Bait (2012)

Sex :
Violence :
Director Kimble Rendall Reviewer :
Writers John Kim, Russell Mulcahy
Starring Phoebe Tonkin, Xavier Samuel, Julian McMahon, Sharni Vinson, Cariba Heine, Alex Russell, Lincoln Lewis, Alice Parkinson
Genre Shark
Tagline A tsunami just flipped the food chain
15 second cap Emo trapped in a supermarket when a robbery goes wrong, then a tsunami happens, and hey are those sharks that have been washed in?


Josh is recovering from a nasty hangover and his best friend, and fellow lifeguard, goes to set a buoy since Josh is incapacitated. This proves to be something of a disastrous decision as a great white pointer is cruising the beach looking for a meal. Twelve months later Josh has not come to terms with his loss. He has lost his fiancée Tina, works in a nowhere job in the local underground supermarket, and has personal hygiene issues.

There's a strange feel to the day as Josh heads into another rewarding day stacking shelves; the dogs are barking, the birds are going Alfred Hitchcock, and there's an ominous feel to things. Naturally Josh is going to have a very bad day. Firstly an attempted robbery on the Supermarket goes wrong, but wait there's more, a freak tsunami floods the town and puts the supermarket under water, but just when you think it can't get any worse you find the flood has washed in a couple of hungry white pointers who are ready to get a meal together. A disparate group of people will have to band together to take on apex predators if they have any hope of getting out of aisle three alive. Welcome to the food chain, I'm cheering on the sharks.

Given the premise of this one, talk about your triple threat, you could be excused for thinking we're headed into some sort of comedy outing that plays everything for laughs, unfortunately that's only half the story as in between some odious comic relief everything is taken pretty seriously. Director Rendall lashes on the gore, plenty of body parts in this one, attempts and fails at dramatic development, and goes all out on the action front to some sort of result. It all ends up spelling out a sort of disjointed movie that attempts to be a lot more than it can ever actually achieve. But then hell you realise you are sitting in the dark watching a movie about Noahs in a supermarket, you take a deep sigh, dig into the popcorn, and rock along with the flick. It's a lot of fun if viewed as simply a second tier shark attack flick. If you get the chance catch this one in 3D, I don't normally support the whole 3D concept which is being overly used to hide declining ticket sales in North America, but for some movies the return to the past format actually works like a two dollar hooker. I'm thinking Avatar, a pretty insipid movie if viewed in normal vision, and probably Bait as being the prime example. So yeah we're talking a schizophrenic experience with this movie, it's inept but then you didn't go in expecting anything else did you?

A disappointing movie that does entertain to a certian degree

John Kim and Russell Mulcahy, besides the whole sharks in a supermarket thing, have thrown together a pretty cookie cutter script that you have probably seen a dozen times already this year. A flawed hero does the righty when the chips are down, gets over a psychological issue from the past, and wins back the girl he thought he had lost. Big breath, this is like one of the ten most common script ideas in modern movies and normally works like a brought one, however the SOAP level acting in Bait makes it groan inducing. Sharni Vinson (Tina) is earnest from whoa to go, but does so with such lack of emotion that you could be forgiven for wondering if you had walked into a zombie movie by mistake. There's nothing there, no emoting, no change of facial expression, nothing to get the audience behind her character. Similarly Xavier Samuel (Josh) should stick to cannon fodder like The Loved Ones and The Twilight Saga, as he presents in movie after movie more wood than Bunnings could ever hope to stock. Besides a couple of the older cast members who equate themselves well, the rest of the cast is simply the flotsam and jetsam of Aussie SOAPS, what was with some of the accents? With acting this atrocious the audience are pretty much left with the hope that the Noahs, Aussie for shark don't you know, will cull the herd in pretty dramatic fashion. I was hoping the dude forced into the robbery and the local police office would survive, the rest were just so much chum for mine.

On the bright side of the chum tin at least we don't get the true horror of Curtis Stone's flogging Coles products. I would rather face a great white to be honest thabn Stone's smug schlock that does nothing for your shopping tour of duty. At least the Noahs provide some excitement, something sadly lacking with Stone, the bogan's best friend.

Guess Director Kimble Rendall does raise tension from time to time, mainly due to the sharks being hidden in the quite shallow water, just when will they appear, and via air Jordan moves that we've seen before. But there's a whole bunch of time between the major shark attack scenes that drifts past like a rainy day in Hobart, you are quite frankly bored as the pacing goes all over the shop. I found myself checking out the audience as things dragged along, surprisingly a lot of teen chicks attended the session the crew dialled into, shark movies their particularly thing or were they there hunting teenage males? Predators both on and off the screen yo! At least they didn't talk or check their mobiles incessantly.

There are two requirements for a shark movie, gore and chicks in tight bikinis frolicking near the danger zone. We certainly get plenty of gore as the Director throws the clearly CGI body parts around, though I got a hint of some pretty good prosthetics and makeup from time to time. A generally lack of T&A was disappointing, there's a prolonged shoot of Sharni Vinson's butt in a bikini that proves to be so exploitative that it's embarrassing for all involved and that's about all she wrote. So yeah lots of ketchup and blood in the water, there's a hand scene that will have some audience members squirming, but not much in the way of eye candy for any of the audience demographics.

Guess I can't leave talking about the creature effects any longer, which isn't to the advantage of Bait, a movie that singularly proves that shark effects have been going downhill steadily from Spielberg's magna opus Jaws. While in some scenes the Noahs did seem real enough to be a menace there were plenty of scenes where the CGI really stood out as fake taking the audience out of proceedings in a marked fashion. Don't even get me started on the science, kids don't try to fire a shotgun underwater it's going to lead to tears, but there was a feeling in parts of the movie that the Producers got it exactly right. Pity the blue screen was so obvious, or the water was so shallow that you were left wondering how exactly you could hide a 12 foot white pointer in it. Another of those movies where things change to suit the current script requirements throwing any sense of reality out the window with the tsunami bath water.

So even though I've pointed out some pretty bad movie making with Bait, we don't sugar coat things around here - if a local movie is bad then no amount of pom-pom waving is going to improve it's status, I still had a reasonably good time at the cinema with this fish stick. The acting, beyond a few senior thespians, is appalling, the concept is ludicrous, and the actual post Production atrocious, but the movie will grow on you albeit it in a similar fashion to that idiot ginger haired cousin people keep making exceptions for. Worth catching in 3D, but otherwise perhaps an acquired taste. You'll have a reasonable time if you go in not expecting a good movie. I'm going to go put on The Reef now to change things up on the Noah front.

ScaryMinds Rates this movie as ...

  Stupid shark movie with atrocious acting that still sort of entertains.