Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Edge of Darkness
Mel Gibson is back! After a 7 year absence from the big screen, apart from cameo appearances, the man who made being the scary cop cool has returned to us, with Edge of Darkness. Also starring Danny Huston and Ray Winstone, Edge of Darkness is a remake/update of a 1985 British television mini-series by the same name; the original series’ director, Martin Campbell, also directs this new version. (I was not aware this was a film remake until the end credits; possibly a marketing fail?)
The story is that of Thomas Craven (Gibson), a Boston police detective, whose only daughter, Emma (Bojana Novakovic), is gunned down in front of him after she comes home for a visit. While at first it seems that the hit was meant to kill Thomas, it quickly becomes apparent that Emma was involved in some questionable business. As Thomas begins to dig into the case, he enters a world of corporate cover-ups, mercenaries, politics, and general shadiness.
Edge of Darkness is a solid movie, but not spectacular. Gibson is solid as always, but the role isn’t really that much of stretch for him. It is, in fact, a role very similar to his most famous role of Martin Riggs, from the Lethal Weapon series, if Riggs had grown up in Boston and found peace a little earlier in life. Huston is suitably sinister as Northmoor bigwig Jack Bennett, and Winstone suitably menacing as the private security consultant who helps Craven for reasons of his own. Again, though, no one is working to play these roles; everyone is firmly within their wheelhouse.
The movie is also 20 minutes (give or take) too long. It starts out strong, and finishes strong, but the middle, where Craven is doing the meat of the investigation, drags, and the few exciting scenes aren’t really enough to make up for it. (Though there is one scene in particular that elicited an audible “whoa!” from the audience, and another that got a laugh.) There are also some plot holes, one fairly large, that I can’t go into without spoiling, but you’ll know them when you see them.
Overall, Edge of Darkness is not a bad movie. It’s worth a matinee or DVD rental, but I also wouldn’t rush out to see it.