Bill is about to lose his bait shop thanks to a balloon payment. He chooses to enter a fishing tournament to try to win the money he needs to keep the shop. His main competition is the greatest bass fisherman in the world, Hot Rod Johnson.
False Advertising: “Any advertising or promotion that misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial activities“
The back cover of the DVD box for Bait Shop: “A whopper of a comedy with the BEST CAST EVER!”
Let’s take a look at that cast. Bill Engvall is one of the least annoying of the Redneck Comedy comedians, although nowhere near as funny as Ron White. His most popular, and most annoying shtick is “Here’s Your Sign.” Billy Ray Cyrus is popular for two things: (1) Achy Breaky Heart and (2) siring Miley Cyrus. Both of those accomplishments have predetermined that I must hate the man. The one positive is Richard Riehle, who has been in over fifty movies since 2000, including a wonderful turn in Hatchet. However, he is a character actor. I don’t know how they advertise this as the BEST CAST EVER! I also don’t know how they categorize this movie as a decent comedy.
Looking at the credits, I count six writers and that is where the problem lies. Well, that and the idea behind the movie is plain stupid. This is the type of film that was made for the lowest common denominator and I guess for those people it succeeds. Bill Engvall plays Bill (creative!!!), a man who owns a bait shop. He is an old school bass fisherman who is happy with his occupation and his stake in life. Unfortunately, his father-in-law would rather he sell the place and do something more respectable, like selling mattresses in his store. Things get bad when the balloon payment on his shop comes due and he has no money to pay it. To further complicate things, a new bait shop has opened across the street owned by a new hotshot bass fisherman Randy (Cyrus). The only way to keep his shop afloat is to win the upcoming bass fishing tournament and finds he must beat the new kid in town Randy to do so.
The question I had coming in was whether or not Bait Shop was an honest-to-God attempt at a movie or just another vanity piece like Beer for My Horses was for Toby Keith. The good news is the movie is not a vanity project and all involved seem to honestly want to make a good movie. There is a bit of the story that really wants to point out how megastores are pushing the little guys out, and it is not hard to see them pointing their pens at Bass Pro Shops. I can get behind that way of thinking except for one thing.
The execution is horrendous. The camera work is horrible and looks like shit. The scenes are never lit right and the camera never seems to know what it wants to do. There are even problems with the sound as, when the characters turn away from the camera, their voices cut out. This movie is very unprofessionally produced. The acting is also very, very poor. Bill Engvall may be a funny comedian but he is not a very good actor here. He seems to be trying too hard and his comic delivery is off. Billy Ray Cyrus is interesting, but not that good either. The supporting actors are awesome, but they are all offset by the poor leads. With bad directing and poor acting, this movie has nothing to offer.
Opening the Bait Shop (08:25) – Bill Engvall seems like a pretty humble guy but Billy Ray Cyrus is so over-the-top. This is just a talking head feature about the creation of the movie.
Another Day in Paradise (01:44) – This is nothing more than a musical montage watching someone fish from sun up to sun down.
Deleted Scenes (02:58) – Most of these scenes are interchangeable with what was already in the movie.
Gag Reel (02:33) – Most of the gag reel was just Bill Engvall messing around.