Friday, August 20, 2010

Piranha 3-D is a lowest-common-denominator B-movie

By which I mean: You know how I can take the Saw movies seriously and defend my love for them on an intellectual level (and will, at the drop of a hat)?

This is not that kind of movie. This is the kind of movie the only reason to make is to have fun with it (if you dismiss the cynical motive).

And few of the surprisingly A-list stars--among them Elisabeth Shue,
Jerry O'Connell, Ving Rhames, Adam Scott, Jessica Szohr, Christopher Lloyd and Richard Dreyfuss--seem likely to have needed the money.

(Ok, maybe Dreyfuss.)

So I can only surmise that's why they wanted to make it--for the fun.

Some movies that are fun to watch were not fun to make, and vice-versa. I hope this one was both, but I can only speak from once side of the screen.

I haven't seen the Roger Corman-produced "cult classic," to which I guess this is technically the second sequel, but I'm told that Steven Spielberg thought that original Piranha movie, directed by Joe Dante and released in 1978, was the best of the Jaws ripoffs.

Supposedly that's why he hired Dante to direct a segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie (which was crap, but Dante's was far from the worst of it).

The point is that this movie (directed by Alexandre Aja) has to be at least that good. The only real question to ask about a film like this (or really any) is: Does it work? The answer is yes, it works very well indeed.

Before we conclude I have a quick observation and a brief question. The observation: If Piranha 3-D doesn't get Rhames an Oscar, there is no god.

Now the question: When did the "Flower Duet From Lakme" become de rigueur music for lesbian scenes?

Now back to our entry: There's something to be said about a movie that is exactly, completely, and totally what it is. Piranha 3-D is a lowest-common-denominator B-movie...but it's a good lowest-common-denominator B-movie.

(Even if one--admittedly minor--character does disappear without us ever knowing what happened to him. I'm assuming he was bitten to death off-screen, or in a cut scene which will be added to the DVD)

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