Bait is a little like director Antoine Fuqua’s last film, The Replacement Killers, in that both movies fall flat, in spite of some good-looking previews and promising plots.
Jamie Foxx stars as Alvin Sanders, a small-time crook who gets busted for stealing shrimp. (The only joke in this action/comedy is that Alvin tries to salvage his criminal dignity by reminding everyone he was stealing prawns, not shrimp.)
R for language, violence
Alvin’s cellmate is a man who helped steal several tons of gold, abandoned his partner, then hid the loot. Anticipating that he’ll die in jail, he gives Alvin a coded message for his wife that indicates where the gold was hidden. The cops can’t decode the message, so they use Alvin as bait to lure his cellmate’s still-at-large partner, hoping he’ll be able to track the gold. The plot is just complex enough that a more serious movie could have made a good thriller, but for that you wouldn’t hire a Jamie Foxx as the lead.
Although there is nothing terrible about Bait, it offers nothing to engage the audience. For example, Bait is an action/comedy, but it’s extremely light on the comedy. If were a pure action movie it might have afforded some good stunts or a less cartoonish plot, but it didn’t. Barring that, the director could have helped the actors create more interesting personalities. But that didn’t happen either, and Bait is left looking like any another cookie-cutter action movie.
To sum it up in critic-speak, Bait doesn’t stink, but it’s not very appetizing.