Bait (2012)

The latest in a long line of recent exercises in money hungry cynicism involving sharks (sounds rather niche but you’d be surprised how many movies fall into that sub-category of late) is Bait. An Aussie production with a small budget and absolutely zero talent behind the wheel, Bait fails to entertain on even a basic level most of the time, and will leave many viewers with their face in their hands, hoping for the whole thing to be over.

Beginning with a fairly shoddy, CGI-heavy shark attack, Bait tells the story, if you can call it that, of several disparate characters all pulled together by fate at a supermarket one day. There’s a shoplifter, her cashier boyfriend, a pair of ex lovers torn apart by the previously mentioned shark attack, a group of criminals out to rob the place, the supermarket manager, and some other people that I cared even less about.

After a random, completely unexplained, computer generated tsunami, the characters find themselves trapped inside the supermarket, and after a few more torturous scenes of pointless exposition, realise that they’re not alone. They’re joined by a shark with a bottomless appetite for human flesh and the ability to teleport. Or possibly several different, slightly peckish sharks; it’s never made clear. As our roguish cast of misfits realise their situation, they’re forced to band together to escape the supermarket via a range of hideously impractical means.

The cast of characters range from ‘horribly unlikable’ to ‘blank and unlikable’ to ‘unlikable with a severe case of Wandering Accent Syndrome’. It’s tough to place 50% of the accents at any one time and the range even includes cheeky Cockney and broad Yorkshire. From the same character. The decision to make almost half of the cast perform using stilted American accents can only be to gain a wider audience but simply results in making the whole thing more puzzling. Along with the tremendously poor dubbing used frequently throughout the film, even the true Australian accents start to sound fake.

Some of the actors are clearly quite embarassed to be involved, while others are providing such ‘big’ performances that they might as well be in a different movie entirely. All of these elements add up to a very uneven movie-watching experience.

The sharks themselves are, surprisingly, not all that terrible in comparison to everything else, but that’s a little like saying “Nazi’s sure sucked, but those uniforms, man, they were snazzy”. It’s the slightly less shit topping on a really, really shit cake. When watched in 3D as intended I can imagine the CGI looking passable, but in my chosen ‘incongruous stuff flying at screen 2D’ viewing mode, I have seen more convincing computer animation in a cut scene from a PS2 game, and because of that there’s no threat, and no tension.
Therein lies Bait‘s biggest problem.

It doesn’t work as a horror film, or as a thriller, and when the closest genre it comes to fulfilling is comedy, you know something has gone quite seriously awry. For that reason alone, I refuse to write Bait off completely. Put simply; I had a tonne of fun watching this movie. It’s not even entertaining in a ‘so bad, it’s good’ way, Bait is simply bad, but there is enjoyment to be gleaned from it’s badness. If you’re in the market for an instantly forgettable slice of CGI-filled Aussie trash, then get drunk, pop Bait on and prepare for laughs-a-plenty, for all the wrong reasons.

Rating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

One Comment on “Bait”

  1. Joey says:

    Totally agree! I also enjoyed it for being completely shit, and for starring pretty much every famous Aussie actor ever! I mean, Julian Mc Mahon must have SERIOUSLY needed the money..

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