Review: Bait 3D / Cert: 15 / Director: Kimble Rendall / Screenplay: Russell Mulcahy, John Kim / Starring: Alex Russell, Julian McMahon, Sharni Vinson, Xavier Samuel, Martin Sacks / Release Date: April 29th
As regular readers of Starburst have probably noticed, the waters of the SyFy Channel seem to be overpopulated with CGI mutant sharks at the moment. But this Australian-produced flick takes a different approach and the silent killers are an added threat to what is essentially a disaster movie.
Josh (Samuel) is a local lifeguard until a shark attack takes the life of his best friend. He gives up the job, and loses his fiancé, his friend's sister Tina (Vinson). A few years later, and Josh is stacking shelves in an ocean-front supermarket when Tina shows up with her new boyfriend, a robbery is about to take place (Nip/Tuck star McMahon is the reluctant thief) and, if that wasn't enough, a freak tsunami is about to put the whole store under water. Climbing on top of the fixtures, the survivors soon realise that the influx of water has brought with it two large great white sharks, one which is roaming the aisles, the other the parking bay where more people are trapped.
While this is certainly a cut above the made-for-TV trash that appears all too regularly, there are still a few problems. There are four “additional” writers credited alongside Highlander director Mulcahy and Kim, which has probably muddied the waters a little too much, and as such the film doesn't really know what it wants to be. It's not that it isn't fun, it's just that a lot of it is illogical. It also features the most airtight car ever manufactured. The shark attacks are, for the most part, very well done. There are some very gory CGI effects, but also some that are in the SyFy level of naffness. All is not lost though; as, when not required to perform somersaults, the sharks are animatronic, and as such much more believable as a threat. The actors are more than serviceable, but the hackneyed subplots of family squabbles and love and forgiveness tend to get in the way of the action. Director Rendell is best known for the Molly Ringwald/Kylie Minogue slasher Cut (2002) and for being second unit director on the Matrix sequels and I, Robot and does a decent job creating tension and atmosphere.
The film was shot in native 3D, and the opening scenes on the beach are visually stunning, but once it get into the more claustrophobic submerged grocery store, the effect is lessened. There are several guns being pointed out of the screen, which were spoilt by the use of selective focus. When shooting 3D you can't use the same techniques as standard visual storytelling, things need to be sharp for you to see the effect correctly. This gripe aside, the 3D doesn't take over, and does add to some scenes. Not that too many people will get to see it in that format anyway.
Despite the flaws, it's a passable, fun view for a quiet night in.
Extras: Making of / Trailer