Written by: Bear Aderhold, Bill Engvall, and Tom Sullivan
Directed by: C.B. Harding
Starring: Bill Engvall, Billy Ray Cyrus
- Featurette: “Opening the Bait Shop”
- Featurette: “Another Day in Paradise”
- Deleted Scenes
- Gag Reel
Released by: Lionsgate
My Advice: Eh.
Bill Dugan (Engvall) is just a regular guy, you know. He just wants to fish in the nearby bay and run his little bait shop with its quirky cast of characters. This all comes crashing down when Randy “Hot Rod” Johnson (Cyrus) lands in town. A famous bad boy of bass fishing, he opens a flashy new fishing superstore just when a balloon payment is about to come due on Bill’s shop. Bill’s only shot is the big bass fishing competition, but Bill is an old-school fisher. None of those fancy echo locator or GPS units for him. But with everything on the line, can Bill’s old fashioned approach win out over Johnson’s Xtreme style?
[ad#longpost]The best way to sum up this movie is ‘Meh.’ The whole thing is so riddled with cliches and stereotypes, you can pretend you’re a soothsayer and predict where the movie is going. For example, when Bill starts talking bad about Hot Rod Johnson, I knew Johnson was going to show up behind Bill. You got the usual suspects: the old coots, the useless employee, the sassy female employee, the crazy hanger on. This probably inspired the sub-sitcom levels of acting from the cast. Bill Engvall is likable enough, but some stand up comedians just don’t do well when they’re delivering lines instead of jokes. I’ve heard his material and that spark is nowhere to be found. And the less said about Billy Ray Cyrus the better, not just for this movie, but on general principle.
Then there is the fishing. Who makes a movie about fishing? I’m not going to go into the animal-rights argument, Dindrane will express her opinion quite violently on that subject. The concept that this would be turned into a competitive sport should be surprising, but people have turned yoga into a competition. When I was a child, I went fishing a few times with my mother’s second…. third… no, second husband and I was bored out of my skull. I’m sorry, but fishing is not that interesting of a sport to watch. So you have to wrap a ridiculous tacked-on plot about losing the shop and gaining the respect of everyone to try to make it interesting. It also doesn’t help the DVD that the features are also subpar. A couple of “Everyone was wonderful, etc.” behind the scenes featurettes, an unfunny blooper reel, and some unnecessary deleted scenes do not add to the experience. Bait Shop is Wonder Bread. Get something more interesting, like sourdough or rye.