I finally broke down and watched the Australian/Singaporean horror film Bait. In a film that can be best described as Jaws in a grocery store, my sights weren’t aimed very high.
But, I was surprised to find, I liked it.
Directed by Kimble Rendall and starring, sort of, Julian McMahon of Nip/Tuck fame (who looks like he’s had a nip or a tuck, or at the very least a shed load of Botox) and a host of Australian character actors it was actually fairly entertaining.
It might have something to do with my low expectations going in. Although, to be honest, I always try to keep them low when watching any film, it tends to make them all that bit more enjoyable. At the heart of the movie it is just an old-fashioned disaster film that, in this case, takes the recent (and somewhat disturbing) trend of tsunami films and adds in a few great white sharks.
The film opens with a couple of good looking Aussie fellas (read the previous sentence with an Australian accent, it helps set the mood) who are lifeguards. One is extremely hungover from his bachelor party the night before and his best mate goes out to “set the buoy” in the water.
Hangover boy goes to see his fiancé who happens to be his best mates sister. While they are visiting, a great white shark makes a snack of an old loud mouthed swimmer and then goes on to his best mate. In the best tradition of shark films everywhere, the best mate gets almost rescued before he dies.
Fast forward and hangover boy has obviously lost the girl and works in a grocery/department store and Julian McMahon is about to rob it. As soon as the action starts (the robbery action) everything is interrupted by a tsunami.
We are then treated to some jolly good Aussie stereotypes who are trapped in the store with one man-eating monster and a trio of more stereotypes who are trapped in the underground car park. The action moves between the two groups until near the end of the film.
All the characters were fun except for McMahon. His biggest problem was his accent. He didn’t (again, read this bit with an Australian accent) “sound like a Yank” and he didn’t sound like “an Aussie.” No one even brought up the fact that this robber wasn’t a local lad.
Okay, so they were all trying to keep away from a giant great white shark, but hey, his accent was pretty noticeable. I could not for the life of decide if he’d been living in Australia in real life and his accent was just the result or if he was trying to sound Australian.
Either way, it was a bit off putting.
Still, accent problems aside (as well as the fact that the film was obviously film for 3D, which I don’t have) the film did one thing very well, it entertained.
All the characters were pretty much two dimensional and for some reason that didn’t bother me. To be honest, to expect multi-layered characters in what was essentially a disaster film is being a bit foolhardy, not to mention optimistic. If you want depth, go watch Oliver’s King Hamlet.
Besides, if you’re going to keep killing your cast off, just how deep do you want them to be?
The film looked great. The cinematography was crisp and looked so inviting that even after the tsunami hit, I wanted to head over there and throw a few more “shrimp on the barbie.”
I’d have to say that this was a 4 out of 5 stars just for the entertainment value (and the novelty) of sharks in a car park and a grocery store.
A fun film to watch.
- SciFridays: “Bait” (2011) (roosterillusionreviews.com)
- DVD review: Bait 3D (15) (dailyrecord.co.uk)
You must be logged in to post a comment.