Just a 3...too bad
Judy K. Polhemus | LA | 07/10/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I rarely resort to assigning a three to a product. If I feel compelled toward a three, I don't review it. This time, this product "Edison Force" gets a review. Why? Because in better hands, this could have been a really good film.
WARNING: COULD CONTAIN SPOILER INFORMATION
Why should it work? Here are my reasons:
1. Morgan Freeman, a universally respected actor, whose presence in a film lends credence to its premise.
2. Kevin Spacey, another top-notch actor, whose presence in a film lends credence to its premise.
3. LL Cool J. What a hunk! Oh, excuse me. Got carried away. Body builder!
4. Justin Timberlake. Just kidding!
5. John Heard, who can play good or bad. Here he's bad. There's one scene in which he plays his power card until he realizes he needs to put it away for now. You can visibly watch him make that switch from power wielder to man of humility.
6. Dylan McDermott. I saw an ad last night showing that he will star in a police drama in the fall. I almost laughed after seeing him play a stark raving mad policeman in this film. I listed him in this category so I could mention that maybe he can really act. (Sorry, Dylan, I've never seen you act before. Is Dermott Mulrooney your brother?)
7. Carey Ewes plays bad good. Who'd have thunk it? He is bad, isn't he? He is certainly oily, but what a sweet facade to hide that corruption.
8. That's it. The actors alone should make this film work, but they don't. Whose fault is that?
Why doesn't it work? Here are my reasons:
1. The director David J. Burke. He also wrote the story.
2. A film about corrupt police most often works. Here the corruption is played as caricature. The F.R.A.T. are so corrupt they have their own locked office area with windows looking in (for those excluded) and for looking out (to rub it in). If there really is this kind of conglomeration, for shame on that city. (First Response Assault and Tactical: Yes, members arrive on the scene first--special offices, remember?--then they respond by assaulting the bad guys and taking their drugs and money or other loot, commit murder and mayhem, then carry out tactical ploys to cover their badness. Or in the words of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor: We bad! We bad!)
3. Justin Timberlake: Here he looks too young for the part. His acting also proves a director makes the difference because Justin is excellent in "Alpha Dog" and certainly looks that role. Plus, his "girlfriend" looks more a mother than a GF.
4. LL Cool J. Yes, he is on both lists, too. Why here? He has two facial expressions: lifted left brow and not lifted. He uses both expressions in potentially compromised scenes and in those when he seeks revelation and justice. Not his fault.
5. McDermott's character is so out of control and so blatant about it. I blame the director. (I understand McDermott is excellent in "The Practice." I wouldn't have guessed it.)
Enough. With such a fabulous cast of actors and potentially powerful story line, "Edison Force" should have worked. It did, if you like caricature. But that's just my opinion. Some reviewers loved the movie. I'm for that, but I'm holding to my three stars.