Piranha 3-D (2010) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

Aleandre Aja homage to the Roger Corman B movie and 80’s underwater ‘Creature Feature’ is a cheerfully distasteful and pitch perfect horror comedy. With some of the best use of 3D this side of ‘Avatar’. Pic starts out with an attack on a lonely fisherman, played by Richard Dreyfuss in a knowing nod to Spielberg’s classic. In fact the basic plot is very similar to the Original ‘Jaws’, sea creatures attack horny teenagers during spring-break at sleepy lake town in Arizona. Elisabeth Shue is the town sheriff who discovers the washed up bodies of early victims and attempts to warn the masses of the dangers awaiting them in the water.

Adam Scott makes an effective scientist/ action hero and his everyman qualities work in his favor when dealing with the absurdities of the story. Ving Rhames is essential wasted as the tough Policeman, although he is given one scene in which he lays waste to many piranhas using an engine’s propeller. Jerry O’Connell seems to be having the most fun; playing a sleazy porn director intent on capturing all the debauchery spring break has to offer. O’Connell’s character has the films single best line of dialogue, you’ll know it when you here it.

The Special effects are adequate given the material and director Aja keeps the tone light with a number of solid jolts to remind you this is a horror film. Whats most impressive about the film is the excellent use of 3D. This doesn’t have the stench of a retrofitted film being changed after the fact, quite the opposite. The 3D looks sharp and is used to effectively transport the viewer into an underwater world. Surprisingly one of the most enjoyable movies I’ve seen all summer. Definitely not for all tastes.

Director: Alexandre Aja
Stars: Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Jerry O’Connell

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