Friday, August 27, 2010

Movie Reviews: Piranha 3D

There's something in the water.

Directed by: Alexandre Aja

Written by: Pete Goldfinger & Josh Stolberg

Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Ving Rhames, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd, Eli Roth, Jerry O'Connell, Steven R. McQueen, Jessica Szohr, Kelly Brook, Riley Steele, Adam Scott, Ricardo Chavira

When an underwater tremor opens a cavern filled with pre-historic man-eating piranhas just as a desert lake is about to celebrate spring break, a group of locals and tourists must work together struggle to survive the fanged fish.

Begin by accepting this movie for what it is. It is not Sophie's Choice. It's not even Jaws (despite a cameo homage by Richard Dreyfuss -- and the fact that he gets top billing for such a small cameo speaks volumes). With an Oscar winner (Dreyfuss) and nominee (Elizabeth Shue), one might have been tempted to expect more, but you only have to glance at the trailers (or even the poster) to immediately lower your expectations. It's a cheesy T&A horror film with so much female T&A that it could easily be mistaken for something filmed for Cinemax.

Nevertheless, as cheesy thriller films go, it's passably enjoyable in that vein. Yes, the male T&A is virtually nonexistent while the female T&A is so nonstop that a purveyor of lesbian porn for a straight male audience could hardly have added more. The suspense is hardly suspenseful, but the jump scenes, while entirely predictable, were nevertheless jumpy.

Halfway through this movie, I began to lament that not enough people had died. I needn't have worried; within moments, the mayhem had become so exaggerated that I couldn't stop giggling.

The cast for the most part do a good job with shaky material. Shue plays the small-town sheriff trying to protect spring breakers from a then-unidentified menace in the water. Steven R. McQueen (The Vampire Diaries) plays her son who, in perhaps my biggest complaint of the film, remains extremely overdressed in board shorts as other female co-stars expose their breasts, vaginas, and what they ate for lunch (or ... what ate them for lunch). Jerry O'Connell appropriately overacts as a sort of Girls Gone Wild-esque soft core porn producer, while Christopher Lloyd inappropriately overacts to the point of irritation.

Bear in mind that my grade mitigates for what the film strives for. Had it aimed higher, the grade would have been lower.

My grade: C-

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