Piranha 3D is the kind of movie that knows exactly what movie it wants to be. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see a silly summer throwaway flick that knows it's a silly summer throwaway flick. (The Expendables fits this bill as well).
If you choose to walk into Piranha 3D (and, for my money, you should) then expect a ridiculously over-the-top gorefest; a real slapstick romp. There is not one single shred of scientific accuracy in the entire film. But, it never tries to justify itself as being accurate. The film is absurd. And it knows it.
When a lone beer bottle (really, a beer bottle? It couldn't have been a brick, or perhaps an anchor?) falls out of a boat and lands on the lake floor, it sets off a massive earthquake that releases century's-old piranhas.
Because this takes place in a town similar to that of Jaws, the lake is littered with college spring breakers partying their asses off, and the cops (led by a badass Elisabeth Shue) are initially afraid to cease what will certainly be a huge monetary week for the town.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out where this is going.
There is, of course, the standard lame plot (as if violently starved piranhas aren't enough to carry a movie), but don't let that bog you down.
There is no reason to praise Piranha 3D; believe me, I'm not going to sit here and defend it against its critics. But those pointing out every flaw are taking it far too seriously. There are flaws because gifted director Alexandre Aja (he made the scarily good High Tension) wants there to be flaws.
Honestly, how can you not enjoy a delirious Jerry O'Connell as a tequila'ed and coked up porn director? Or Ving Rhames getting all medieval on some piranhas' asses? Or a possessed Christopher Lloyd, playing the oh so convenient character who just happens to have a clay mold of the type of evil piranha sitting at his desk?
Because a sequel is already in the works, I have no shame in telling you that the ending is a complete cop out. But oh well, this ain't Citizen Kane. Hell, it isn't even Alien. But then again, it doesn't pretend to be. B
Note: Am I the only one that finds it ironic that the most grotesque (and hilarious) death in the film has nothing to do with a piranha? Think a long ponytail and a faulty boat propeller.