Sunday, 11 September 2016

Jaws goes shopping

Despite overwhelming evidence that humans kill many more sharks than sharks kill people, big fish continue to be presented as villains in aquatic thrillers, whether such dramas have an eco-horror dimension, or not. It’s particularly amusing to note that more than a third of these movies have fantastic creatures (see Dinoshark and Sharktopus), not realistic animals, so it is clear how exhausted this notion has become in a nature’s revenge plot.
BAIT (2012) is an Australian disaster movie about a great white shark that invades a coastal Queensland shopping centre after the building is flooded by a tidal wave. A makeshift shark cage is deployed but prompt fatality crushes any hopes for quick or easy escape from either the supermarket floor, or an underground car park, until...  

Co-written by Russell Mulcahy (a talented director who seems to be practically retired nowadays), this is the directing debut of Kimble Rendall. Shop-lifter girl and stock-room boy are stereotyped kids (still the population of ‘least concern’ in genre scenarios), mistaking stupidity for rebellion, but becoming heroes in spite of themselves.
The real bad guys include armed robbers (one is played by Dr Doom himself, Julian McMahon). Spectacular effects, some terrible overacting, and black comedy death scenes combine to make this almost as much brainless fun as the Piranha remake. The hi-def edition boasts crisp sound and sharp visuals, and the disc includes the 3D version.

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