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'Bait' may sounds tempting but is mostly blah: review

September 13, 2012|By Robert Abele
  • Xavier Samuel in "Bait."
Xavier Samuel in "Bait." (Anchor Bay Films )

This year's shark-attack model — the Australian 3D flick "Bait" — seeks a little feeding-frenzy variation, so instead of roaming the high seas, it brings its 12-foot chomper inland, courtesy of a tsunami.

On a handsome stretch of touristy beach, monster waves crush hundreds of people, but the only death toll of interest to "Bait" relates to a flooded underground grocery store and its trapped survivors — various hottie twentysomethings and older authority types.

Director Kimble Rendall serves up a particularly hungry, vicious and Sea World-agile Great White, plus all the limb-separating gore effects you can handle. But as with most body-count jamborees like this, Rendall and screenwriters Russell Mulcahy and John Kim forget that in between bursts of tart, blood-drenched mayhem, there's a saggy, dumb chamber drama that's completely bland and under-seasoned.

Lovers are reunited, the jerks get theirs and star Julian McMahon looks remarkably unfazed by anything that happens around him. In fairness, there's not much here that's unsuspected or surprising.


"Bait." MPAA rating: R for bloody violence, some grisly images and language. Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes. At AMC Rolling Hills 20, Torrance.

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