With Elisabeth Shue, Steven R. McQueen, Jerry O'Connell, Jessica Szohr, Richard Dreyfuss, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, Eli Roth
Written by Pete Goldfinger & Josh Stolberg
Director Aja made a debut that had many sit up and taKe note with Haute Tension. He seems to be hitting the remake trail full force, having done The Hills Have Eyes, and now this (3D) take on Piranha (originally made by Joe Dante in the late-'70s in the wake of Jaws' underwater horror success).
It is Spring Break time and a lake community is flooded with young people out to have a good time. But underneath the water surface a tremor opens a cavern setting free a school of pre-historic flesh devouring piranha. Jake is a teenager who's stuck looking after his younger siblings, but accidentally lands a job as a scout for a Girls Gone Wild-style sleazy video-maker, slipping off to do so. Jake's mom is also the town sheriff. The girl he happens to like ends up on the boat with them, all getting sieged by the toothy nibblers. A team of scientists discover the source of the vicious piranha school and try to warn the partygoers, but the killer fish systematically munch their way towards a bay where all the holidaymakers hang out, a gory bloodbath waiting to happen.
Regardless of the frivolous story lines and stock characters in peril, this boils down to an exercise in 3D gore and black comedy (often combined), cheap entertainment for a laugh. A very sexy dual girl underwater swimming sequence make for a rather visually enticing sequence, but is contrasted by a very bad taste but hilarious phallic 3D moment.
Several cameos get piled in, including Jaws star Richard Dreyfuss as an in-joke for the opening sequence. Christopher Lloyd (aka Back To The Future's Doc) swings by for a slightly bigger role than a one-shot cameo, while Ving Rhames' role is so small it may as well be a cameo. Eli Roth has turned out be quite the actor, but the little spot he takes here wastes his chops.
3 / B
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished