Friday, July 2, 2010

Edge of Darkness

Movie Review: Edge of Darkness

Director: Martin Campbell

Reviewed: 1 July 2010

jamesintexas rating: *1/2

It's difficult to believe that Mel Gibson has not been seen in a film since Signs in 2002, but now he is back in the revenge thriller Edge of Darkness, as a grieving father who must destroy everyone in his path as he searches for his daughter's killers. Gibson stars as Boston cop Thomas Craven, and seven minutes into the film, his daughter is gunned down in front of him at the door of their home. Moments before the killing, his daughter was getting physically ill and mentioned something that she needed to tell him. Since in this kind of film, the only logical response to the death of a loved one is to cut a bloody path of revenge, Craven explores his daughter's internship with Northmoor Industries, a pseudo-weapons research facility which deals with classified materials and classified projects, leading to a slimy lawyer, Senator, and corporate president Jack Bennett (Danny Huston).

The best parts of the movie are conversations between Craven and possible CIA agent Jedburgh (the wonderful Ray Winstone) who seems interested in helping (or in just not stopping) Craven's unraveling of the conspiracy. The worst parts of this movie include everything else. Gibson is dependable and fine as the father, but Huston is so nefarious, the plot complications so ridiculous, and the CGI at times took me out of the movie.

I like action movies, and I can handle revenge thrillers without nuance. However, this film feels sloppy, lazy at times, and uncreative. Director Martin Campbell has made much stronger films, in particular GoldenEye and Casino Royale. I guess part of the appeal of this film is seeing Gibson behaving badly and killing people in different ways.

I do not recommend this film.

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