Plot: What’s it about?
Alvin Sanders (Jamie Foxx) is a low level thief who was busted by the cops, but soon he will find himself involved in a massive criminal escapade. His path will lead him into the crosshairs of a ruthless crime boss and Alvin will be in a lot of danger, but then again, he has no idea about any of this. You see, after Alvin was taken down on a minor theft charge, the cops chose to clear his record and implement a new tracking device on him. While Alvin is very pleased to have his record erased and have some new cash to use, he is unaware of the plan he has become a central pawn in. It seems the government has chosen Alvin as a form of bait, which they hope will draw a notorious killer (Doug Hutchinson) out of hiding. And of course, once he is within their grasp, then the agents will strike and have their bust. But in order to make that happen, Alvin ends up in all sorts of hapless situations, some dangerous and some plan hilarious. Alvin isn’t always aware of his status as human bait, but soon he starts to ponder some issues and that leads him to draw some conclusions. Will Alvin be able to serve his purpose within the mission and if so, will he manage to survive the bad guys, the agents, and his own bad luck?
I ended up seeing this movie at the theater based on the presence of Jamie Foxx, so I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece in Bait. In the end, this flick has some rough spots in terms of writing, but Foxx and the rest of this terrific cast (David Morse, Jamie Kennedy, David Paymer) manage to keep it from sinking too much. I still think some sequences lack a lot, but as a whole, this was a fun movie to watch, which was all I wanted. As you can tell, this was meant to be a Jamie Foxx vehicle and on those terms, the movie works well enough in the end. I think some parts are terrific and some just plain suck, but it all events out to a decent flick overall. I don’t think this one offers much in repeat viewing, but if you’re a fan of Foxx, then you might think this one is worth more looks. I know I will revisit this film a lot, but I think Foxx is hilarious, so your own mileage may vary here. As far as mid level action/comedies go, Bait is a good one and I recommend the release as a rental. The disc is good too, but lacks some features from the box, so be sure to read the extras section here, so you’ll know what to really expect.
I’ve liked Jamie Foxx since his stint on In Living Color, so I am pleased he is now making some good movies. I liked this one a lot, but I still think he has his best work ahead of him, as this seems more like a stepping stone. Now this is a very funny movie and Foxx is hilarious as usual, but I think Bait is more of a test, to see how well Foxx can swim in the solo waters. Here Foxx plays a hapless character who can’t catch a break, even if was right in front of his face. I admit this material isn’t the kind that allows Foxx to showcase his skills, but he does fine with it and brings it up a couple notches in the end. As usual, Foxx proves he is a gifted performer and I hope he gets some more solid roles soon. You can also see Foxx in such films as Held Up, The Great White Hype, Booty Call, and Any Given Sunday. The rest of the cast here includes Mike Epps (Next Friday, 3 Strikes), Jamie Kennedy (Bowfinger, Boiler Room), Robert Pastorelli (Modern Vampires, Eraser), David Morse (The Rock, The Green Mile), Kimberly Elise (Beloved, Set It Off), Doug Hutchinson (Con Air, A Time To Kill), and David Paymer (Nixon, The Sixth Man).
Video: How does it look?
Bait is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This movie uses a lot of blue in the visuals, so if you take notice of that, then be assured that’s the intended look. As such, some of the darker scenes take on a very blue tint, while most scenes look natural and show only hints of the blue wash. I saw minimal flaws here, although the blue texture makes it a little hard to judge some places. In the end, this looks much like I remember from the theater, though of course much sharper and refined.
Audio: How does it sound?
This disc includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 track and thanks to this film’s dynamic audio needs, your speakers will be given a workout and a half. I do admit, this track wasn’t as explosive as I expected, but it still packs a nice punch in the end. The surrounds open up when the action kicks in, with a lot of directional use that draws in the viewer well. The music also makes good use of the surround channels, which is always welcome in a flick like this one. No problems with the dialogue though, as the vocals always come off in fine form, always audible and crisp here. This disc also includes a French 5.1 surround track, as well as subtitles in English and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some talent files and an audio commentary track with Jamie Foxx, which was a welcome inclusion. Foxx shares some stories from the production and also cracks some jokes, but I think another speaker would have helped this track, as it has a lot of silent spaces and extended pauses present. The disc’s package lists the theatrical trailer, but it is nowhere to be found on this release.