Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bait (2012)

With the exception of "Jaws" and "Deep Blue Sea", I can't think of any other good shark movies. Granted, "Deep Blue Sea" wasn't good in a traditional sense of the word*, and you can't touch "Jaws", but there have been so many disappointing ("Open Water") to just plain bad (too many to count) films in the sharksploitation genre that  you begin to wonder if it's even worth it. Well lo and behold, "Bait" may not be a classic, but it actually manages to be a fun little movie that just happens to have sharks.

Josh (Xavier Samuel) hasn't been having the best luck. A year ago, a friend of his was eaten by a shark, and now he's lost his girlfriend (Sharni Vinson) to a new boyfriend from Singapore. To make matters worse, a stick up happens in the supermarket he works at, and then a tsunami traps everyone there in  the store. To make things worse, the tsunami has flooded the place, and there's two sharks on the loose.

First things first: "Bait" does anything but reinvent the wheel. It's ultimately a somewhat teen centric B-Movie with plenty of cliched characters (the comic relief couple and their pet dog, the asshole who gets his (always a favorite that one), the daughter who gets in a lot of trouble), gimmicky 3D that doesn't translate in a 2D environment, and everyone you expect to die does in fact die. In fact, this feels more like Hollywood style stuff than anything particularly special.

Thankfully, this is decent Hollywood type stuff too. The acting manages to be a lot better than expected, and a few of the characters do manage to come off as at least sort of human instead of just one dimensional stereotypes. There's also a sense that the people behind it know what kind of movie this is, so the writers (six of them-one was a writer for "Deep Blue Sea") decide to have fun with it. Unlike something like "Shark Night", there's no sense of embarrassment in this, as a sense of humor is included that rarely feels out of place. This is a film that knows it's a B-Movie, and instead of shoving that in your face, it tries to entertain, and with some solid kills (the best being a man getting bitten in half), good direction and some solid set pieces to go along.

In the end, I can't see anyone praising this as some sort of future classic, because this a dumb popcorn movie and nothing more. Thankfully, said popcorn is good instead of stale, and for a no brainer genre film, this is light but fun stuff.

Rating: 6.5/10

*Which could also be called "Hey, remember when LL Cool J did a song about being a shark?"

My hat is like a shark's fin!

No comments:

Post a Comment