Why is it that some recording artists think that once they have conquered the music industry they can do the same in the movie industry? Yes there are a few who manage to do both, but in my humble opinion a movie which features a singer in a lead role is usually a recipe for disaster especially early on when they are attempting to switch industries. So is the case with "Edison" a movie which on paper reads like a gritty, thriller full of corrupt officials and a lone voice in the crowd fighting for justice, but in all reality lacks any real punch and in all honesty is laughably limp, despite having a decent supporting cast.
When young investigative journalist, Josh Pollack (Justin Timberlake - The Social Network), discovers that the elite police force, F.R.A.T., which keeps the city of Edison running smoothly, is a den of corruption, he finds his life in serious danger. With the help of his editor and a private detective he sets about bringing the entire corrupt force and those involved in it down no matter what it costs.
The underlying plot to "Edison" is the classic story of corrupt officials and policemen who try to silence anyone who threatens to spill the beans of there underhand dealings. A good basis for any movie which wants to grab the audience's attention with suspense, plot twists and intrigue, except "Edison" fails to deliver any of these. There is no real tension or plot twists to keep you glued to what is going on, and despite a few shootings and minor action "Edison" feels incredibly flat. It is one of those movies that you can put on and end up doing something else whilst watching without the worry of missing anything of any consequence.
The trouble with "Edison" is that everything is headlined, we can guess the outcome well within the first few scenes and you could get good odds on who will and won't be killed. Nothing really comes as a surprise and so ultimately it drifts along, climaxes and leaves you wondering why you just spent about 90 minutes of your time on a movie which only leaves you with a feeling of disappointment.
Where I really struggle when it comes to "Edison" is in the casting of Justin Timberlake, formerly of boy band NSYNC, in what is essentially the lead role of Josh Pollack. The trouble is that his performance is extremely weak and he definitely failed to convince me that he was an eager journalist. Timberlake may have gone on to prove himself a better actor than this but in this movie he is just wrong.
I can't put the blame solely on Timberlake as his character is not the best developed and in being so doesn't really make you that interested despite being the central focus. The curse of the under written character does not just effect Timberlake and even actors such as Kevin Spacey and Morgan Freeman really suffer in supporting roles. Freeman, who is one of my favourite actors, gets very little to work with as the editor of the newspaper who is quite important to the story. The same can be said of Spacey as the investigator who at times feels as if he has been employed just to be a big name in a less than spectacular movie.
Whilst Timberlake, Freeman and Spacey fail to make an impression, there is salvation when it comes to the performances of LL Cool J and Dylan McDermott as F.R.A.T. officers. LL Cool J does a good job of playing the officer with a heart, who has started to mistrust his bosses. Although for the most he does a lot of looking very cool and doesn't have any really great dialogue, he is very believable. Whilst McDermott, in an uncharacteristically nasty role, puts in the best performance as the psychotic Lazerov who takes sadistic pleasure in hurting people. You got a real sense that at any moment he might snap and do something unexpected, which at least did make "Edison" slightly more interesting.
What this all boils down to is that "Edison" is the sort of movie which if it ever showed on TV you could put on and quite happily do something else at the same time. Despite the big name cast it really falls far short of the mark and if you go into this with high expectations of a decent story, or brilliant performances then ultimately you are going to be left disappointed. The only really decent part to the film is a single scene between LL Cool J and Dylan McDermott which will make you sit up and pay attention, otherwise you can quite happily do what ever else you were doing.