Edge of Darkness
- Reviewed by: 00Dylan
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Current Rating 7/10 | 1 Votes
Edge of Darkness is a remake of a 1985 BBC miniseries of the same name. Mel Gibson plays Thomas Craven, a detective with the Boston Police Department who's investigating the recent murder of his daughter. Along the way he discovers that his daughter's death was part of something much larger.
If you scoffed at that synopsis, I can't blame you. We've seen this story done a thousand times and a hundred different ways. The biggest draw is Mel Gibson's return to acting. He hasn't been seen since he starred in a few episodes of Complete Savages in 2005, hasn't been in a movie since a small uncredited role in 2004's Paparazzi, and hasn't been a leading man since 2002's Signs.
On top of all that, he hasn't headlined a contemporary action flick since 1999's Payback, so yeah, this was a big deal for some people, myself included. Plain and simple, Gibson delivers in spades. He's aged, he's balding, and he's showing a lot more wrinkles than the average action star, but none of that matters. If anything, it makes him a more sympathetic character. Not that he needs the help. I've only seen a handful of his films, so I'm not qualified to tell you if he's at the top of his game or not, but if he isn't, I need to the see the film where he is.
Gibson's performance alone is worth the price of admission, but the film isn't necessarily bad in other aspects, just not great. The plot, although it's nothing new nor anything special, is slightly deeper than the typical revenge film. It doesn't go overboard, either. Oftentimes when action flicks revolve around conspiracies, it's done poorly and you're left with a convoluted mess. Fortunately, Edge of Darkness is well aware of where the boundaries lie and stays well within them, resulting in a pretty straightforward story that works.
Director Martin Campbell is no stranger to action and it shows. While Edge is not as exhilarating as his earlier Casino Royale - nor should it be, given the subject matter - he still does his job effectively. It's not going to turn heads, but it's easy to get absorbed in the film and forget the camera is there, and most of the credit goes to him. You can always tell when directors try too hard, but Campbell opts instead to keep it simple.
Special mention has to go to British actor Ray Winstone who plays a character named Jedburgh. Any more information on the character would constitute as spoilers, but he's a cold man doing a cold job, yet he manages to be strangely likable. He strikes up an odd relationship with Gibson's Craven, despite the two being on opposite sides of conflict, and watching the two converse is a real treat. Robert De Niro had apparently been cast in the role but dropped out at the last minute due to creative differences. No disrespect to Mr. De Niro, who's a fine actor in his own right, but it was probably for the best.
The film could've tried a little harder to be something special, but it does what it does well, even if it's been done before. If not for Gibson's performance, I would advise only the die hard revenge story fans to check it out. But Gibson taps into something great as a grieving father out for blood and elevates Edge of Darkness into a good film.
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