Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bait 3D

I first found the trailer for Bait in July of last year, and I had been waiting impatiently since then to see it. The dvd is finally out,  and I got my chance last Wednesday. Was it everything I hoped it would be, and totally worth the long wait? Putting it bluntly, no. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, just that I was hoping (admittedly a bit unfairly) for more. I wanted what was basically a SyFy-budget level flick to be the next Deep Blue Sea, instead Bait ends up being all that it can be, given what it had to work with.

A freak tsunami hits the Australian coast, leaving most of Queensland under water. Just prior, an armed robbery was happening at a local supermarket, which was interrupted when the water hit. Sitting atop the shelving of the flooded store, the survivors soon realize they have more than the armed criminals to deal with when the fin of a 12 foot great white shark emerges on aisle 7. If they are going to have any hope for survival, they will have to work together to figure out a way to get past the hungry man eating beast and escape to the safety of the streets outside the store.

Finn Dixie, anyone? Zing! Ahem, so as I touched on before, it's main problem ends up being that it's just a little too big for it's britches. I wish the 3D idea had been scrapped completely, as there are times when the already questionable CG ends up looking laughably bad when it's obviously supposed to be jumping off your screen in 3D, but isn't because your broke ass only has a 2D television. I'm not saying it's as bad as Jaws 3D, but if you've seen that hilarious mess, then you're on the right track. 20 million dollars may sound like a decent budget for an indie flick, but when you factor in 3D, CG sharks, CG tsunami, underwater sets, etc. you run out of money real fast.

There was also a huge cast, way more people than necessary, up to and including Dr. Doom himself, Julian McMahon. I've seen the movie twice now, and both times I got confused as to who exactly was who, and where they had come from prior to the tsunami. Now, if you're like me, and you see how many people are in this thing, then you might be thinking, "oh shit yes, all you can eat people buffet for Mr. Shark". Sorry, friend, yet another misstep from Bait. All these damn people, and only you can pretty much count on one hand how many end up eaten. In fact, if you've seen the red band trailer, you've already seen most of them. This ended up being my biggest disappointment with the movie.

Up to this point, I've been mostly negative, but when all was said and done, I actually did enjoy Bait. Despite the seriousness of the situation, it still feels like a lighthearted movie. There are plenty of laughs to go along with all the fin action. The gore is decent too, this isn't one of those "water bubbling then turning red" kind of shark movie, more often than not, the camera follows the shark under water and we even get to see him chew his meal. There might not be a double digit kill count, but the few we get are pretty badass, with some displays of savagery from the great white. The cast is mostly forgettable, but none are so horrible as to really annoy or ruin the proceedings. My favorites ended up being one of the lifeguards, Josh (Xavier Samuel of The Loved Ones fame), and the preppy couple who spent most of the movie in the parking deck, stuck in their car.

In closing, Bait 3D is unique in it's premise and location, but unfortunately ends up falling into most of the same old shark movie trappings we've all seen a million times before. It had potential, and good intentions, but it's ambitious nature ends up being it's downfall. Still, I'd recommend shark movie addicts, like myself, to give it a shot. It may not be the next Deep Blue Sea, but it's still way better than Shark Night.

1 comment:

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