While from the title one might think this is the story of the famous American inventor and rip off merchant, in fact, this thriller from director and writer David J. Burke is the tale of Josh Pollack, a young and ambitious reporter who really needs to get real, as he is somewhat naïve about the harshness of life.
Pollack becomes convinced that the FRAT, a force of elite officers and fighters within the Edison police department has gone completely corrupt and worse, that the whole justice system is quite happy to let the bad officers get away with murder. Literally in some cases. While working on a recent homicide investigation alongside the police, Pollack starts to uncover damming evidence of this corruption and before long he finds that his life and that of his girlfriend are under threat from the officers who are suddenly desperate to make sure that he does not find out anything more and expose them all. Pollack makes the brave decision to proceed with his own private investigation and with the help of his editor, a one time private detective, he determines that he is going to bring down the corrupt mob and hunt down every single person involved in the corruption.
It’s a fairly standard thriller tale but one that is very well written and told. With such actors as Kevin Spacey and Morgan Freeman, how could it be anything other than riveting? Well, the fault lies in the casting of Justin Timberlake as Pollack. While adequate enough in this movie, Timberlake simply does not have the gravitas and force required to pull off the role and it cannot be denied that the film suffers as a result. Had a stronger actor been cast in the lead role, then the movie would reach an excellent rating but Timberlake alas is so amazingly wooden, they might have well cast a giant redwood in the lead. It is a particular shame that his lack of talent is thrown into such sharp relief by being cast against so many magnificent heavyweights.
However it’s not by any means a bad movie, the plot rolls along at a great pace and there are a lot of set pieces which make the film worth watching. The rest of the cast is uniformly excellent and the direction is good. One to watch with a few beers but don’t expect too much.