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Movie Review: Edge of Darkness (January, 2010)

Director: Martin Campbell
Screenplay: William Monahan, resuscitator Andrew Bovall
Release Date: January 29, 2010
Actors: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Hustone

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Mel Gibson back in the action thriller game. His last action movie was the war film We Were Soldiers. Having seen a few trailers for Edge of Darkness, it was nice to see Mel back in the game of action in what seemed like your standard thriller.

Surprisingly however, Edge of Darkness does not exactly play like your average conspiracy thriller. Mel Gibson plays Thomas Craven, a Boston detective who has just picked up his daughter Emma, from the train station. Something seems to be amiss however, when Emma is seen throwing up, not feeling well, and getting a bloody nose once she gets home. Before we can find out what is bothering her as Thomas Craven is about to run out and take her to see the doctor, Emma is (in a very shocking manner) killed.

Tom, now seeking answers, wants to know why Emma is dead. At first, it is believed that the killers were aiming for him, but as soon as he starts investigating, he finds out that this is not the case. Seeking revenge, he begins a hunt to find those responsible for Emma’s death.

If you’re thinking that this is a typical thriller where the parent seeks revenge against their child’s death, it’s not. Not that I don’t enjoy the typical thriller, but Edge of Darkness approaches this in a bit of a different manner. A few notes of interest – the pacing for this movie is near perfect. This allows the viewer to learn a little about Tom and his connection with his daughter. It’s not in your face, but it is presented in a very effective manner. You can feel him grieving and his constant desire to speak and see his daughter. I think Edge of Darkness really succeeds with this, whereas so many revenge movies don’t really allow the viewers see the connection that the lead has to the victim.

There are a few things I find fault with. In some places, the acting is a bit cheesy, and I’m not sure if it’s on purpose. Without revealing anything, Danny Hustone’s character interactions with Craven are at times, cheesy. There did not seem to be too much background music in the movie, that when an explosion or a there is a change of scenes with a sound effect that would be noisy, it causes you to jolt from your seat. This is an interesting method and I think it adds to the film instead of detracting from the story. One thing I found weird was they never once mentioned her mother. Ah well, I can understand they did not want to focus on that side of the story at all. Not really a fault, just strange. Another note that is strange. What does Edge of Darkness mean? I don’t think the phrase describes the movie too well.

What I really love about the film is the ending. Instead of a Hollywood type ending, we are given a very Asian type ending. What that means is something you can discover yourself when you go and see this movie. I definitely wouldn’t suggest bringing your children into this thriller. Lots of violence and blood. Someone had brought their child to the theatre and I really had a hard time understanding why, as the girl was having difficulty watching several bloody and violent scenes.

I love thrillers. This one is no exception. In comparison to the earlier Law Abiding Citizen which is the other revenge film that has been released soon, I think this one equals that in thrill. Edge of Darkness is a lot less bloody and violent, which is not to say it’s not bloody or violent, just that Law Abiding Citizen was truly over the top. Of course, this isn’t going to win any acting awards or be nominated for best picture, but it is definitely worthy of watching

I would most definitely recommend it. 3.5 shots / 5 shots

Links:
IMDB
Trailer

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