Bait 3D (note: I saw it sans 3D) has been hyped mainly through the ridiculousness of its log-line - Sharks inside a supermarket!!! And that's some effective ridiculousness. Here's an actual conversation that happened in my home this morning:
Me: I watched Bait 3D last night.
Boyfriend: What's Bait 3D?
Me: It's that movie with the sharks in the supermarket.
Boyfriend: (pause) (quizzical look) (more pause) Excuse me?
How we hadn't gone through that routine at an earlier date I'm not sure - surely I exclaimed about this movie's promising ridiculousness the second I heard about it forever ago? I digress - I went on to explain the film's delightfully absurd plot - there's a tsunami, an underground supermarket is flooded, and there be sharks in them there waters. And, go.
Somehow though, the film only half goes. I suppose you get what you paid for - there are sharks, and they are inside of a supermarket - but the film doesn't seem to know what to do with that beyond tell the most straightforward unimaginative take. The proof is in the pudding - not a single character ever utters a line about there needing to be a clean-up on aisle whatever. What the fuck! It has no fun with its setting - it could be set anywhere for all the movie seems to care; there's no specific riffing on setting at all, which is fully HALF of the movie's reason for existing. It could be set in any enclosed space really and still be the same movie. I mean I don't have a specific hard-on for supermarkets, but it speaks to a laziness on the film-maker's part - they aimed for generic, and they stuck it.
As to the other half of the equation, there are sharks. And there's definitely some fun violence. (That tsunami is vivid and awful - maybe too awful? Discuss.) But it relies on "Whoops, I fell in the water!" about ten times too many for its tension - I was starting to think the butter case had exploded and turned all the surfaces slippery. Would that they had thought of that touch! That's what I'm talking about. They could have had some real fun with it. Their attentions seemed more tuned towards some Final Destination-ish gore excess (how about that shot of a shark's mouth literally brimming with intestines, ehh? I was actually eating my dinner at that moment, too) which, well y'all know I have no trouble with that. But the FD movies almost never forget to keep things bouncing, and this movie is literally an hour and a half of that scene in Deep Blue Sea with LL Cool J and the parrot in the kitchen.
All that said, we definitely need more movies that have Xavier Samuel in a wet t-shirt cocking a shot-gun like the hardest Twlight hard-ass of all time.That's a keeper.