Movie Review: Edge of Darkness (2010)

For those of you who, with bated breath, have been waiting years for Mel Gibson’s triumphant return to the movies, your wait has come to an end. He’s back, post 2006’s drunken anti-semantic rants, in the new crime thriller Edge of Darkness. For those of you who wished he would have just stayed in his basement spray painting swastikas on the wall, take solace in the fact that this movie isn’t exactly a top notch film and it doesn’t comfortably seat Gibson back at the A-list’s table.

Adapted to film by William Monahan and Andrew Bovell from the six episode BBC mini-series of the same name, Edge of Darkness delves into the slimy world of corporate greed, cover-ups and dirty politics. Finding himself mired in the thick of it all is Boston detective Thomas Craven (Gibson) in thanks to the murder of his daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic) via a contract hit which occurs on his front porch. With less difficulty than tearing through a wet paper bag and a less than spectacular Boston accent, Craven begins to unravel her killing. His investigation takes him to the steps of Northmoor, a Defense Department contractor, for whom his daughter worked. Yes, I know, it is a stretch of the imagination to think that a corporation with military ties can be involved with unscrupulous activities.

Actually, there are stretches everywhere.

The caricature put forth by Danny Huston as a man without a social or moral conscience is an unwelcome strain on realism. To say he plays the part of Northmoor’s CEO over-the-top would be like saying Kirstie Alley is only mildly overweight — it is that much of an understatement. I’m a bit perplexed as to why director Martin Campbell didn’t rein him in, as Huston can’t even remotely be taken seriously (this is, after all, supposed to be a serious movie, right?).

I’d also raise the red flag to point out the pieces of the puzzle fall into place a bit too conveniently as well. Even with the unexplained help from Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), a man who “solves” problems for bad people, a complex maze of cover-ups and purposeful misdirections should not be so easily solved as a paint by numbers picture. Some will argue that it all has to come together by the end of the movie, which in this case is 117 minutes long, to which I’d say they’re right, but the plot shouldn’t have been made to look so intricate that it seems silly that it can be solved in three simple steps.

At least, however, Gibson tries to keep Edge of Darkness grounded and realistic. His accent, at times is way off, but he pounds the street with purpose and he speaks his lines with conviction. Considering the effort put forth by everyone else, it almost seems as if he’s acting in an entirely different movie!

A movie, that I’m sure after seeing the final product, he wished he was actually starring in. I kinda wished it too. But I suppose it’s just good to get the feet wet again since a beggar can’t be a chooser. Right Mel?

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
2 Star Rating: Bad


Movie Review: The Black Dahlia (2006)
Movie Review: An Education (2009)

The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.

'Movie Review: Edge of Darkness (2010)' have 6 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 2, 2010 @ 11:39 pm Mel G

    “But I suppose it’s just good to get the feet wet again since a beggar can’t be a chooser. Right Mel?”


  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 3, 2010 @ 3:53 pm Annie Daniel

    Mel Gibson proved that he can still be the best on his career. He’s actually best in this kind of role. Overall the story is full of suspense that makes the movie more interesting.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 15, 2010 @ 2:10 pm General Disdain

    @ Mel G

    Too funny! :D

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    March 9, 2010 @ 5:33 pm Armand

    Saw the movie the other weekend just because Mel Gibson was in it. Not sure what I was expecting but definitely more than that..

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    March 12, 2010 @ 5:00 am Rose Taylor

    I am a huge fan of Mel Gibson.This movie has a decent script and some choice dialogue.Mel Gibson is truly the best in whole movie.This Edge of Darkness is well-done thriller.I have liked this movie..

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 12, 2011 @ 9:21 pm irun4fun

    It’s hard to like Mel Gibson the person for all of his alleged tirades, but I thought he did a pretty good job in this film. Not too sidetrack, but I’m really looking forward to his performance in “The Beaver”. Jodie Foster, who directed it, seems to be really excited about his performance.

    A quick glance at IMDB and it looks like it’s getting mixed reviews. Oh well, might save it for the home theater instead of trekking out to the cinema.

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