dir Alexandre Aja
scr Peter Goldfinger, Josh Stolberg
prd Alexandre Aja, Mark Canton, Gregory Levasseur, Marc Toberoff
with Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell, Adam Scott, Steven R McQueen, Jessica Szohr, Kelly Brook, Riley Steele, Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd, Ricardo Chavira, Eli Roth, Richard Dreyfuss
release US/UK 20.Aug.10
10/US Dimension 1h28
We're gonna need a bigger boat: Scott and Shue

o'connell brook rhames
Piranha 3DD (2012)
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Piranha A blast of black humour, much of it referring to other films, makes this riotously violent remake rather a lot of fun. And apart from the gleefully grisly 3D effects, the casting alone is a stroke of genius.

Arizona's Lake Victoria is being invaded by virtually naked young people during spring break, but teen Jake (McQueen) has to babysit his young siblings (Brooklynn Proulx and Sage Ryan) because his mother Julie (Shue) is especially busy as the town sheriff. As a sleazy filmmaker (O'Connell) hires Jake to show him the lake, Julie is investigating evidence that an underwater rift has released a school of voracious prehistoric piranhas. So not only must she get all of these drunken revellers out of the water, but she needs to make sure her kids are safe.

Director Aja opens with a hilarious cameo from Dreyfuss and takes off from there, surging through the various plot threads without pausing for air. The writers pack the plot with more wrinkles than are thoroughly necessary. Jake's riotous day out with the porn starlets (Brook and Steele) is strained by the presence of the local girl (Szohr) he definitely does not have feelings for. Julie somehow manages to swap innuendo with a hot diver (Scott) even as mass chaos breaks out around them. And Lloyd pops up channelling Doc Brown as the fish expert.

There's also a sublimely ridiculous nude underwater ballet that's counterbalanced by a scene of raucous bloodletting when these angry piranhas, after millions of years trapped in an underwater lake, are released to this flesh buffet. In other words, the filmmakers and cast members are having so much fun that we can hardly help but enjoy ourselves as it gets grislier and funnier by the moment.

Sure, the characters are wafer thin, and we can guess who will survive early on. But there are some surprises along the way, mostly of the "I can't believe they did that" variety. There are also rather a lot of gratuitously amusing 3D gags, as it were. Like the original, this is essentially a wacky Jaws rehash, complete with the fish-view cam. The only thing missing is a memorable musical score.

cert 18 themes, language, grisly violence, nudity 17.Aug.10

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© 2010 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall