Edge of Darkness
GK Films/Warner Bros. Pictures
Movies starring Mel Gibson usually draw audiences to theaters like moths to a light. However, his latest endeavor, the thriller Edge of Darkness, leaves edges unraveled thanks to a plot with many holes. This summation of the film is not an attack on Gibson’s acting. In fact, the acting in the movie from all involved is superb. Too bad the storyline couldn’t keep up with the caliber of the performances.
The movie follows Thomas Craven (Gibson), a Boston Police Department detective, as he tries to discover who murdered his only daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic) when she comes home for a visit. As the trailer implies, it appears at first to be a shot gone awry — one where the bullet was intended for him, not his daughter. But as he starts investigating who might want him dead, he soon discovers the reality he clung to concerning his family isn’t as it appears. Soon, he finds himself looking into his daughter’s secret life and caught up in a world of corporate corruption, people on the run for their lives and illegal government activity.
The best part of the movie is the thrill aspect. It will have moviegoers on the edges of their seats. However, instead of a Ransom-type scenario in which Gibson’s character gets the bad guy and everything ends happily ever after, it ends up more like a botched Conspiracy Theory. In fact, it soon becomes clear there’s a conspiracy theory in the plot concerning the government and foreign policy, but unlike the 1997 Gibson flick, not all the dots are connected in the end. Instead, the movie ends on a weak note and with a trail of dead bodies and unanswered questions. Even the action scenes in the trailer are far and few between. They end up being more gruesome and unrealistic at times. A perfectly timed hit-and-run with no one hearing the speeding car? Sure, if the victims are deaf or blasting music that could bust the ear drums of those within 100 feet. How about Craven suddenly ending up like his daughter the last few days of his life? That’s not explained either.
Another bothering factor in the movie is the introduction of characters who are only in one scene, but who serve no purpose and who don’t add any information to Craven’s investigation or justify his actions. Even Ray Winstone’s character, a shady foreign government “consultant” named Darius Jedburgh, doesn’t live up to his potential. Was his presence just to instill fear? I’d like to know the answer to that because he’s made to seem like a tough guy you don’t want to cross, but he disappears entirely until the end of the film. What was he doing this whole time?
Based off an award-winning BBC miniseries in the 1980s, this version of Edge of Darkness seems a little far-fetched and left this moviegoer with an unsatisfactory feeling.
My verdict? A little too salty.
Edge of Darkness opens Jan. 29 in the U.S. and UK. Click here to view the movie trailer.