Some secrets take us to the edge
David Aaron Baker
Running Time: 117 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: United Kingdom, United States
Mad Mel is back with Edge of Darkness – a movie that gives us only one mildly anti-Semetic jibe. It’s good to see he’s getting better, shame about the film.
Mel Gibson’s newest thriller centres on Homicide Detective Thomas Craven (Gibson) whose daughter (Navakovic) is accidentally killed in an apparent attack on her Dad. However, Craven is on the ball and it soon becomes evident that his daughter was in fact the target and Burnham (Huston), her boss at a secretive Research and Development centre, and slimy Senator Jim Pine (Young), could be behind it. Craven is on a mission to find the truth.
After a rather tedious build up with lots of talk about ‘them’ and ‘people you don’t want to mess with’, the conclusion is wholly unsatisfying and ends in a whirlwhind of deaths. As it all unfolds, it turns out to be not that interesting a conspiracy, that, just for a change, manages to get Middle Eastern terrorists in. Alongside Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone chips in as Jedburgh, who is possibly the most pointless, unintelligible character since The Phantom Menace’s Jar Jar Binks. At no point does the inclusion of this mumbling, Cockney potatohead make any sense. Poor old Ray isn’t solely to blame, there’s hammy dialogue galore and some weird, artsy dream sequences.
Overall, Edge of Darkness is instantly forgettable and, although mildly interesting, is just a generic thriller. Director, Martin Campbell, does get somethings right though. Consistently with the genre, Craven is suitably tenacious and easily empathised with and he drives the film forward well. An admirable amount of time is spent on his period of loss which makes it more of a drama than the trailer would suggest.
It's Got: A mediocre story, hammy dialogue, a decent study of Craven's loss.
It Needs: Rid of Ray Winstone.
Alternatives:All the President's Men, Enemy of the State, Ransom
Mel Gibson is back with this middle-of-the-road conspiracy thriller that’s spoiled by hammy dialogue, Ray Winstone and a tedious storyline.