MOVIE REVIEW: Edge Of Darkness

Mel Gibson has been out of the lead actor role for eight years (his last lead acting job was in M. Night Shyamalan’s 2002 alien invasion Signs). In fact, he has not really been doing much acting period since then, especially after his public run in with the law. So after eight years of inactivity, Mel decided to shake off the rust in Edge of Darkness, a film version of a 1985 BBC television series. So the question becomes if Gibson still has the ability to act or has it been tarnished by his off-screen troubles?

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Emma Craven (Bojana Novakovic) is visiting her father (Gibson) in Boston, who is a police detective there. While fixing dinner one night, Emma inexplicably begins vomiting and bleeding.  As they are walking out the door to take her to the hospital, A gun man wielding a shotgun yells “CRAVEN” and fires two shots.  Emma is sent flying through the door and dies. End Scene.

Thomas Craven is believed to be the intended target and he understandably is full of grief….until he finds a hand gun in his daughter’s bag. Craven is now suspicious and is on the case. He investigates the place where his daughter works, a nuclear weapons company named Northmoor (Already suspicious? If you’re like me, I don’t trust organizations in movies that have the word “moor” in it.). Craven has a meeting with Northmoor’s silky smooth and ultra creepy owner Jack Bennett (Danny Huston).  It soon becomes clear to Claven that Northmoor dabbles in things outside the law and he begins trying to unravel the conspiracy and getting revenge at the same time.

Edge of Darkness is a great film for Mel Gibson to try to transition back into acting. He has a great resume in action films and he excels in this one. I thought that ole’ Mel would have been a bit rusty returning to the screen but if anything, his has become more seasoned and well-grounded. But I believe that the best performance of the film goes to Ray Winstone as an undercover CIA officer/assassin. His performance is great and he steal just about every scene he’s in.  But with the good comes some major faults.

One of the mjor fault of this film is that it uses too many action film stereotypes.  This lead to a very predictable film plot and doesn’t really give you that exhilarating feeling  you should feel at an action film.  Another fault of this film is some of the performance. From the second Danny Huston’s character walks on-screen you immediately know he’s evil and will probably not make it till the end. In truth, I wouldn’t know if Bojana Navakovic put forth a great performance because she is only on-screen for about a combined total of seven minutes.  One other (small) fault I found with Edge is the horrible Baaston accents.  This might be just a small annoyance, but it was a big enough one to distract from the movie.

Even with the above mentioned fault, I recommend that you seek out Edge of Darkness.  It has some great acting, great atmosphere, great directing (Martin Campbell of Casino Royale fame). All I can say now is: Welcome back Mel, welcome back.

Verdict: RENT IT!

Did you see Edge of Darkness? Was it faithful to the original tv mini-series? Leave your comments and opinions below.

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