Robert Axle (Kevin Spacey) is an infomercial guru, able to sell any number of his own creations after inventing a night light that is also a humidifier. He calls these inventions fabrications, because they simply combine two already existing inventions and create a new product, but when one of these products isn’t tested properly it results in numerous injuries. Fingers are lost by the consumers not using a workout machine properly and Axle’s career is lost. After spending years in prison for his negligence, Axle returns home to start over with his life.
Though Axle immediately attempts to get back into the game of inventing, Father of Invention focuses much more on the fathering aspect. After his initial success had come to Robert Axle, he became busier and more distant to his family, including his wife (Virginia Madsen) and his daughter (Camille Belle). Though he returns to find his wife remarried (to Craig Robinson of “The Office”), a relationship with his daughter still seems possible when Axle moves in with her and her two roommates (Heather Graham, Anna Anissimova).
There is nothing entirely surprising about Father of Invention. It is a moderately engaging film which is enhanced greatly by the cast attached. Spacey is always believable and engaging, with plenty of strong support in this cast. Especially enjoyable is Johnny Knoxville as Axle’s unexpected business partner. John Stamos also has a small role for which he was perfectly cast.