Piranha (Alexandre Aja, 2010)

This film’s audience is presumably encouraged, especially in the comin’-at-ya! way the 3-D works in this film, to take verboten (and strangely boring) pleasure in the consumption practices of the recently-unearthed prehistoric razor-teethed fish of the title (that eyeball/those entrails/etc. just fell in my lap!), and in the business practices of the meathead video impresario who gazes wolflike through his camera lens (those breasts/asses/etc. are close enough to grope!) at the nubile nymphs in his “employ.”  In other words, we’re given ample time and dimension to contemplate the myriad ways flesh can be chewed and viewed. If there is a critique of these practices—or an attempt to force a parallel between them—it’s submerged in gouts of mean-spirited bloodletting and a creeping sense that the film itself secretly thinks its human antagonist is so badass that even his dismembered member is allowed to endure a fishy mastication.

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