July 18, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Edison Force

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Morgan Freeman, LL Cool J, Kevin Spacey, Justin Timberlake, Cary Elwes, Dylan McDermott
director
David J. Burke
Producer
Randall Emmett
author
David J. Burke
genre
Drama, Mystery and Thriller
We gave it a C

It was supposed to be his first big movie. Instead, Justin Timberlake’s Edison Force — a crime drama also starring Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, LL Cool J, Dylan McDermott, and the eternally youthful Cary Elwes — sneaks into stores (it was screened at Toronto in ’05, but got no U.S. distribution). It’s bad — you guessed that. So what’s everybody doing here? In a metro burg called Edison, J.T. plays a junior reporter (for a Jewish community newsletter!) who, with the help of his Pulitzer Prize-winning editor (Freeman), blows the lid off an elite squad of dirty cops. That the police unit is pricelessly called F.R.A.T. says a lot about the hammy (and sometimes unintentionally funny) way writer-director David J. Burke attempts his Big Statement about the rot that corrupts Everytown, USA (and Canada, too: The movie was obviously filmed in clean, green Vancouver). At least Freeman and Spacey (as a high-coiffed investigator) give reliable performances: Expect them to clean up at the DVDX (straight-to-DVD) Awards next year.

EXTRAS A perfunctory making-of doc; plus, a wide-screen option — kind of poignant on a direct-to-DVD movie, isn’t it?

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