"Edge of Darkness": Movie Review (2010)

1/30/2010 Posted by Admin

Movie Review

"Edge of Darkness"

Directed by Martin Campbell, written by William Monahan and Andrew Bovell, 102 minutes, rated R.

By our guest blogger, Spencer Morton

It’s been an interesting eight years for Mel Gibson. Once a young, handsome, Hollywood tough-guy, Gibson has become a bit of an outcast. His last major acting gig was in 2002's “Signs." He directed the controversial “The Passion of the Christ” in 2004 and the wonderful “Apocalypto” in 2006. Recently, his personal life has been full of alcohol abuse and alleged anti-Semitic rants.

2010 is a new year, and with it, possibly a new Gibson. He stars in “Edge of Darkness,” his first acting role in eight years. In the film, he plays loving father and ferocious detective, Thomas Craven. Craven is a bit of a loner. His wife is dead and his relationship with his daughter, Emma (Bojana Novakovic), is crumbling.

During a visit with her father, Emma is shot and killed by a shotgun wielding hit man. The entire Boston police force assumes the shot was meant for Craven. As he investigates the homicide, Craven realizes that perhaps the hit man shot exactly who he intended to. He learns his daughter Emma was in over her head while working for the highly classified Norwood, a hush-hush company that makes parts for nuclear missiles.

Craven starts down a dark spiral to find the truth and inflict vigilante justice on his daughter’s killers. Ray Winstone is Jedburgh, a government trigger called upon to prevent Craven from uncovering the facts.

Advertised as an action-packed thrill ride, “Edge of Darkness” ultimately falters from terrible pacing, tepid action and a relatively tame supporting cast. The film is overly talky and could use many more scenes of Gibson sparring with people. One would think Gibson would use this role to act completely insane and with unabashed, uncontrolled aggression. But no--instead, he seems a bit restrained. His performance is fine, but he could have done much more with this role.

Winstone doesn’t get nearly enough screen time. His character, Jedburgh, is like a shadow. He’s creepy, cold-blooded and does whatever he wants. Unfortunately, there isn't enough of him. The rest of the supporting cast is pretty non-existent.

The plot, adapted from a BBC miniseries, is a bit tired and overstuffed. There is a lot going on here and director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) is keen in fitting it all in. This results in a lot of unsatisfying, drawn out dialogue.

Gibson looks noticeably old, but he still can bring it. “Edge of Darkness” will be a good starting point for him to get back into acting, but it’s nothing revolutionary and it only vaguely recalls his ass-kicking “Lethal Weapon” days. In the end, “Edge of Darkness” is a flawed, middle-of-the-road, mildly enjoyable thriller.

Grade: C-

View the trailer for "Edge of Darkness" below. What are your thoughts?

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  1. Anonymous said...

    I think you hit it right on with this review. Still one I will probably see.

  2. Anonymous said...

    I loved your blog. Thank you.