A flashy Melrose Avenue antiques dealer, hot among the wealthy Californians, decides to become a bank robber when his drug habit is taking its toll on him. A loan shark is hot on his tail for his stacking debts and now the police are catching up too.
Electric Slide is clearly an alternate history type of film, bordering on art film for its artistic approach behind the real-life Eddie Dodson who was notoriously known in California as "New York Yankees Bandit" and the "Gentleman Bandit". It's a sensual film with an air of refinement as Eddie Dodson rubs elbows with California's celebs.Arguably, the straight-up biopic was forgone when the famous baseball cap from which Eddie Dodson was dubbed for (as New York Yankees Bandit) was set aside to give way to an elegant hat to complete his dashing looks, which I have nothing to complain about.
There are lots of handsome actors, even the extras queuing at the bank. Too bad, I find the detective (Will McCormack) more handsome than the protagonist. But there's no doubt, the musical score just totally nailed it. All the music used are sick (featuring songs from the likes of Iggy Pop, Magazine and the Psychedelic Furs). They're lovely!
The film also played it safe. I was disturbed with how Patricia Arquette's character (a wealthy lover) was introduced not because of the act done but because of the unconvincing acting. What should be spread widely was not that spread appropriately. But as I watched the entirety of the film, I understood why. The film tries to make it viewable to younger people and so the sensual scenes were compromised. When it gets too hot, we get interrupted with a number flashed across the screen as a transition, to my relief.
To me, Jim Sturgess' acting on the character with levity is bordering on gay. Not that I'm homophobic but as the premise includes a womanizing character, it's hard for me to be convinced for women to warm to him so easily with his seemingly lazy and gayish mannerism. You can hear the women speaking with clarity but why does his accent have to sound so lazy? Was it to imply that Ed was always high from his drug habit or that he thinks he's all high and mighty? If so, it was not effective.
Fans of Game of Thrones series who'd stumble upon this film might not be aware what they dislike about it. Jim's way of talking sounds as if he's copying Joffrey Baratheon of the mentioned tv hit series. Just by this alone, the main character seems to be someone you will hate instantly.
The movie drags until you hit the 30th minute mark. If only I have a main character to root for but Jim Sturgess was not cut out for it. If I were a bank teller that this Eddie tried to rob, I doubt I will give in easily even with a "gun" pointed straight at my face. I would simply act to be taking some cash, drop some on the floor before acting to pick it up and hide for cover, shout at the top of my lungs that there's a SINGLE bank robber. Jim's looks are way too soft to dazzle.
Ewan McGregor was initially cast for the character of Eddie but he dropped it. I doubt he will also make it for the character even with his acting. As this clearly belongs in the house of bank robbery films, the filmmakers should have taken cues from the films Bonnie and Clyde and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
The Town (2010) made it with ingeniousness and action, backed by famous action stars (even though they're not necessarily famous with their looks). As the film revolves entirely around Eddie Dodson, clearly the weapon of choice is the male lead.
In contrast, Eddie Dodson robs his victims with charm and flattery while Clyde, Butch and Sundance rob with fright. Even with his smile and his "Give it to me" lilt, Jim's Eddie is simply lacking. The three I mentioned might try to persuade me with fear but just take a good look at Warren Beaty (as Clyde), Paul Newman (as Butch), and Robert Redford (as Sundance), if any of those 3 will rob me, not only will I give up my cash, I might drop my panties. Seriously.
I can't find any pictures of the real-life Eddie Dodson so the poor choice for the main actor is a big wonder. Since the filmmakers had taken so much liberty in making a film about his life, they could have at least find a suitable actor to charm the audience.
What I'm only seeing in this film is an opportunity for the main actress' career to propel forward. I recognize Isabel Lucas easily as that alien-robot-pretending-to-be-a-hot-college-girl who tried to kill Sam in the 2nd Transformers movie. Not only is she hot but oh, could she act!
She's a troubled girl in this film and I was left to wonder what she actually does for a living (not clear to me perhaps because of the soft audio). There's this mystery about her that you just want to solve and a vulnerability that will make your inner alpha be territorial towards her.
Isabel Lucas' character is one that Carrey Mulligan (An Education, Drive, The Great Gatsby) could carry well without mulling (pun intended). Fortunately for Isabel, Carrey dropped the role too! For her exposure in this film, I hope Isabel Lucas becomes a household name soon like in line with the likes of Olivia Wilde (who got famous for her appeal in Tron's Legacy).
It's just unfair, the film dished us a hot actress but not a hot actor to pair her with. I could imagine "Electric Slide" to mean the connection between the two main actors but there's no on-screen chemistry and their pairing is bound to make this film a flop.
Some sources say that Electric Slide was slated to be released on 2011 and in biography.com, on 2013. There's small wonder for the delay. Even with the writers' deficiency, this film could have been saved have the filmmakers had a gorgeous actor to play the lead.