23 September 2010

Clarky's Review: Piranha 3D

What can I say about Piranha 3D. It was simultaneously one of the worst films I have ever seen and the most enjoyable. It is also the only 3D film that I have actually enjoyed at the cinema.

3D is, in my opinion, one of the most loathsome things about cinema in the past 5 years, yet the 3D added to the B-movie style of this film. This is a film with its tongue firmly in cheek and it uses the 3D just like the original films in the 80's did, when it first became flavour of the month. It decides to use the gimmicky notion of 3D and make a joke of it. This is a film loaded with gore, nudity and plenty of laughs.

Directed by Alexandre Aja (who seems to be stuck in a rut of making remakes ever since his debut Switchblade Romance - a great film for the first 80 minutes and then an incredibly shocking twist ruins everything that preceded it - see our reviews here) this is an hour and a half of mindless fun. You may not be thinking about it half an hour later, but at the time it is incredibly fun, especially if you know the horror movie genre, especially B-movies.

In fact the film opens with a reference to one of the greatest B-movies of all time - Jaws. Richard Dreyfuss opens the film as fisherman Matt whistling "Show me the way to go home" and dressed almost identically to his character Matt Hooper. It's a nice touch and a nod to the films of the 70's and 80's that it is lovingly homaging. Even the poster is a nod to Jaws.

With regards to the gore there are some scenes that would be incredibly difficult to watch in a "normal" movie. Thankfully, the action and gore is presented here with almost a cartoon sensibility it is difficult not to laugh and cheer at whats on screen. There is one scene in particular involving Jerry O'Connell's sleazy filmmaker which particularly sticks in the memory.

However, the standout scene that sticks in your memory has to be the underwater skinny dipping with Kelly Brook and Riley Steele set to the Lakme - Flower Duet (or the tune from the British Airways advert). A stunning vision, where the 3D really comes into its own!

Added to the mixer we also get cameo's from pornstars (so I'm told), Eli Roth hosting a wet T-shirt competition and Christopher Lloyd as a "mad" professor/scientest - what more do you want? (apart from maybe the reported cameo of the original directors Joe Dante and James Cameron as fishing boat captains - one can't help but feel this never happened due to James Cameron's reluctance nowadays to be associated with Piranha 2: The Spawning)

This is not a film that I would ever buy on DVD but when the sequel (Piranha 3DD - it looks like it will be sticking to the 3D and nudity formula) comes out I will almost certainly be going to the cinema for another hour and a half of mindless fun.

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