The Australian thriller movie Bate, first went into production just after the premiere of Snakes on a Plane, and because of its rather outlandish premise it was given the informal title, Sharks in a Mall, clearly mocking the nature of the film. The movie is certainly a horror, but it also throws in elements of a disaster movie which gives many people the expectation that it is going to be a rather normal B-movie.
A bad B-movie is something that many people can enjoy, much like Snakes on a Plane was enjoyable. Unfortunately, the director of the movie takes everything a bit too seriously, and the interpretation of the script is clearly been mishandled by director Kimble Rendall. Many people would have hoped that with this film it would be something of a tongue in cheek production, but this is far from the case and it has just been made rather seriously.
This movie is not all bad however and when you compare it to some of the bad horror movies that have come out recently such as Shark Night, as well as Piranha, it is actually quite reasonable. That said, it is still a missed opportunity as the movie would have been a whole pile better if it was just taken a little more informally. Interestingly, the film has become an entry for the Venice Film Festival, which seems like a rather unusual selection.
The screenplay has been written by John Kim and Russell Mulcahy and in many ways it is quite forgettable. There is no particular memorable dialogue in the entire film and the character development hardly moves beyond shallow. There are all sorts of standard canned movie themes involved such as survival, resourcefulness, redemption and eventually love.
After a disaster occurs in the beginning of the movie the main character is stricken with grief and his life somewhat falls apart. He breaks things off with his fiancee and spends a couple of years working in a supermarket. Time passes and two years later it seems as if a disaster is about to be afoot, indicated by the fact that nature is going a bit crazy, although why this would indicate a disaster is coming, who really knows.
As you see in many of this type of film, several characters are introduced before the actual disaster happens so you get an idea of their behaviour in the real world. None of the characters are well developed and you don’t immediately feel close to any of them, which doesn’t make it easy to feel sorry for them when everything hits the fan.
The visual effects in this movie are actually pretty decent and the animatronic sharks look rather good. The use of 3-D in this movie is something that is not entirely necessary and the overuse of this format is becoming incredibly tired. Worse still is the dialogue which the characters have been given as it feels unnatural throughout the movie, you can see that the actors are struggling to develop characters that are just incredibly shallow on the script pages.