Movie Review: Kevin Spacey is the ‘Father of Invention’
Did you know Kevin Spacey has a new movie coming out? On October 14th Anchor Bay Films will be releasing a new independent film titled Father of Invention, a dramedy that stars Kevin Spacey, Virginia Madsen, Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine), Johnny Knoxville, Heather Graham, and John Stamos.
The film, which is directed by Trent Cooper, is about a product fabricator (one who combines two different products into one) and infomercial host, Robert Axel, whose loses absolutely everything when thousands of peoples’ fingers start getting chopped off due to his flawed new infomercial product, the Abclicker. After being released from prison eight years after the incident, Axel attempts to mend his relationship with his daughter, Claire, by being forced to move in with her and her odd roommates when he finds out his wife, Lorraine (Madsen), has remarried and won’t let him stay in their house. Forced to get a job as a janitor at a Wal-Mart type store, Axel becomes determined to come up with the next big idea and rid himself of his “criminal past” and return to the inventor spotlight. In order to accomplish these goals he must be willing to change everything about him.
Father of Invention is a story of redemption and a fathers attempt to become one with his family again. Spacey does a pretty good job in his role, as he usually does, but the movie itself just didn’t do much for me. When it’s looking for laughs it rarely gets them. You can tell the film is trying really hard to be funny, especially when Claire’s angry lesbian roommate, Donna (Heather Graham), challenges Robert to a game of Rock Band or tries to modify his look with skinny jeans and a fedora. Actually, the only time I really laughed in the film was when Craig Robinson was on the screen, he plays Robert’s ex-wife’s new husband and lover of all Axel products. Even then, the best part of the film comes when the credits are rolling and he is singing a duet with Lorraine.
While quirky and borderline funny at times, the movie is also really depressing because no matter how hard Robert tries to fix things or improve his situation, he always ends up getting crap for it despite his good intentions. This feeling grows even stronger when he goes in to meet John Stamos’s character, the man who took over Axel’s business when he went to prison, and pitch a new idea to him only to get shut down…again.
Despite the average nature of the film, it still does have a moral or two to take away from it. The moral of this story is that nobody is perfect and that if people are willing to change for the better, than you should be willing to give them a second chance. Oh, and don’t be a work absorbed prick that ignores your children, they’ll hate you for it.
Overall, Father of Invention is a mediocre film that tries really hard to be more than what it actually is. If they focused more on the drama then I believe it could have been a better film since the forced attempts at humor failed miserably. I can only suggest this movie to you if you’re bored one night but, to be honest, I would try to find something else to kill your time.
Rating: Flat, forced, and straight-up mediocre (5/10)