Review (2010): Piranha 3D: Lots of fun thrown your way


Piranha 3D … a bad movie made especially bad. But rent it anyway.

So, I’m wandering around the mall with the wife, sans the 11-year-old. We’re tired of shopping and thinking it’s about that time of the day when a movie is about to start. We check our handy Flixster app and evaluate the choices.

Nanny McPhee? Nope. Son’s not with us.

Machete? Naw. Strictly a guy movie.

Takers? Huh-uh. Don’t know anything about it.

Piranha 3D? “Uh, well, you know that looked kinda cool.”

Then, the wife says the sweetest words since her wedding vows: “I kinda wanted to see that, too.”

I couldn’t get the debit card out fast enough.

Yes, seeing a 3D movie can be a bit expensive, what with those high-tech glasses. You also have to carefully discern whether it has the fun factor that justifies additional expense. Or that “wow factor” of something like Avatar or Up.

Piranha 3D is 89 minutes of R-rated fun. It’s for movie-goers who don’t care what their pretentious friends think of their movie choices. But remember that you’ll never those 89 minutes back.

THE PLOT: Consider the ingredients: prehistoric flesh-eating fish, college kids on spring break, an overacting, bug-eyed  Christopher Lloyd, who unintentionally reprises his role as Back to the Future‘s Dr. Emmett Brown (I was exp

ecting him to deploy the flux capacitor on the piranhas). Mix it all up and you have your standard 1980s-style horror movie that’s not to be taken seriously.

PUBLIC-SAFETY TIPS LEARNED: Until I saw this movie, I didn’t realize that two ways to eliminate prehistoric piranhas was to use a Taser or to pull a full-size outboard motor from a boat and use it like a handheld mixer. Good to know.

BEST TIME FOR A BATHROOM BREAK: RunPee recommends four moments, including a three-minute break 30 minutes in when the sheriff (Elisabeth Shue) boards a boat with seismologists investigating the earthquake that started the whole mess.

TAKE THE KIDS? Absolutely not. In fact, shread your debit-card receipts so they don’t press you on the details. It’s old-school 3D movie-making. Anything and everything appropriate, and inappropriate, that can be thrown toward the camera is fair game.

This is not your average bad movie. It’s a movie made intentionally bad. I hope.

2012 UPDATE! Piranha 3DD, the sequel, was released in June. According to a Wikipedia entry, it opened in 86 theaters in North America and grossed $182,237, emphasis on the word gross. The update includes major roles by Oklahomans Gary Busey and Clu Gulager. Joe Bob Briggs gave it four stars. Sorry to say I missed it, but I’ll get over it.

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