Sometimes A Shark Movie Surprises You: BAIT

pod201baitI’m getting in some movie watching during my vacation and I have a whole shelf of things to watch, including some $5 Walmart dvds that trend toward science fiction, action and gore. I picked up “Bait” quite awhile ago based on the cover, the tagline “The ultimate predator is coming to a store near you!” and “Clean up on aisle 7!” (Really, that’s ON the box…). Here’s the plot summary:

A freak tsunami traps shoppers at a coastal Australian supermarket inside the building – along with a 12-foot Great White Shark.

Actually there are two 12 foot animatronic sharks, one inside the drowned store and one in the attached parking structure and I enjoyed this movie a lot. Once you get past the somewhat shaky premise, the  mostly-Australian cast are very good, the sharks themselves are utilized quite convincingly AS sharks (unlike oh, “Sharknado”…) and I enjoyed the Australian setting. You don’t actually get to see much of the tsunami. I guess the special effects budget only covered one disaster and the sharks perforce won out over the wave.  The lead, Xavier Samuel,  does a terrific job of displaying the proper angst over the death of his best friend a year ago, which he feels is his fault, and the new angst of being trapped with his former fiancee and her new boyfriend…we romance writers thrive on the romantic subplot in these disaster movies LOL. He also takes point on trying to save people and figure out how to save everyone, having been a stellar lifeguard until his friend was eaten. Apparently the actor was in one of the “Twilight” movies, which I – gasp – never saw.

Besides the former fiancee, there’s an empty headed rich girl with a spoiled dog, a cop, his kleptomaniac daughter, the daughter’s boyfriend, the guy who was robbing the store just as the tsunami hit, the store manager…pretty much the usual cast of desperate-to-survive characters, Part of what I liked about the movie was that some of the people you expect to die, don’t…and others you’re sure will make it to the end, not so much.

The chihuahua had two stunt double dogs, one to run and one to swim…

The scene where they construct a one man shark cage out of handy materials in the drowned supermarket was very clever…

The movie made decent money worldwide and debuted at the Venice Film Festival. I’ve watched it three times now and was even motivated to buy another Australian movie starring some of the same folks (which turned out to be a version of “Red Dawn” without Patrick Swayze or Chris Hemsworth but I digress…you won’t be seeing a review of that one.)

So I definitely recommend “Bait” as a pleasant use of some time if you enjoy shark movies and the assortment-of-people-trapped-by-disaster genre.

bait

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