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Bait (2000)
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Review Date: August 29, 2000
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Ad. Sheinman, An. Sheinman, T. Gilroy
Producers: Sean Ryerson
Actors:
Jamie Foxx
David Morse
Doug Hutchison
Plot:
A two-bit thief gets thrown in jail for stealing shrimp. While in jail, he's given some information by an associate of the villain as to the whereabouts of about $42 million in gold. The associate dies soon thereafter but the government needs to capture the villain, so what do they do? They release the two-bit thief, implant a tracking device in his jaw and wait until the villain catches up to him. Simple enough?
Critique:
A decent action/comedy ride but probably a little too familiar for most seasoned moviegoers. Credit Jamie Foxx for boosting this film's quotient with many funny lines, and director Fuqua for jazzing the film up with a Tony Scott-ish brush, but don't expect the film to toss too many surprises your way or offer anything very original. Of course, one could argue that I've seen too many movies in my day and that my opinion regarding originality is tainted therein (okay, Mrs. JoBlo loved it and might've mentioned that I was being too critical...doh!), but that wasn't the only thing about the movie that didn't blow my pipes. The humor was fast and furious during the first half hour of the film, but unfortunately absent for much of its second half. There were also too many shots of people sitting in the "tracking" room, listening to action taking place. Howsabout showing us more of that action, folks?!

Having said all that, the film is actually a perfect video movie! It's got a fun comedic element, a couple of cool car sequences, gun play, a grandiose plot line which is pretty ridiculous when you really think about it (way too many people chasing this one guy!), a hip soundtrack and David Morse playing the ultimate A-hole once again. And he's not even the bad guy! (I'm not giving anything away here...we know who the bad guy is from the start). Actually, that's one thing that did bother me quite some. Why do these government agents always have to be such one-dimensional pricks? I mean, c'mon fellas...lighten up a bit, there's more to life than just catching bad guys. How about giving them just a little depth from time to time? Doug Hutchison was decent as the villain, with a hint of John Malkovich's Oscar-nominated villainous role from IN THE LINE OF FIRE mixed in for fun. So there you have it...the film is okay, provides enough laughs, action and drama to satisfy your average movie-goer looking for a good time out, but for originality, unpredictability and a quenching aftertaste, this movie doesn't really cut it. So there's the bait...are you gonna bite?

PS: As mentioned earlier, Mrs. JoBlo loved this movie and especially the performance put forth by the villain, Doug Hutchison. As it turns out, we saw this film at the Montreal Film Festival with director Fuqua, Foxx and Hutchison present in the audience, so the Mrs. was nice enough to approach Doug after the show and praise his performance. Hutchison was very gracious and delivered two sweet kisses onto the Missus' cheeks. Hmmmm...now that I think about it, what the heck was that all about?! Since when do these guys kiss their fans...gotta go speak to the Missus... :)
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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