What The Film?! is a weekly column exclusive to Under The Gun Review that brings to light the plot holes Hollywood hoped you’d never notice. Written by comedy writer Dane Sager, this column shows no mercy to films that try and pull the proverbial wool over our eyes.
If you know a film with major plot holes that you feel needs to be exposed, tell us! Email email@example.com with the subject “What The Film” and we’ll try to get your suggestion featured on the site.
This Week’s Movie: BAIT
In any form of media, there is a term called “High-Concept”. The idea of a high-concept is, ironically, any idea that can be explained in a few words. A low-concept idea would be more David Lynch than Transformers. You can break down most high-concept ideas into a series of questions that were clearly thought up by movie producers who have more cocaine in their system than blood. “What if we put hundreds of Snakes on a Plane? What if a lawyer couldn’t lie for twenty-four hours? What if we cloned dinosaurs? What if there was a machine that could, like, read dreams, and like, holy shit, you could, like, put yourself into other people’s dreams, and like, holy shit dude, like if you were like stealing ideas from them and then you could implant ideas, but like, what if, man, holy shit, like, dreams?”
2012’s BAIT takes the retardation of most high-concept ideas and ups the ante so high that the proverbial bar is knocked deep into the ocean. BAIT‘s high-concept question is “What if we put sharks in a super market?” Well, they would die, clearly. “But, what if the super market is flooded?” Well, then you might end up with a shark movie even worse than my very first What The Film!? written here for Under the Gun: Deep Blue Sea.
The movie introduces us to the protagonist, Josh, a local life-guard; passed out, hung over, and literally sleeping with his collar popped at the beach. He had just proposed the night prior to Tina and is currently recovering. Two people are then promptly killed by a shark, despite Josh desperately trying to save them. This is why you don’t go to work hung over, because something as simple as being a life-guard can lead to people dying. I’m not sure why they chose this introduction, because it doesn’t make us feel sympathetic towards the protagonist, like how Sylvester Stallone couldn’t save the girl at the beginning of Cliffhanger, because what it shows us a life-guard who chose to show up to work hung-over and got people killed because of it. We now don’t want to see him save the day, we want to see him die because this is a “horror” movie and seeing a douchebag die is much more satisfying than the slut-shaming we see in movies when girls who have sex die.
A year later, Josh goes into the grocery store he currently works for (because of course he lost his life-guard job, hell, he should have been arrested for man-slaughter) and bumps into Tina and her new boyfriend. Several other uninteresting characters show up, including a thief played by Julian McMahon; who has not quite reached the James Spader stage of aging, but he’s getting there, a cop and his shoplifting daughter, and two teenagers making out in a car. Just as a woman is shot in a robbery, a tsunami hits the town, killing literally thousands, and flooding the grocery store and its parking garage. Almost everyone in the store is killed except for the character they gave lines to prior to the flood.
Once the survivors take the situation in, they try to figure out where to get food and supplies, because apparently that’s very hard to do in a supermarket. No one seems to realize that they absolutely lucked out with where they were stranded, sharks or not.
At one point a live wire falls, almost touching the water. If the water rises any higher, it would touch the water, electrocuting everyone. In order to turn it off, they have to go into another room underwater, and turn the power off. Because the power box being completely underwater is apparently safer than the wires. At the same time, the two teens in the car are being attacked by another shark, who keeps ramming its nose against the windows in an attempt to get to them. Because a shark would take its most sensitive part of its body and smash it into hard things repeatedly to get to what may or may not be a food source.
In order to get to the power box in the other room, they build a make shift shark cage out of the shopping carts and baskets to dress up Tina’s boyfriend in. While he successfully turns off the power (yet all the freezer lights stay on), he doesn’t get killed by the shark (which realistically shows no interest in him), but he drowns because everyone in this movie is really bad at planning things.
As the movie progresses, the singular twelve foot shark keeps killing and eating people for funzies. Most of the shots underwater of the shark (when not CGI) don’t make much sense. It appears to be either B-Roll of sharks or they took human shaped bags of chum and threw it into the ocean to film it.
Eventually, they get the plan to catch the shark using the meat in the deli section. The shark ignores it, most likely because it has eaten a lot of people in the supermarket, but the survivors assume it’s because they need “live bait”.
Killing the guy who insisted on using live bait, they successfully catch the shark.
Tina then kisses Josh despite her boyfriend dying literally a an hour or so prior (if that), and Josh and the shoplifting girl go into the parking garage to check on other survivors that they just realized were there. While in the parking garage, they find some weapons, including a shot which is used to kill the parking garage shark, and then they retreat back into the grocery store where they kill the original shark with a taser.
Sharks are one of the most perfect creatures on the planet. They have been unchanged evolution wise for around 250 million years, longer than dinosaurs, even longer than Bon Jovi. There were no further updates to download, there is no iPhone-type planned obsolescence: they are perfect. They’re an evolutionary marvel and this Great White Shark gets killed by a Goddamned taser.
The weird thing about this movie is that for all it’s ridiculousness, flat acting (for a 3D movie, it sure is one dimensional, HIYO), and poor special effects, it’s one of the better shark movies out there (and I have seen a lot). It’s absolutely no Jaws, but that was lightning in a bottle. I purchased this movie immediately after hearing Justin trash talk it in his 2012 year in review. Shortly after purchasing it, I remembered that RedBox exists and I didn’t have to buy it.
After the grocery store gets filled with water, someone notices that all the bodies have disappeared. Just like the Violence Against Women Act, they’re all gone. It was a full grocery store, having around thirty people in it. It’s presumed that in addition to the ten or so people we see the shark eat, it also ate all the bodies left over because a Great White Shark being trapped in a scary environment that it doesn’t understand would eat everything. I thought it was really peculiar that a twelve foot shark would eat over a quarter of hundred people, each person being about six feet tall. I thought it was dumb movie science until I found this graphic of shark anatomy.