So there are some spoilers below as to who makes it through Piranha 3D and who doesn’t. If you feel like having this info is going to ruin the movie for you, you shouldn’t read this review. Cool? Cool.
“I need a beer and its tittie squeezing time!”- Frank Zappa (“Titties & Beer”)
If you could somehow incorporate the concept of prehistoric flesh-eating fish into the above quote, you would have the mission statement for Piranha 3D. I’m not sure what to say about this movie other than the fact that I think the idea of a three-dimensional experience at the motion pictures has finally reached its potential in this movie with the image of Jerry O’ Connell’s cock being eaten and then regurgitated right into the audience’s collective laps.
Does that sound like something you might like to see? How about a girl puking off a boat, again in glorious 3D? Those were the two standout 3D moments for me, with the rest of the movie moving between nudity and gore, both of the gratuitous variety.
Watching this movie in any other way than 1) in a packed movie theater with 2) a rambunctious crowd is a fool’s errand; I can’t imagine how terrible this movie will seem when it inevitably debuts on pay television. I remember my friend saw Snakes on a Plane on opening night, with the required theater packed full of “into it” rambunctious movie-goers, which is to say drunk, stoned, or both. He called it one of the best movie-going experiences he has ever had. I saw it later, on HBO or whatever. It didn’t live up to my friend’s review, but how could it? These are movies of the moment, and if you miss that train, it is probably best to skip it altogether. This is why I will probably never see Howard’s End.
Because while I can recommend it if you can somehow see it on opening night (which was last night as I write this), I do recognize that this is a bad movie. And not in the way that the filmmakers were intending, either (believe me- everyone involved knew what they were doing, to their credit). It is weirdly paced movie – after the opener, where Richard Dreyfuss meets the piranhas for the first time, the movie settles down for about 45 minutes of not much happening, although we do meet all the characters who will or will not become fish food.
A word about the Dreyfuss appearance. He is clearly playing Matt Hooper from Jaws (despite the fact that his character is listed as Matt Boyd)- he is singing the “Show Me the Way To Go Home” song, he is wearing the denim ensemble favored by his earlier character (or “Jay Leno Casual”, as I call it), and I could be mistaken, but I think he was drinking Amity Beer. In any case, if he was Matt Hooper, I would have liked for him to have gotten a better send-off. This is the worst case of an iconic character being thoughtlessly dispatched since Michael Biehn in Alien 3.
Also, it’s a waste of Richard Dreyfuss. This movie has a fantastic cast, most of which really weren’t needed. Are you telling me you needed Ving Rhames for this? Hire Tiny Lister instead and save a few bucks. I liked Adam Scott and Elisabeth Shue, although if you’ve seen the television previews, you pretty much know how things turn out for Scott’s character. That kinda sucked, because not only was I waiting for him to get crushed by a giant piranha, but also it is the very last scene of the movie- the last scare, if you will.
It is a really fun movie under the right circumstances. I can’t stress this enough though- if you are planning on seeing it, go sooner rather than later. Every day that passes in the release of Piranha 3D lessens whatever power the movie possesses.