Saturday, August 21, 2010

Piranha 3D Review

It's difficult for me to review Piranha 3D without some spoilers so consider yourself warned. Let me do a favor for actor Richard Dreyfuss' career and tell you that he doesn't last the first ten minutes of the movie. He plays Matt Boyd, a drunken fisherman casting a line in Lake Victoria. Yes, I get it. His character's first name is the same one he had in Jaws. That's not the all of the joke either. Matt is singing the folk song, "Show Me the Way to Go Home" which Dreyfuss sang with Robert Shaw in Jaws. Anyway, an earthquake opens an underground lake beneath Lake Victoria. It unleashes thousands of prehistoric piranhas. They cause a whirlpool which throws poor Matt into the water and he becomes human fish food. I would bet money that Dreyfuss was very happy he got killed early. That's because this movie is a big fat turkey.

The characters in this movie fit your horror movie stereotypes. There's the innocent teenagers, Jake Forester (Steven R. McQueen) and his sometime girlfriend. (Jessica Szohr) Want a precocious ten year sister who reminds brother Jake to stop looking at woman's breasts? You got her in actress Brooklynn Proulx. Your eyes will be rolling when you hear her force "boob" jokes. It's so bad if she weren't a ten year old girl, you might consider having the piranhas make her human sushi. But that would be despicable. Yet... But I digress, there's a crazy and sleazy pornographer, Derrick Jones. (Jerry O' Connell) How about some gorgeous eye candy? Yes, the best thing in this movie is model Danni. (Kelly Brook) Of course if we're following the Jaws model we need a lawman or law person, an ichthyologist and somebody who's good in the water. Sheriff Julie Forester and father of Jake, (Elizabeth Shue) is the law person. Dr. Goodman, played way over the top by Christopher Lloyd is the ichthyologist. And Novak (Adam Scott) works for the government and drives the boat.

With the exception of Julie Forester, none of the characters have any appealing traits. And when Lake Victoria gets filled with horny college co-eds for Spring Break it gets worse. They're just a bunch of hedonistic jerks. But maybe that's okay because of the coming slaughter. It makes you want to root for the piranhas. Well almost, for the movie turns ugly fast.

Alexadre Aja's direction is unimaginative. With the exception of one of the ending set pieces, there's no tension in this movie. His idea of creativity is to fling body parts at you. With all the unrelenting carnage, I'm surprised that this movie got a "R" rating, it's more NC-17. Peter Goldberg and Josh Stolberg's script is full of cliches. The actors are boring, because the script's dialogue is uninspiring. Yet, the worst thing about this movie is it doesn't have an ending. Where's the big confrontation with the surviving piranhas? At least write a cheap ending like nuking the lake. Yes, I know. They might make a sequel, "Pirnaha: Sleeping With The Fishes." But with the Gulf oil spill, global warming and Sarah Palin, haven't we suffered enough?

Oh, I forgot the 3D part. Like many 3D live action films, it's too dark. The CGI piranha move so fast, it's hard to tell what's happening. That might be good since Aja has multiple body parts coming at you. In one of many outrageous scenes, a body part of Jerry O' Connell gets eaten in 3D. By the time you read this, you will probably have heard about it. I'll guess that he's going to get a lot of offers for dates.

Piranha 3D is one of the worst movies of the year. It's a gory mess with no redeeming quality. The grade is D.

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