Reviewed by Michael Ferraro
Take a good look at the cover of this Blu-ray the next time you are anywhere you can find it. There is a picture of a shark swimming next to a shopping cart, with what appears to be a severed leg floating by, with this fantastic slogan right above it: Cleanup on Aisle 7. You may not be able to judge books by their covers, but for movies, the complete opposite can be said.
Bait 3D follows Josh (Xavier Samuel), who is still grieving after his best friend, Rory, is eaten by sharks during his lifeguard shift. Tina (Sharni Vinson), Rory’s sister, was about to become engaged to Josh the day of the incident and since then, her and Josh have parted ways.
During the year that passes since Rory’s death, Josh takes a job at a local shop where he stocks shelves. Conveniently (in terms of plot), Tina shows up out of nowhere with her new beau, Steven. At the same time, Doyle (Julian McMahon) is forced by an unknown man to pull a robbery on the store, which then creates a hostage situation.
Tragically, a tsunami suddenly hits the area and floods the somewhat underground store, leaving everyone inside trapped. But who finds their way inside the store too? A pair of great white sharks with an insatiable hunger for human flesh.
This is the first directorial effort by Kimble Rendall, who served mostly as a second unit director in such films as the second and third Matrix entries, Knowing, and Ghost Rider. Now, don’t pop in Bait expecting anything new with the genre. If anything, it’s a few steps higher than those oddly titled Shark films developed specifically for the home video crowd. Let’s face it, it’s certainly no Jaws. Jaws 3D maybe, but Julian McMahon is no substitute for Louis Gossett, Jr.
The disc contains the bare minimum of features; actually it includes only one: a storyboard gallery. The film was surprisingly co-written by Russell Mulcahy (Highlander, Resident Evil: Extinction), and it would have been nice to have him lend his voice to a commentary to hear his thoughts on the shark genre and what inspired him to write this picture without directing.
Still, though it is predictable at every turn, some of the deaths are rather creative; it’s not like you’re watching Bait for anything other than that. Without spoiling too much, the film does end with way too many survivors. It’s not like it doesn’t have its share of death, because it does, but there are some characters you kept wishing to depart that just never do.