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Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Dylan McDermott, Cary Elwes and Justin Timberlake star in EDISON FORCE. Wait, rewind. Justin Timberlake? Let’s just say when this movie landed on my desk the power of the other actors helped me look past his face on the cover. If you are not catching on by now, I am not a fan of boy band music. I am more of a metal head. Well, that and Chicago. Gotta love Chicago. In all honesty I am bitter that a fan letter that I wrote to Timberlake was never answered. My faith in people has never been the same since. Anyways, read this now and believe me later, Justin Timberlake was actually pretty good in this film. Sure he will not win any Oscars, but having the leading role in this movie just seemed to work.
Pollack (Justin Timberlake) is a reporter working on a story. He might have stumbled on a story of corruption that could shake the city up. Sitting in on court one day he sees that a man on trial thanks Officer Deed (L.L Cool J) for his testimony. After the testimony Pollack chases after Deed to find out why. He gets the cold shoulder by Deed and his partner Lazerov (the brilliantly sadistic Dylan McDermott). Now instead of just leaving things as is, Pollack can’t let this odd little instance that happened in court go. He starts to write up a story where he ends up getting fired by his boss Ashford (Morgan Freeman). You can’t write a story with no facts, or other sides of the story. Pollack catches up with Ashford at his home wanting his help on how to get the story going. What Pollack finds is that writing this story is getting him and his loved ones into some hot water.
A special department in Edison has been created, and I’ll be damned if they aren’t corrupt. Go figure. They steal from drug dealers, and kill the bad guys just for shits and giggles. I didn’t see once that they arrested someone. Now Officer Deed is in the group, yet he is the one with a conscience. All members of this elite force cannot have wives, and he truly is in love with his girlfriend Maria (The simply stunning Roselyn Sanchez). As Pollock tries to get the inside scoop on the story, he is beaten down by some of the police force one night at a club. Deed sees this and realizes that something needs to be done, even if he will have to go down with the corruption.
The D.A’s (Cary Elwes) own special investigator Wallace (Kevin Spacey) gets on board to find out if the stories are true and finds out himself the extent of the corruption. With Pollack in hiding from individuals that will do anything to shut him up, he needs Deed’s help to stop the corruption and save his life.
Now this all sounds well and good, and frankly it kind of is. This movie is a mystery with that “who do you trust” factor jumping in at every turn. We know where Pollack stands, but who can he turn to when he gets in too deep. Plot twists happen, tensions arise, and the question of will Pollack make it out of all this alive is always on the back of your mind. With some elite killing machine cops after you, you have to be worried. Tethered to all this though is Deed seeing what is going on and wrangling with his own personal ethics and love for Maria. Does he stand by his “family” of cops and show his loyalty, or does he follow the path of who he is and recognize what is right and wrong, even if it puts his ass in a sling.
This leads in to of course the acting. The one thing I hate more than anything is when a rapper wants to act. Well, not just a rapper, but any musician in general. I also hate when the vice versa takes place. Don’t get me wrong. Many a musician turns actor to surprising results. Look at Sting in THE BRIDE. Genius! Now I no longer look at L.L Cool J as a musician anymore. When he is in a movie I see him as an actor, and this was something that he had to prove to me, and he did in roles in movies like IN TOO DEEP and even his unappreciated role in TOYS. This film is no different. He plays the conflicted role of Deed spot on.
Now speaking of musicians turned actors we need to talk about Justin Timberlake. This was the one thing that I was going to be quite leery about. I mean come on. How could I take him seriously? Going into the film I was just waiting for him to dance fight someone ala ELECTRIC BOOGALOO. To my surprise Justin Timberlake plays the role with subtle convictions, and even shows some emotion when it deals with his girlfriend that ends up in the hospital. With a few more roles under his belt, and some more practice I have a feeling that many will be able to look past the boy band goof, and see an actual actor. As the movie went on, I forgot all about him as anything other than Pollack. Now the one thing that was not needed was the club scene. Come on! I get it. He is a dancer. Power to him, but I could have went without having a stretched out scene of him and his women “getting down” on the dance floor.
Do I need to say anything about Kevin Spacey and Morgan Freeman? No, I don’t even think that is needed. The last individual that needs a mention is Dylan McDermott. If you only remember him from THE PRACTICE and haven’t seen much of his film work then his work as Lazerov will catch you off guard. He is one sick ass junkie cop in this film. His role is as unhinged and vile as one could come, and he had some great scenes.
So this movie sounds like a perfect film huh? Well, it is not. No, not at all. The biggest complaint is so big that it drops the movie down many o’ can. What starts as a actor’s showcase of mystery and corruption ends up into a cookie-cutter, pointless and ridiculous action shootout between Deed and Pollack and the corrupt police force. Hell, Deed even picks up a flame thrower and burns a few corrupt cops. Now, of course the car they are driving has mounds and mounds of guns in the trunk so we get over the top explosions and gun play. Damn, the movie had so much going for it, and it threw it all away. I would have also loved to see some more plot twists than shown.
Overall this is not a bad movie by any means, it just could have been much better. I would recommend a rent, and will give it a weak 3 ½ cans because of all involved, but nothing more. If you want to watch a subtle corruption mystery, with some action thrown in, check out Shawn Connery and Wesley Snipes in RISING SUN. Now that is how you do it. All movies do not need explosions. Sometimes a fade to black is just as effective.
Added: Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Language: eng[ Did you find this review helpful? Yes No ]
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