Review: Edge of Darkness

Edge of Darkness | Martin Campbell, 2010

It seems that every year there is at least one thriller about a man taking on the government or a government-backed corporation for personal reasons; and every year I fall for them. I really don’t know why that is. I guess I like to see those people fearing an everyday man just because they won’t stop until the truth is uncovered. Last year it was State of Play. I have kind of forgotten what it was about, but when I think about it, I think of all the fun I had with it. This year gave us Edge of Darkness directed by Martin Campbell and starring Mel Gibson in his first role since Signs and since his infamous personal problems. And, as I expected, I really liked it.

In Edge of Darkness, Gibson plays Tommy Craven, a Boston cop. One day he picks up his daughter from the train station, but he soon realizes that something is wrong with her. Once they get home she gets very sick, and on their way out of the house two masked men shoo her with a shotgun. The police think that the masked men were after him, but he knows it isn’t true, so he starts investigating on his own, and that leads him to the place where she worked. And from a chain of event gets set off that make Craven do everything that he can to make the people who killed his daughter pay and to bring down the evil corporation.

So you see, this is most definitely my type of movie. Sure, I don’t like every movie that has a story similar to this, but it helps that it has very good direction, performances, and production values. My biggest problem with the movie is the script. It was adapted from a BBC miniseries (also directed by Campbell), so I bet that a lot of important stuff was cut to turn it into a two-hour movie, and it definitely shows (I’ve not seen the series). It is also filled with just about every cliché that a movie like this could have.

But Campbell manages to make it rise above the script by giving us some intense moments and some well-made action sequences. My only problem with his work, which also roots from the script, is how he handled that finale worthy of a Ghost Whisperer episode. As for the performances, the only one that matters is Gibson’s. Besides some problems with his accents, he is very good and made me happy to see him acting again (I don’t mix my feeling about his personal life with my feelings for his work). There is also good work from Ray Winstone and Danny Huston.

Edge of Darkness has some big flaws that prevent it from being great, but it is a very entertaining movie to kill an afternoon with.

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