Directed by Alexandre Aja
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“Forget the cartoon characters hogging the 3-D spotlight,” said Steve Persall in the St. Petersburg, Fla., Times. “What we really want to see leaping from the screen are piranhas with really sharp teeth.” Tapping into movie fans’ most gratuitous appetites, director Alexandre Aja’s 90-minute 3-D bloodbath is a remake of a mostly forgotten 1978 Jaws knockoff. Piranha certainly is an odd fish, said Peter DeBruge in Variety. The special-effects suggest a high-budget blockbuster, but the hollow-minded script is no better than those of the cheap exploitation films it’s meant to parody. The screenwriters hardly even bother explaining why the ravenous beasts went on the attack. Before long “one begins to suspect these piranha were engineered merely to gnaw through bikini tops.” Thanks to some tongue-in-cheek casting, though, the film turns out to be “a complete blast,” said Christy Lemire in the Associated Press. In a hilarious cameo, Richard Dreyfuss spoofs his role in Jaws, while Elisabeth Shue as a “bad-ass sheriff” proves an unexpected hoot. “To borrow a phrase from the B-horror flicks to which Piranha 3D is such a loving homage: Run, don’t walk,” to see it.
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