The Factory – Debbie Does Dexter

The Factory is currently available on instant Netflix.

One Line Review: Boring, boring, boring, left-field twist that makes no sense, end movie as nonsensically as the twist.

The FactoryThe Factory (2012) – Rated R

“John Cusack stars as Mike Fletcher, a policeman consumed with capturing a serial killer who’s been abducting and slaying his victims with impunity. But when Fletcher’s teen daughter vanishes, the fixated cop sets aside his badge to nab the murderer.”

Poor John Cusack. He started out promisingly in the teen comedies of the 80s. His boombox scene in Say Anything is iconic. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he continued making films straight through until now, alternating between high profile mainstream projects (Con Air, 2012) and wonderful indie features (Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity, Identity). There was an ebb and flow to his career.

How did he ever end up in direct-to-DVD drivel like this? Did he run into financial troubles like Nicolas Cage and Wesley Snipes? I thought that this must be an aberration but, looking at imdb, Cusack has no less than eight films this year.

Yes, John Cusack makes The Factory better than it has a right to be but this is hardly good work on his part. Jennifer Carpenter is looking to break out of her role as Miami homicide detective Deb in Dexter and into movies as Dexter winds down its final episodes. Here Carpenter plays a Buffalo homicide detective. So umm I guess she adds acting cold to her resume.

I noticed on Netflix, someone was lauding the film for being unpredictable. Well there is something to be said for that. That is, if by unpredictable, what you actually mean is nonsensical. I don’t do spoilers but for some films, the ending is the story. What would The Usual Suspects or The Sixth Sense be without the ending? Sometimes a film can be nonsensical and still be quite enjoyable (Star Trek Into Darkness), most other times it just detracts (Iron Man 3). Here it takes an otherwise routine film and makes you want to hurl something at the screen.

I guess the real problem is that The Factory isn’t very good to begin with. The central premise is that one of the detectives working for years to catch a serial killer of prostitutes has his teen daughter kidnapped by the killer. Please note that this is NOT to get back at the officer, the killer simply mistakes this one girl in the entire city for another prostitute (was the writer/director angry with the way his teenage daughter dresses?).

It is obvious that the writers thought of this wonderful ending and worked their way backwards but, again, it in no way makes sense. You won’t say omigosh! so much as huh? Carpenter and Cusack try to elevate this but it doesn’t rise above the level of dreck.