riff more throughout the movie. Even if it’s just screaming profanities at those God-forsaken demon fish.
Horror films keep insisting on having a “relatable” protagonist but Jake is just too whinny and annoying. He manages not to have a good time while Brook and Steele are having a naked underwater dance sequence.
The 3D is silly, just like the rest of the film. Piranhas, limbs, and weapons fly into the theatre but the technology is still not perfect. It’s still too dim! There are some underwater sequences that amusingly tinted red but that makes it very difficult to tell what is going on. I know some horny teen is dying, but which one!
There are plenty of discussion worthy moments in this movie, but not enough to sustain the 90 minutes. It needed to take a page out of Spartacus: Blood and Sand if they want to how have insane depravity while still keeping the audience’s interest for every moment. Talking about the film is more fun than actually watching the film as seen by the video below. Did I mention Ving Rhames shoots piranhas with shotguns in this movie? It’s awesome.
Piranha 3D Oscar Campaign