Thursday, September 12, 2013

Film Review: The Factory (2011)

The Factory (Review)
United States/2011
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...but the overall investigation and experience up to the end is quite enjoyable."

Detectives Mike Fletcher (John Cusack) and Kelsey Walker (Jennifer Carpenter) have been aggressively searching for a serial killer and abductor of prostitutes. The elusive Gary Gemeaux (Dallas Roberts) only hunts during the winter, which makes him difficult to track. When his daughter is abducted, Fletcher becomes obsessed with the case and excuses the law from his investigation...

The Factory continues with the investigation. You know who the killer is from the beginning, but you slowly learn his sinister intentions. It's somewhat a two-sided investigation, although one outweighs the other; Fletcher's investigation is more hard boiled and emotional, while Walker attempts a by-the-books investigation. Either way, it is interesting and immersive, even if it's not all too original. The film's ending is unexpected, but for all of the wrong reasons; the twist isn't set-up properly and is ineffective -- the hints aren't actually hints, and the obligatory flashback/hint montage sequence at the end is reaching.

I like the dark style of the film. It keeps a gritty vibe and dark atmosphere throughout. There is some strong violence, but it's not incredibly graphic or disturbing. The investigation is interesting, which is good since it dominates the runtime. Although the ending is reaching, I like the dark vibe and anti-Hollywood approach -- every film doesn’t need a "happily ever after" ending. My main problem with the film, aside from the unjustified twist, is the annoying cast of characters; there are several characters in this film that are annoying, bi-polar, and overly-emotional, which makes them hard to root for; some of their actions are jaw-dropping stupid and unexplainable.

John Cusack is great as the lead -- he has some great moments of overwhelming emotion. Jennifer Carpenter is solid, despite her character having one of those annoying bi-polar moments. Dallas Roberts is perfect, he's really infuriating with his sinister performance. The cinematography is great in capturing the dark atmosphere, and the music compliments the vibe. The writing is mostly by-the-books, but it features an interesting investigation and case; a little more character depth, and more logical characters, would've' been beneficial.

Overall, The Factory is a great crime thriller. The far-reaching twist and annoying characters hurt the film, but the overall investigation and experience up to the end is quite enjoyable. It's not Se7en, but that's no reason to miss this film. I recommend a purchase for fans of the genre, a rental otherwise.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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