REVIEW: ‘Piranha 3D’

Director:
Alexandre Aja
Cast:
Steven McQueen
Ving Rhames
Elisabeth Shue
Christopher Lloyd
Jerry O’Connell
Eli Roth
Rated: R

Bring on the campiness!

The film is about, you guessed it, piranhas killing people, exactly as advertised, but let’s get into the ‘plot.’ The film takes place in a small lake town in Arizona. It’s spring time and the lake is a huge attraction to college kids out on their break.

With all this going on, we enter our lead, Jake (McQueen) who is by the lake admiring everything going on and ends up meeting a beautiful woman named Danni (Kelly Brooks). After this happening he find’s out she is a model for a ‘Girl’s Gone Wild’ like photographer named Derrick (O’Connell) who after some talking gets Jake to take them out on the lake for a photo shoot.

Meanwhile, we also find out that Jake’s mother Julie (Shue) is the local sheriff who along with her deputy Fallon (Rhames), discover some earthquake like activity in the area and not long after meet up with geologists that discover a huge prehistoric race of piranhas. They take the fish to the local scientist (Lloyd) who informs that there are even more piranhas. So for the rest of the film we have Julie attempting to get the tourists out of the water and Jake dealing with being out in the middle of a lake full of killer fish.

This movie does have some characters and some semblance of structure, but that’s not the movie’s selling point. What gets Piranha 3D going is the carnage that happens throughout the film, with plenty of over the top sequences.

The movie completely embraces what it is, and that’s an exploitation movie. This is a throwback to the grindhouse flicks of old that use sex and gore as selling points. It’s all B-movie grade shlock, and it actually works.

The actors get in on this, too. For example, Rhames and Lloyd have a lot of fun with their performances, making the whole thing a blast

Talking about the gore, it was the most extreme that I’ve seen in a very long time. People get completely ripped to shreds, literally, in this film. I’ll be honest, even I felt a little sick after seeing the movie especially after the last fourth of the film which is an absolute blood bath. So if you’re a gore fan, you will probably love it.

So overall, yes this film is stupid, it’s not smart or character driven, but it’s not supposed to be. This film is just for complete fun and I will admit, it’s one of the films with 3D where it helps out a bit. If your willing to just go in for a crazy wild exploitation film, you will probably like it as much as I did. Not quite a 4, but an enthusiastic 3 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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