Mix two parts hip-hop artists, two parts Oscar-winning actors, one part TV actor, and one part bad actor, and what do you get? The stars of Edison Force, that’s what. Now just because I specify one as a bad actor doesn’t let the others off the hook. Of course, Kevin Spacey and Morgan Freeman are going to be tolerable. They’re phenomenal at their craft. Even the TV actor (Dylan McDermott) does a worthy job of bringing menace to his role as primary leg-breaker. But when it comes to poor performances, Cary …lwes, L.L. Cool J, and Justin Timberlake have the market cornered. It’s unfortunate the film hangs its hopes and dreams on the abilities of the latter two.
Every L.L. Cool J character comes across as a bulked-up sissy, because the actor tries way too hard to walk the line between sensitivity and men-wearing-dresses. Normally, he falls over to the wrong side of that line. Edison Force is no exception. As for Timberlake, he sounds like a lisping chipmunk every time he opens his mouth. When these two guys are forced to carry an action film, get ready for metro-sexuality at its finest. While some girls will find these men extremely pleasing to the eye, the target audience will probably laugh this one out of their players.
Plot centers on police corruption, and all that good stuff. L.L. Cool J is the conflicted cop caught between duty and the right thing. Timberlake is the amazing, but misunderstood journalist after the big story that could win him the notoriety he wants. Freeman fills the role of Timberlake’s Pulitzer Prize-winning mentor as if he’s played it a million times. And Spacey does a good job of being the guy you want on your side. What is it about this actor that’s so menacing? I’ll never know, but he pulls it off every time. Unfortunately, the film does not.
The film comes packaged with both full screen and widescreen versions. The 2.35:1 anamorphic ratio is the way to go. For all the film’s faults, the visuals are quite good. No grain, and nicely saturated blues and blacks create night scenes, which are a pleasure to look at. Not much to be disappointed about here.
Two 5.1 tracks, which are presented in English and French, accompany the disc. The sound is equally good on both, but the English provides less distraction due to it being the film’s native language. The tracks handle their action well, especially in the over-done climax, where L.L. and Timberlake do battle with the whole police department. Yeah, it’s as stupid as it sounds.
Absolute Power: Behind the Scenes of Edison Force is the disc’s only noteworthy supplemental content, and it’s nothing to write home about – just your standard making-of fare, which can be easily and guiltlessly avoided.
Music people that try to be actors – it’s not an impossible thing to pull off. Sinatra did it. Dean Martin did it. Sting did it. The difference is that those personalities first mastered what they were good at – music – before they tried something else. Timberlake and L.L. are crappy in their native medium. What makes them think they’ll make the jump? My recommendation: first put out a song that’s even remotely decent, since that is supposedly your original calling. Then, see about spreading out into other media. If you watch this film, do so only for Freeman and Spacey. And please: try not to pay money to see this. You’ll only encourage the studios to make more Timberlake-L.L. masterpieces.
Special Features List
- Absolute Power: Behind the Scenes of Edison Force