So there was this movie made. About a freak tidal wave / tsunami crashing into a coastal Aussie town and stranding a bunch of mostly-pretty people inside a submerged grocery store. And then the poor slobs get picked off, one-by-one, by a great white shark that’s also stuck in the underwater grocer.
Sounds like a lot of fun, no? You’d think so anyway. Sadly, Bait 3D is about as much fun as being stranded in an underwater movie theater being forced to watch Mall Cop over & over & OVER again (my apologies to those who just love their Kevin James).
Bait 3D is the perfect-storm of inane characters, bad script, dumb back-story, tragically lame CGI, and really, really, REALLY poor logic. It stars mostly-unknown Aussie TV actors who – through no fault of their own – can’t elevate the bad script into anything memorable. The best actor in the bunch – and the only face most will recognize – is TV’s Julian McMahon (Charmed, Nip/Tuck) who tries his best, goshdarnit. He plays one of two crooks who were attempting to rob the joint at the exact moment that the tsunami hits, stranding him inside with a handful of employees and patrons, a young couple with an oh-so-tragic love story…. and a shark. Or maybe two. Possibly three?
The number of sharks in the film is one of the more glaringly bad plot holes. Bait 3D takes place almost entirely in two locations – the main floor of the grocery store, and the parking garage below it. One shark terrorizes the group on the main floor, while another (maybe?) stalks 3 people stuck below in the garage. In their cars. Yes… this movie is such a stinker, that it expects that we’ll not question how a completely-submerged vehicle never once starts to leak water. EVER. Or how the two over-sexed (but really pretty!) morons inside decide to just hang out there with their yapping Pomeranian until someone saves them. Maybe I’m not giving the characters enough credit – if I was stuck in a magically-watertight car in a tidal-waved grocery store… I might just choose to hang out there too. (PFFT… I’d so feed that Pom to the shark.)
Yup, it’s that kind of movie. Which would have been completely OK with me… had the film lived up to any of the promise of why it was made in the first place: to watch sharks eat people. Yet it fails there, too. It never ceases to amaze me that filmmakers can’t seem to get CGI sharks right. Sharks are scary enough, movie-makers – you don’t need to add over-snaggled teeth or weird jaw-movements to animals that already terrify people exactly as they are. A shark jumping out of the water to bite something and take it underwater never to be seen again is absolutely horrifying (see: Jaws, The Reef, Open Water). A shark jumping out of shallow water to eat half a man holding onto a pipe on the ceiling… who somehow magically never let’s go as he’s ripped in half… is just plain stupid.
If you feel like wasting a few bucks – or you just can’t get enough of man-eating CGI sharks, Bait 3D is available on most cable providers’ On-Demand sections. It can also be found on Amazon Instant Video, and the PlayStation Store.