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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.

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"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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