PIRANHA 3D Review

'Piranha 3-D' is the epitome of campy horror. I have to say there was no real interest for me in seeing this, lets face it, we knew what we were gonna get after the first trailer was released. I was curious as to why actors such as Adam Scott and Ving Rhames signed on for this as well as interested in what exactly it was that reeled Mr. Dreyfuss and Mr. Lloyd to make their cameos in the film. I am all for making films that hearken back to the horror flicks of the 70's and 80's so as to laugh at the references and cheesiness in glory. Like last weekends 'Expendables', when it works, making a movie that is entertaining while still aware of its ridiculousness makes for a pretty fun time at the theater. I wouldn't say I enjoyed 'Piranha' as much as Stallone's action throw back or even the "Grindhouse' movies, but then again I've never really had a true affection for scary movies. I don't mind a story creeping me out or attempting to scare me and I love when movies make fun of the tools that are used in films to try and scare its audience-what my movie watching brain some times has trouble with though is when I feel pulled in two different directions. Director Aja sets his story around the town sheriff (Elisabeth Shue, hopefully only doing this for the fun and not her attempt at a comeback) and her children in a small lakeside town during the week of spring break. There is also the Joe Francis-like character played by O'Connell, who seems to be having the time of his life here, that drags our protagonists son away from his babysitting duties and thus the sheriffs kids are in trouble, deserted on an island while million year-old piranhas are going crazy. This is a slightly dramatic story and it has its tones of seriousness and gets the audience begging those kids not to step in the water, but Aja strays to far from this connecting plot line and goes for the long shots of kid partying it up, topless women and finally...gallons of blood and mayhem in the middle of the lake. Not that it isn't a hoot to watch and there are a few cheesy touches that truly make you laugh out loud. One thing I found fun with this movie was watching all the extras give their best at being hurt and scared. Which brings me to the point that while this is an entertaining ride to say the least, it is too scattered and concerned with putting in as many gags as possible to really feel like a focused and fully realized movie. We got what we expected, but probably not what we paid for, only a few instances utilized the 3-D technique to its advantage. Oh well, I'm sure 'Piranha 2' will be just as fun but hopefully not as pointless.