The Factory (2012)

I often wonder what goes on in a studio executives head. I wonder what are they thinking from day to day. Case in point : The Factory. This John Cusack/Jennifer Carpenter led film sat on some studios shelf for 4 years after being completed. It just sat there gathering dust until in some executive in what I only can imagine was a cocaine induced fit of ecstasy, some rich white dude barked to an underling "You know what? Let's put that movie out. You know the one with the guy from Say Anything and the chick from "Dexter" who swears a lot?" "But boss, it's a pretty bad movie." "When has that ever stopped us before? Ha! Ha Ha!" (sniffff) "Oh yeah...that's the stuff."

Mike, no last name needed (Cusack) is a rough around the edges detective from the mean streets of Buffalo and straight out of a James Patterson novel. Kelsey (Carpenter) is his damaged, lonely, partner straight from a different James Patterson novel. Together they are tracking a man who abducts prostitutes off the frigid Buffalo streets. Although I'm not too sure the prostitutes are to upset about the abduction, it is Buffalo after all - average temperature of June!

Their investigation is rather fruitless until Mike's 15 year old daughter dresses enough like a whore to get herself abducted. As any late 2000's police procedural will dictate, Mike becomes very unstable and unpredictable. Cusack goes way over the top. I swear there were scenes where Carpenter just shook her head and thought, "Shit, I didn't go that broad in The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, and I was possessed by the damn Devil!" Resident red herrings, helpful hookers and attempted twists follow. It's all very paint by numbers and just really leaves me wondering why there are so many hookers in Buffalo?

The Factory is simply nothing more than a boring retread of dozens of films that we've all already seen. Cusack Nic Cages the entire thing and Carpenter looks bored until the last feeble attempt at a twist. Dallas Roberts (The Walking Dead) as our resident psycho, manages to provide an anchor and a few calm points between Cusacks random fits of yelling. His Hannibal Lechter-lite routine is certainly on par with Cary Elwes in Kiss The Girls or the hundreds of other copy cats that permeated the 2000's. But that's really the only redeeming thing about the film.

When a film sits on the shelf there are usually a myriad of good reasons. Look no further than reason number one right here. Despite the intriguing cast and a good looking poster, avoid going to The Factory.

* 1/2 stars (strictly for Roberts) out of *****

"Enjoy every sandwich"

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