Directed by: Martin Campbell
Starring: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston
When his daughter is gunned down in front of him, aging detective Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) begins an investigation that will lead him into the darkest realms of corporate conspiracy and government corruption. Edge of Darkness sees Gibson return to kicking ass and taking names and also stars Ray Winstone and Danny Huston.
The most notable thing about this movie is that you don’t get what the trailers lead you to believe you’ll be getting. From the very first (and very gory) death scene, Edge of Darkness is a fast paced revenge come man-with-nothing-left-to-lose tell with some great suspense and a marvelous performance from Gibson. Anyone who thinks he’s too old can sit down and shut up!
Truth be told, this movie has a great deal in common with Taken, a movie that received mixed reviews but I, personally loved every ass-kicking minute of. What Edge of Darkness has, however that Taken didn’t have is a surprisingly complex plot involving a rather large amount of characters. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as complicated as something like Primer but it’s not your average brain-dead shoot-em-up either. The number of characters, however did the movie one small injustice in that, at times the pace was a little jittery and fractured as newly introduced characters are developed (as with Ray Winstone’s character) outside the context of the main plot.
This flaw is only a minor one, however and the sheer adrenaline and ferocity of Mel Gibson’s character are enough to satisfactorily fill any cracks that may appear. The flaw that costs the movie the fifth star, though is the ending… I mean the very ending… I mean literally the 30 seconds before the end credits roll which, because of spoilers I won’t go into. It almost felt like an afterthought, or maybe even an added extra thrown in at the whim of a certain aging Christianity enthusiast… say no more. The scene that directly precedes this could have been played up a lot more to create a far more satisfying finale (think the end of Watchmen).
All things considered, Edge of Darkness remains an extremely accomplished and entertaining conspiracy thriller with enough thematic backbone to stand up to all the action, bullets and snappy dialogue that the director and star could throw at it.