Main cast: Xavier Samuel (Josh), Sharni Vinson (Tina), Alex Russell (Ryan), Phoebe Tonkin (Jaime), Qi Yuwu (Steven), Martin Sacks (Todd), Adrian Pang (Jessup), Lincoln Lewis (Kyle), Cariba Heine (Heather), Dan Wyllie (Kirby), and Julian McMahon (Doyle)
Director: Kimble Rendall
Ten seconds into the movie, it’s apparent that Bait is an Australian movie. The accent is a giveaway, of course. This is not a bad thing, except, when was the last time Julian McMahon ever starred in a decent movie? Wait, has he ever starred in a decent movie? And since he is one of the more high profile names in this movie, things don’t seem very promising.
This one takes forever to kick into gear. First, it introduces a bunch of dreary, bratty, charmless characters, the most notable ones being Josh, a sad puppy of a bloke who saw his friend get chomped by a shark five years ago, his ex-girlfriend Tina, the stereotypical pushy Chinese supermarket manager played by Adrian Pang, and a Pomeranian. Julian McMahon plays Doyle, one half of a duo who attempts to rob this supermarket when a tsunami hits it. The survivors find themselves trapped either in the supermarket itself or in the basement car park (there are two groups of them). Lo, two big sharks show up, looking for some chow!
The budget for this movie doesn’t allow it to create much effective gore, so there goes one reason to watch this movie. The characters are all singularly bratty, annoying, or just plain forgettable despite having their back stories set up in the interminable first half hour of this movie, so there aren’t many reasons to cheer them on. It’s not fun to see them die either because they aren’t even that hateful or annoying. These characters are just bland through and through, and seeing them die is actually boring.
It doesn’t help that the script lacks any creative thrills. The characters generally huddle on the top of aisles waiting to die, or they actually jump in and out of the water like giddy kids. The acting is wooden all around – these people seem to be on the verge of falling asleep instead of being terrified out of their wits, and they all act like they are reading aloud from prompt cards. And since some folks from Singapore invested money in this movie as well, the clothes stay on despite the opportunities present to get wet and what not. Then, there is very little humor in the script to elevate the dreary dullness that plague the movie.
Oh, and how charming it is that all the Asian characters die while it is near impossible for the majority of the white cast to even sustain a scratch.
Thus, Bait lacks chills, suspense, nudity and sex, gore, and humor. There is really no reason to see this movie unless it’s a desire to experience what it feels like to be bored completely out of one’s mind.