John Cusack has recently found himself stranded in the wasteland of direct-to-DVD fare, and it may be faint praise, but he has consistently chosen the top project in the second tier realm of filmmaking. The Factory has been released as part of the Dark Castle/Warner Bros pact, specializing in genre pictures with recognizable cast members and violent story lines. This is an implausible, yet entertaining police procedural that packs a well-deserved surprise ending.
Cusack is Detective Mike Fletcher, an obsessed cop who can’t stop himself from working overtime to the detriment of his family life. The case that has Fletcher so riled up is a string of missing prostitutes all abducted during the winter months in Buffalo, NY. The killer roams the snowy streets of the decaying city and stores his victims in a basement hideaway. There, he attempts to impregnate each girl in an effort to start a perverse ‘new order’ nuclear family unit.
Things get personal when Mike’s teenage daughter is abducted by the very man who Fletcher has been chasing for over three years. Time is against them, if Fletcher and his partner Kelsey Walker (Jennifer Carpenter) plan on saving the girl from a horrific fate.
The Factory is an amalgamation of numerous other crime-thrillers. There is not much on-screen that hasn’t been chronicled before, but that twist ending fooled me. In fact, the brutal and rather brilliant final scenes elevate it from serviceable time waster to worthwhile recommendation. The Factory is in no danger of unseating Seven and Silence of the Lambs as high-points of the genre, but it hold its own against the likes of Alex Cross and such.
Director: Morgan O’Neil
Stars:John Cusack, Jennifer Carpenter, Dallas Roberts