You know the summer blockbuster season is over when the shark flicks start to arrive. “Bait,” a fairly big-budgeted Australian film — although you wouldn’t guess it — tries to put a new spin on the sharxploitation movie, employing 3-D as it was originally intended: a massively in-your-face gimmick.
“Bait” is not content to just be a silly shark-attack B-movie. Noooo, after setting up the hunky lifeguard (Xavier Samuel) who becomes an emotional cripple when his buddy is mauled by a great white that makes “Jaws” look like a piece of sushi, it then jumps a year ahead: The ex-lifeguard is now sulking in a boring supermarket job where, just as he bumps into his ex-girlfriend with another guy, and just as a cop comes to pick up his shoplifting daughter, two gunmen try to stick up the store, only to be interrupted by a sudden tidal wave that traps everyone in the flooded market and brings with it not one but two great white sharks that will terrorize the survivors and pop out of the screen at you about once every six minutes.
Cheesy is hardly sufficient to describe many of the performances here, and “Bait” winds up falling just short of “so bad it’s good.”