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Edge of Darkness movie poster

Edge of Darkness: Movie Review


Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rated: R
Directed by: Martin Campbell
Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Huston, Catherine Scorsone, Ray Winstone, Shawn Roberts
Released by: Warner Bros. Pictures

In Short: Mel Gibson returns to the big screen with a rock ‘em-sock ‘em thriller that makes for a rollicking, yet often predictable, cinematic ride.

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MEL IS BACK
And He’s Really, Really Mad!

It’s been a long, bumpy road back to the big screen for Mel Gibson, with drunken DUI rants, massive apologies, divorce, rehab, and even a new baby thrown in the mix. Even though he’s been a busy director (Apocalypto, 2006, and The Passion of the Christ, 2004), it’s easy to forget that he was once a Hollywood leading man, last evidenced in 2001 with the supernatural thriller “Signs.” Now the once hugely popular actor is back, with a hard-driving thriller called “Edge of Darkness.”

In director Martin Campbell’s latest (he’s the man behind two of the new generation of James Bond films, having helmed “Golden Eye” and “Casino Royale”), Gibson plays Thomas Craven, a Boston homicide detective whose daughter Emma (pleasing newcomer Bojana Novakovic) is murdered on his doorstep as the film begins.

Mel Gibson and Bojana Novakovic in Edge of Darkness Mel Gibson in Edge of Darkness

In his anger and grief, Craven begins to unravel a massive mystery that involves the United States military-industrial complex, the CIA, anti-terrorism agencies, a U. S. senator, and a smattering of ruthless businessmen.

And while the plot does become a bit far-fetched at times, there’s no doubt that Campbell knows how to pace an action flick, peppering his story with fistfights, car chases, gunplay, explosions, and all the other stuff that adrenaline junkies love. Gibson’s performance hearkens back to his role as the vengeful Porter in the 1999 film “Payback,” with the added element of a father’s grief fueling his often-reckless actions.

Mel said in a recent interview, “I walked away because I just thought that I was a bit stale. I got the acting bug back again because I thought all of a sudden that maybe after all these years that I might have something to offer again.” What “Edge of Darkness” does offer is an action-packed two-hour ride with an aging hero, one that often feels like a movie we have all seen before, but that doesn’t disappoint if you are willing to suspend your disbelief and accept that this leading man still has the mojo he needs to win the fight.

Only time (and the box office numbers) will tell if Mel Gibson still has that mojo.


Reviewed by Jenny Peters




PAR122409
Updated: (01/29/10 AR)

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