15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Though this movie has a first rate roster of fine actors, special effects that are excellent, and a story line that is full of surprises, it wasn't picked up for studio distribution and went directly to DVD. Perhaps it contains too much 'anti-police force' information, or perhaps it is juts one too many action flicks released during a glut, but whatever the reason the big screens missed the opportunity, fortunately the new concept of releasing direct to DVD allows us to enjoy it.
The theme is old: rookie reporter uncovers an inner circle of cops that are corrupt - in this case the F.R.A.T. (First Response Assault and Tactical) team, a group of well trained policeman created to clean up the mythical city of Edison from its low point of crime, drugs, prostitution etc. Working undercover the temptation of pocketing the confiscated goods and money proves too much of an opportunity and now, 15 years after its formation, FRAT is responsible for murder, drug trafficking, terrorizing innocent people etc. The lead dog is Lazerov (Dylan McDermott, who makes a terrifyingly real gangster!) and his partner Rafe Deed (LL Cool J, even more buff than usual and proving he can be a sensitive actor). Reporter Pollack (Justin Timberlake) catches wind of a 'bad mistake' and reports his theory of fraud and corruption to his paper's boss Ashford (the always reliably fine Morgan Freeman). Gradually Polack convinces Ashford and subsequently Wallace (Kevin Spacey, also a consistently fine character actor) and they aid Pollack in this investigative reporting. The closer Pollack gets to the truth the more surprises and bad incidents happen and the story runs pall mall toward a series of unexpected results.
Timberlake lacks the charisma to carry the lead, especially in the company of such seasoned actors. But LL Cool J, Freeman, Spacey, and McDermott keep the well-oiled machine of a movie rolling to the very end. No, it is not a great movie, but it is one that makes for an edge of the seat action flick with a message. Grady Harp, July 06
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2006
There is a reason why this movie was not released in theater. The story sounds engaging...corrupt cops and an young aspiring journalist out to expose innercity crimes. The script however was poorly written, production executed worse. Even Hollywood heavy hitters, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey, were not able to save the film. Both are off the screen most of the time. Surprisingly, Justin Timberlake is more than competent. It may be a start of a promising film career.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2006
First off, Timberlake should go back to bopping to his teenie crowd and leave acting to the professionals, because as an actor he makes ME look like an Oscar nominee!
Can he be more out of place? Can he be more feminine? Can he be a worse actor?
Edison Force brings to the screen the story of a smalltime Jewish newspaper whose young up-and-coming reporter and owner/editor-in -chief take on a corrupt branch of the police known as FRAT...
There is obviously a not-so-hidden agenda here as to who are the "good guys" and who are not i.e. What a coincidence that Joshua, Moses and Isiaha are the good ones while eastern European Lazerov and the WASPS are the villains. How original...
In short, the acting is surprisingly average, the plot is mediocre, while the dialogues are way "below average."
Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey's talent is definitely wasted here! A shame really...
In a nutshell, it's an average movie and that's about it; no masterpiece here... Wait till they show it on TV, and even then think about it...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2006
This movie is not bad because of Justin Timberlake. It's amazing how hard ppl are being on Justin, if anything it's the vetern actors that should be critized not a new comer like Justin. The script is almost appealing but for some reason it doesn't translate well to the screen. I think Justin did a great job for his first venture into acting. Rent this don't buy it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2011
As another reviewer points out one-by-one, there are good actors here yet none save this film and make it strongly worth watching. Seems like a bad script/story-line. For example, there are exchanges between Timberlake and Freeman that I liked, but far too little of this other places. There is actually some nice cinematography in places as well, like when Timberlake reads over a court transcript and the witnesses show up under the transcript in black and white saying the lines Timberlake's finger is moving over down the page. So I have given the film a 3-star rating for things like this. Other things like the bad guys being so one-dimensional, just make me feel I cannot do better when combined with other things. For example, I could not connect some of the background songs (like Donovan and Hendrix) to the action when it is playing. (Sure...Freeman's character is from the 60s so he could be listening to this sort of music, but why any music at all?)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2008
edison force was ok. with a bigger budget and maybe a better director this movie could have been a lot better. Acting wasn't too bad but looking at the cast you almost expected something ten times better. the violence was pretty high as was the action, for this reason i gave it the 3 star rating.
on January 17, 2015
It's going to seem impossible when you look at the photo on the cover of this DVD to think that this film could fail. Kevin Spacey and Morgan Freeman are among the very best actors in the world, LL Cool J is the lead in one of the highest-rated programs on television, and Justin Timberlake... well, he's a fantastic Saturday Night Live host. (Okay, that last one's a bit of a stretch, but hear me out.) But the supporting cast is just as intriguing: those names include excellent character actor John Heard, cult hero Cary Elwes, Piper Perabo, and Dylan McDermott. So what could have happened? Why is this film languishing in obscurity and permanently in the on-sale section?
