Bait [Blu-Ray] Kimble Rendall

Bait [Blu-Ray] Kimble Rendall
Maybe Snakes on a Plane was right. Shlock cinema, especially when playing a ridiculous and easily reduced conceit earnestly, might as well be blatantly honest; it's not like these types of movies take their subtext or silliness seriously enough to warrant a thematic nod or knowing wink from a title. So, for the purposes of this review, let us refer to Bait by its spiritual name: Sharks in a Supermarket. Oddly, first-time feature director Kimble Rendall has managed to produce something that is, and isn't, exactly as stupid as it sounds. How those sharks get in that supermarket is simple: a giant tsunami tosses them in. Why we may or may not give a shit whether or not the cast is reduced to fish food isn't so simple. For the most part, the characters trapped in this Australian supermarket are one-dimensional, foolish idiots. A few of the cast members do what they can with the limp and cliché-ridden script, most noticeably Xavier Samuel (The Loved Ones), a former life guard plagued by guilt over a shark attack that claimed the life of his girlfriend's brother. Yep, that's a setup on a Cliffhanger scale of contrivance. None of the cast members are particularly bad ― not even Julian McMahon (infamous for the mile-wide stain he left on the Fantastic Four's legacy as Dr. Doom in the atrocious, aborted franchise) ― but the credulity-straining situations they're forced into would be the envy of no actor not licensed to go full camp. Everyone has something to atone for, but unfortunately for the viewers, their penance takes the form of ineffectual CGI sharks and a logistically impaired water coffin. Since Sharks in a Supermarket was conceived and marketed as a gimmicky 3D project, there's plenty of lunging at the camera, but it's hard to find something threatening when it looks so obviously fake. If Rendall had the confidence to leave the threat mostly unseen and punch up the character work to create a sense of tension, this flick could have skirted its trappings, even if it's shot with the pornographic gloss of a car commercial. As it is, with just a storyboard gallery to accompany the feature, only the starving will take this bait. (Anchor Bay)