Piranha 3D (2010)

piranha 3d poster 2010 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Unapologetic exploitive fun

May be too much gore & nudity for some, piranhas look kind of dumb

Movie Info

Movie Name: Piranha 3D

Studio: The Weinstein Company

Genre(s): Horror/Comedy/B-Movie

Release Date(s): August 20, 2010

MPAA Rating: R


From Leaving Las Vegas to this…At least I made from Vegas to Arizona

It is spring vacation at Lake Victoria and the lake is filling up.  When an underwater earthquake opens a passage to an underground lake, a fish long thought dead is unleashed on the partying population.  As Sheriff Julie Forester (Elisabeth Shue) investigates the death of Matthew Boyd (Richard Dreyfuss) with her deputy Fallon (Ving Rhames), she learns that a team of seismologists led by Novak (Adam Scott) is investigating the trench created by the earthquake.  When deadly thought to be extinct pirahnas are discovered, the lake becomes a bloodbath.  What Forester doesn’t know is that her son Jake (Steven R. McQueen), his crush Kelly (Jessica Szohr), and her two children (Brooklynn Proulx and Sage Ryan) are trapped on a boat with exploitation filmmaker Derrick Jones (Jerry O’Connell) and the piranhas are hungry.

Directed by Alexandre Aja, Piranha 3D was a surprise hit.  Now known as just Piranha (they were worried that the 3D format would confuse people who thought it was only in 3D or a sequel or something).  The other surprise was that critics generally liked it.


Underwater ballet…plus they’re naked

It is the third time the story has been told but not really a remake like the second movie.  Piranha was first made in 1978 by Joe Dante.  A sequel followed that film known as Piranha II:  The Spawning which was directed by James Cameron.  Both Cameron and Dante were pursued for cameos in this movie, but Cameron was unable to appear.  The movie was remade for TV in 1995.  The original movie was a rift on Jaws but developed into its own film.


In a yes-that-just-happened moment, Jerry O’Connell’s finest “They took my penis!”

Piranha 3D is just fun and unapologetic.  The movie is a bunch of T & A and that’s ok because that is how the film is set up.  It is over the top nudity and gore and feels like a real throwback.  The original movie had some nudity, but it really wasn’t this blatant.  The movie is goofy and doesn’t take itself seriously.  A relatively smart script that blends the horror, comedy, and camp glorifies this.

The movie was shot in 2D with plans to always turn it to 3D…the conversion was one of the few conversions that people liked.  There are a lot a fun underwater shots which really play the 3D and the notorious “They took my penis” line from Jerry O’Connell…and demonstration by the piranha.  It also helps that Lake Havasu looks amazing, but it is too bad that the stars of the picture…aka the piranha…look pretty weak at points.


They’re coming to get ya!

The cast is amazing good for a goofy movie.  The kid actors are quite good and show some potential for growth.  Elizabeth Shue is good, and it is funny to see her converted to the mother role and she has a brief scene reuniting her with her Back to the Future co-star Christopher Lloyd.  Adam Scott continues to develop and his rather generic role here is ok (I do like when he takes to the jetski with a shotgun).  Richard Dreyfuss’ short appearance was done for charity and makes fun of his role in Jaws.  Jerry O’Connell got a lot of flack (and almost a lawsuit) for his veiled portrayal of Joe Francis (of Girls Gone Wild) who accused O’Connell of playing him.

Piranha is a surprise.  Don’t go into it expecting anything and you will probably come out enjoying it.  It is gory, violent, and full of bouncing girls.  The movie is coming out with a sequel Piranha 3DD in 2012 (which really makes the decision to just change it to Piranha a question).  It also has the return of Christopher Lloyd and Ving Rhames (which if you saw this movie, you’d be surprised).

Related Links:

Piranha 3DD (2012)

Piranha (1978)

Piranha II:  The Spawning (1981)

Piranha (1995)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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