Well, the names of the cast are phenomenal, but they aren't necessarily used to their greatest strengths. Freeman has some fun moments, but he and Spacey have relatively little screen time. And while LL Cool J and Timberlake have each put up strong performances in other work, they were both a bit overextended in their lead roles. I'm seeing a lot of criticism of Timberlake's work in the other user reviews, but I thought his work was mostly adequate, if unspectacular. The only actor who was distractingly bad was Dylan McDermott. He was trying to suck in scenery like peak Pacino, but he just doesn't have the gravitational force to be that kind of actor. Every time he tried to be dramatically evil, I just winced.
This is a direct-to-DVD movie, but as you might expect from the cast, originally it was intended as a theatrical release. As such, the special effects are a big step up from most direct-to-DVD films, and the sound editing (and the soundtrack) are above par. The story falls short, though. It's a paint-by-numbers police corruption tale, with no unexpected twists. If you pause the film at the halfway point and write out what you think the most cliched possible ending would be, you'll probably nail it on the head.
I've been a bit harsh in this review, and that's probably not fair. After all, I gave this movie three stars. It's not horrible, by any means. Heard plays his role with a little more subtlety than any of the other antagonists, it's interesting to watch Elwes play a villain, and there are some nice moments between Freeman and Timberlake (including a Morgan Freeman dance scene). But fairly or not, when a studio puts Kevin Spacey and Morgan Freeman in the cover art, I expect something a little better than average entertainment. And this film never fulfills that promise.
on March 28, 2014
This movie was tremendous and wish more areas in our country would do some checking into their Law Enforcement. The Actors and Actresses where perfect for their roles and did the movie great justice with their performances. Cast verified as Morgan Freeman as Ashford Seasoned Reporter, Kevin Spacey as Wallace one of the Police Inspectors, Justin Timberlake as Pollack the New Cub Reporter under Ashford, LL Cool J as Deed the new recruit to F.R.A.T., Dylan McDermott as Lazerov the out of control policeman on the FRAT TEAM since started several years ago is truly a Murder on the Team, John Heard as Tilman the Captain who gives the orders to all the men on the F.R.A.T. Team and literally kills anyone who is getting in his way or the teams way, Cary Elwes as Reigert another out of control robot for the F.R.A.T. murder force for whoever gets in their way, Roselyn Sanchez as Maria who is Deed's fiance, and Damien Dante Wayans as Isiaha was also one of the F.R.A.T. crew members.
I have done a lot of traveling in America by car and what I have seen in each state makes you wonder how some of the police ever got a job with their over powering personality disorders, like some of the men in the movie. Power trip for many individuals who are in authority can and is a serious psychological issue that can bring that individual off their Tower and into Reality quickly once they
receive prison time.
Being a member of a family with many police officers, I do know that my grandfather was right when he said, just because they have a uniform and badge does not mean you should trust them. He knew from his experience of being shot by one of the officers he worked with on the police force in New York State.
Watch and learn how the wall of blue is working in our country even now in the 21st century.
Below is the link to purchase online and truly enjoy a movie well written and directed:
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I'm sure I had the same reaction and internal struggle as nearly everyone else who took the time to review when first seeing this DVD on the racks at my local video rental shop. I'm strolling along, minding my own business, remembering the glory days of movies packed with great actors like "The Usual Suspects", "The Generals Daughter", or "L.A. Confidential". Lo and behold, a film starring not just Morgan Freeman, but also the consistently awesome Kevin Spacey? But wait, what is LL Cool J doing on the cover? He's hiding Morgan and Spacey! Wait a minute, is that Justin Timberlake in the background looking scared and meek? After long debate with myself (and listening to my wife laugh at me because I'm considering renting a movie starring Justin Timberlake), I finally decide to give it a shot.
Obviously, "Edison Force" doesn't hold a candle to any of the classic cop movies previously mentioned. The plot is pretty standard fare. A corrupt unit of cops is stealing drugs and money, murdering anyone who might get in the way or tattle on their illicit activities. Our young hero Timberlake uncovers the corruption and discovers that it goes way higher than he ever could have imagined. There are requisite shoot outs (complete with horrible CGI fire effects!), adequate dialog, and an acceptable ending to the whole ordeal.
The problems occur exactly where you'd think they would. Two of the best actors alive are placed next to two people who really should go back to music. I could possibly understand, if you took a couple of really big bong hits first, how an innocent casting agent might decide LL Cool J was a good choice for this role, but there is honestly no excuse for Timberlake's presence at all. While his acting wasn't as terrible as some other musical crossover actors in recent memory, the stigma surrounding him as an effeminate teeny bopper ruins anything he tries to do. You will be yelling at the TV every time he tries to do anything clever or Mcguver-esque. He also looks incredibly uncomfortable and generally ruins the tone when in a scene alone with Spacey and Freeman. While Cool J does a decent job with the script he's been given, the storyline surrounding his character is the most annoying in the movie, so it's hard to like his character at all. Although Freeman and Spacey have relatively small roles, their acting carries the whole movie, preventing it from being as bad as it could have been.
Overall Edison Force is moderately watchable (if you try real hard to ignore everything Timberlake says or does), just realize before you rent that this movie will soon be a TNT "Movie for Guys who Like Movies" special.