Friday, February 24, 2012

Piranha, a spiritual review

You know that typical thing people say about movie remakes? That they're normally terrible? I tend to agree, whatwith the intelligence of original classics being dumbed down for my generation (in which illiteracy's rampant, let alone near lack of common sense). So, for this, I'll admit I haven't seen the original Piranha. And, for the most part, I wish I hadn't seen the remake. So why did I see it? My stepdad saw it, without his glasses, saw a review saying it was better than Jaws, and he saw (and loved) the original, so he figured it'd be nice.
What a waste of $3.27 at the local rental store.
Yet, I won't focus on the graphic sexual content, nor the drug use, nor the majority of the story. What I will focus on is relevant to the elements that seem spiritual, even if in a subtle way.
First off, part of it does seem pretty typical- a young, teenage guy wanting to join a huge party (think American Mardi Gras on steroid overdose), especially since he's been hired to be a cameraman. A cameraman for something, I suppose for copyright reasons, can't be called Girls Gone Wild, yet it is essentially that in every way. Just one problem for the guy, his mother, who's the local sheriff, expects him to babysit his younger siblings (neither of whom are even pre-teens yet). So, being the typical rebellious teenager, he and his siblings find a way to go around their mother's system so he can join the party and get paid.
However, the director of this shot is... how can I put it lightly or politely? Well, I don't think there is a way, so I'll just say it. He's Mr. Prideful-Hotshot.
He wants things done his way, with no leniency. He expects the cameraman to work, but also enjoy... as well as the enjoyment has no sense of decency at all.
Rather sad, but that's how he is. In fact, when the cameraman's two siblings get stuck on an island without a way to get back inland, and they realize there are thousands of piranha waiting for them to enter, they scream for help, incessantly, until any help will arrive. What they least expect is their own brother to notice them while filming a shot involving a topless lady in a paraflyer, sees them, and is shocked. The director, who could care less if they the President's kids, doesn't care who they are, just yells at his cameraman for "ruining" his shot... even after the "object" of the shot gets chewed in half.
And that's just on that side of the lake. On the other, the sheriff and her one-man-crew are trying to get the rowdy pack of anti-authoritative partiers to abandon the beach. Before they even listen to any reason why they should, they basically give the "screw-you" treatment and continue to party, until one of them gets nipped at, then eaten, leading (very quickly) to mass chaos. Chaos, mind you, that involves the sheriff trying to help as many people as she can on her boat (which leads me to see her as a decent human being trying to look out for the well-being of others, no matter how they live their lives) while piranha are enjoying the mass buffet. Then again, there are those who don't want her help, they want their own way to get away.
One man demands and yells at a topless woman (who's crying out anyway) to "GET ME OUT OF THIS WATER!" She's unable to before he meets his demise, but not from being eaten, but his getting smashed by a reckless boat.
Another guy, on a jet ski, is trying to get out, screaming at people to get out of the way, not letting them have time to swim out of the way before he chops people apart with the ski propellers. Then his engine gets stuck. He's so focused on self-preservation and selfishness, he doesn't hear the woman screaming, the woman whose hair's stuck in the propeller, all tangled up.
*Yank* Hair's tugged.
*Yank* Hair's tugged again, "AH!"
One or two more yanks, he kills her- her hair, along with all the skin on her head, ripped off.
Yes, it's bloody graphic, with people not caring about the help offered to get them out of danger. Help offered by people willing to throw away comfort and safety to go out into the danger theirselves to save others.
Oh, that guy who yanked the woman's flesh off? His jet ski's engine goes bad, leaving him stranded, and a mass of people climb onto the jet ski until can't hold anymore people, leading the boat to tip over, leaving no one to safety.
The only other safe spot that turns deadly is a platform the ends up having too many people on top of it. The sheriff recognizes the eventual hazard, knowing she can't save them in time. And when the wires are snapped apart, one whips a girl in half, who was in isolated safety, only to slide in perfectly clean-cut half.
The sheriff seems to symbolize those willing to put their neck out on the line, knowing the risks that come with the job, but will not give up on what they know they must do.
The director (who's other crew member blatantly says "We're making a porno, not a drama!") is the epitome of selfishness, not caring who's in danger as long as he gets his shots, not even caring that he uses extreme swearing around a couple little kids (maybe he's one of those people who think "They'll learn cuss words eventually, right?" Such apathy has already caused a major downfall in America, so why not in a movie?), and his worst show of selfishness is when he dragged out of the water after being half-eaten by the piranha only to notice... a beloved part of him gone.
The total ruin of the movie- a graphic shot of his part, severed, floating in the water, then swallowed by a piranha, the immediately belched up and left alone. Seriously? An immense waste of production money.
So, overall, despite the sheriff who's looking out for her family (no matter how rebellious they are, and she does rescue them from the flesh-eating fish) and the selfish director (they're the essence of the spirituality in this film, the conflicting nature of humanity as well as spirituality), this film is not worth seeing.

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