Title: Piranha 3D
Director: Alexandre Aja
Starring: Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Jerry O'Connell, Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd, Richard Dreyfuss
Released: 27th December 2010
Running: 90 minutes
Every year the population of sleepy Lake Victoria explodes from 5,000 to 50,000 for Spring Break; a riot of sun and drunken fun. But this year, there's something more to worry about than hangovers and complaints from local old timers; a new type of terror is about to be cut loose on Lake Victoria. A sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of prehistoric man-eating fish, a million ravenous flesh eating monsters, unchanged since the dawn of time. Unstoppable killing machines acting blindly under one primeval impulse: to hunt down anything that moves and strip it to the raw, bleeding bone. An unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area's new razor-toothed residents.
Produced for the relatively small budget of $24M the film went on to gross almost $80M at the box office which is extremely profitable for an albeit slightly pointless remake. Piranha 3D is actually the second time that the original 1978 film Piranha has been remade.
What’s more is the lack of a big name star and the resultant, slightly underwhelming cast, headed by the relatively unknown Adam Scott, the under-used Kelly Brook (more 3D boobs please!). Elizabeth Shue and Ving Rhames don’t get much screen time either, which is a shame as they could have brought more to the film than the other actors. In the plus column however there are a couple of nice tongue-in-cheek cameos by Richard Dreyfuss and Christopher Lloyd.
The direction by Alexandre Aja is certainly capable and the production values are decent. But it’s Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger’s script that really fails to conjure up any real excitement.
Of course the biggest selling point of the film is that it is in 3D, but for me at least this is also its biggest problem. I don’t know what it looked like in the cinema with the proper 3D glasses – I imagine it was OK – but at home with the cardboard blue and red glasses it looked bloody awful – and bloody good in a horror way either – just terrible. Even in Blu-ray the 3D version lacks colour or clarity, sharpness and definition. Thankfully then the 2D version is a massive improvement with a sharp image and lots of bright colours, this is certainly my recommended version of the film.
Overall then Piranha 3D is a mixed bag of good and bad elements. But if you enjoy a horror monster movie you could certainly do a lot worse than to give this one a go.