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"Bait". . .

A Foxx-y Oscar Contender?


Yes, it is a movie that stars Jamie Foxx.

No, it doesn't suck.

No, this isn't a joke.

Now, everyone knows that most Oscar

nominees are released during the fall season. Luckily for the Academy Awards, fall doesn't start until Friday, September 22. So "Bait," which hit movie theaters on September 15, came out early enough to fall into the typical action-comedy category of movies that normally wind up on the Oscars only because of special effects or soundtracks. Still, compared to some of the other losers that have been released this summer, you might think "Bait" is in a dead heat with "American Beauty" for Best Picture.

In "Bait," Foxx stars as a not-so-bright shrimp thief who is used by a federal investigator to help catch the perpetrator of a $42 million robbery. The investigator, played by David Morse ("The Rock," "The Green Mile"), busts Foxx out of jail, implants a tracking device in his jaw, and sweats it out as Foxx narrowly avoids a return trip to jail--several times. Eventually, Foxx figures it out, and then the real fun begins.

As usual, Foxx's muttered one-liners and rhetoric are the backbone of his performance, but unlike his previous movies, they are also the backbone of the movie. In his last big movie, "Any Given Sunday," Foxx is easily outshined by veteran actors such as Al Pacino and Dennis Quaid. In "Bait," Morse is average at best, and the villain (Doug Hutchison, also from "The Green Mile") was so much a copy of John Malkovich that it was hard to

Jamie Foxx

ignore. However, Foxx's performance, surprisingly, more than covers for the lackluster showings by the rest of the crew.

If you compare it to some of the famous movies in the action genre (the "Lethal Weapon" series, the "Die Hard" series), "Bait" comes nowhere close. But if you put it up against some of this summer's previous releases ("Mission Impossible 2," "Gone in 60 Seconds"), "Bait" is possibly the #3 action flick of the season, behind "Gladiator" and "The Patriot."

All that despite its one glaring deficiency:

It stars Jamie Foxx.

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