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"Bait" on DVD

Enema of the State?

Bait is a bargain basement clone of "Enemy of the State," with enough changes made to it to prevent the producers from getting sued.

Jamie Foxx stars as Alvin Dean Sanders, a small time hood who winds up sharing a jail cell with part of the team that pulled the heist of the century: the blood-soaked robbery of a US gold bullion repository in New York City.

Unfortunately, Sanders' cell mate dies after leaving him with a cryptic one line clue as to where the $42 million in gold is buried. He spills the goods under interrogation by a tough Treasury officer (David Morse), but when they investigate the clue they can't find the gold.

Flash forward a year and a half and Sanders is released, but with a radio and location transmitter mounted secretly into his jaw that will let the T-Men follow his every move. He's the bait in their high tech trap for the elusive, computer-genius (Doug Hutchison) partner to Sanders' dead cellmate.

Thus begins a roller coaster ride for Sanders (but, alas, not for the audience) as he tries to get his life together while his old cronies try to rope him back into a life of crime - all while Morse's Agent Clenteen and his staff keep him out of jail but always in danger.

It isn't that Bait is a bad movie. It has plenty of action, some light moments, and good performances. It doesn't really transmit in advance what's going to happen, either. It has plenty of problems, though, including a bad guy who, while he may be a fine actor, really makes it appear in this role that the producers wanted John Malkovich but he was busy so they hired Hutchison and made him do his best Malkovich impression.

The biggest problem, though, is that Bait can't decide if it's an action film or a comedy, or both, and in the end this works against the whole.

Foxx is likeable as the confused fish out of water, and Morse is appropriately mean (which may come as a surprise to those who've seen him in "The Green Mile" and "Contact"). The rest of the cast also give good performances; it's just too bad the movie never lives up to its considerable potential.

In the end, if you want to see this type of film done better (without the comedy, which doesn't really work in "Bait" anyway), take a look at "Enemy of the State."

The widescreen DVD (16x9 compatible) looks and sounds top notch. The video is pristine, and the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is clean and full. Extras include a full-length commentary by star Foxx, and cast/crew bios.

Bait, from Warner Home Video
119 min. widescreen (2.35:1) 16x9 compatible, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Jamie Foxx, David Morse, David Hutichison, Kimberly Elise
Produced by Sean Ryerson
Written by Andrew Scheinman & Adam Scheinman and Tony Gilroy, Directed by Antoine Fuqua


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Updated May 13, 2006