23 August 2010

Fish and Nips- PIRANHA 3D Review

As something of a regular disclaimer, it's only my opinion here- others are available. As ever, mild spoilers may occur in the process of reviewing, but never so far as to spoil any major plot developments.
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If 3D can be (and it has been) seen as a way to bring the theme park experience into cinemas, and this film in particular has a high quota of nudity and risible dialogue, you could call Piranha 3D the equivalent of porno Disneyland. Jizzneyland, if you will. It's a remake of a Joe Dante-directed Jaws parody from 1978, and it sees a bunch of fratboys and sorority girls descend on Lake Victoria for spring break, just as seismic activity unleashes thousands of prehistoric piranhas into the current.

If you weren't sure, then be sure- this is trash cinema. Sometimes that can be just fine, seeing a director and a group of actors you know and like knowingly taking on a trend that can, at its best, throw up a lot of laughs and make for a riotous time at the cinema. If you know and like Elisabeth Shue at her least interested, Jerry O'Connell at his most annoying, and a whole bunch of porn actresses, you will have a blast watching Piranha 3D.

You'd hope that most of the people old enough to gain admission through the film's 18 certificate would have outgrown this particular brand of trash, but then there's still a large contingent of men who read Nuts and Zoo. The last film I invoked lads' mag filmmaking about was Sorority Row, which shared a screenwriter with this one- the dubiously named Pete Goldfinger. If for some reason you liked that writer's leering sensibility then, this is more of the same. The gratuitous nudity on show here makes you think it was remiss to even credit the presumably minimal work done by the film's costume designer.

I've made my thoughts on 3D perfectly clear in the past, but in this one particularly, it's annoying as hell. It's another one retro-fitted with 3D after the fact, marking another tremendously lazy oversight for a film that was always going to be sold on its bespectacled visual appeal. As a result, a lot of it looks crummy, with ghosting, colour loss and all the other regular bugbears that made this the only film which I stumped up for the stereoscopic version of for some time.

The other major appeal is going to be the scantily clad women, most of whom have probably shown more in their more prolific porno work. I know for a fact that Kelly Brook showed as much in the execrable erotic thriller Three, but if you really need to see her swimming around underwater with Riley Steele, both entirely naked and snogging each other, to the strains of Delibes' The Flower Duet, then you can safely wait for the DVD. Guys, what you're thinking of doing after that description, you're generally not allowed to do in the cinema- see the problem with putting Jizzneyland on the big screen?

What initially made me mad about this film was the presence of Richard Dreyfuss in Matt Hooper mode. Yeah, he's more or less the same character he played in Jaws. I'm not innovating in the field of film fandom to declare how much I love Jaws, and I understand that this is based on a pastiche of that film, but I still didn't like that joke like I was supposed to. It just made me wish I was watching Jaws on a big-screen (in 2D) instead.

I will give it points for honesty though- it's all-out, crazy trash of the trashiest kind and they know it. To merely call it navel-gazing would omit its equal love for booby-gazing, ass-gazing, gore-gazing and CG-piranha gazing. In all respects but the pacing, which saves all the gross-out action you really came to see for the last 20 minutes, it's pretty competently put together. There is definitely an audience who will find all of this to be brilliant if breviloquent fun.

Me, I had more fun with Snakes on a Plane a few years ago, which shot for the same audience that this one does. If I really desperately needed to see tits when that film came out, I would have went on the Internet. Because I was 15, not because I can't find tits in real life. Uh... this movie sucks! It's aiming to be a guilty pleasure, but the operative part of that equation is the pleasure. If you don't enjoy this, like I didn't, then you're just left with the guilt.

The reason why I'm generally putting Piranha 3D down isn't because I have to chew away at it like so many underwater beasties, in search of some non-existent purpose in the film. It didn't entice me because it's simply more obnoxious than entertaining, and seriously falls short in a subset of cinema that director Alexandre Aja clearly understands and wants to capture in this remake. Instead he's made a film where the likes of Christopher Lloyd and Ving Rhames get as much screentime as Eli Roth as the judge of a wet t-shirt contest.

For some, it'll do exactly what it needs to, but it goes without saying that there's nothing on offer to a female audience, and that any males' intentions would probably be better served by waiting for the DVD and ruining a few socks then instead. You wouldn't fork out to see the recent lower-budgeted Asylum flick Mega-Piranha on the big screen, so don't waste your money on the same thing just because it had more money thrown at it.

Piranha 3D is now showing in 3D (duh) at cinemas nationwide.
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If and when you see Piranha 3D, why not leave a comment on the film and/or my review? If only Christopher Lloyd had got to say "Where they're going, they don't need water!" at the end, to set up for a remake of that James Cameron one where the piranha can fly.

I'm Mark the mad prophet, and until next time, don't watch anything I wouldn't watch.

1 comment:

Nabajyoti said...

Very good and Interesting picture. I like it very much.......