Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Edge Of Darkness Is Gritty. But Dialogue Is Childish

Movies that deal with a gritty loner, who must battle the bad guys who just happen to have major power behind them, often make for a good movie. Hollywood has been making these types of movies for decades. Usually the plot has a top notch script, but "Edge Of Darkness" the first film to star Mel Gibson in almost seven years has the tired feel of repetition. The movie has every cliche in it, and this along with the simple dialogue overshadows the plot. Mel Gibson makes his return to the silver screen in what should be the seemingly perfect role for him, his character is one he has portrayed several times before, its like Lethal Weapon meets Mad Max in Boston.

Boston homicide detective Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) is forced to trace the past few days of his activist daughter, Emma's life (Bojana Novakovic) when she is shot and killed on his front porch. At first he is sure he was the intended target, but the more he looks into the recent activity of his daughter he becomes more and more convinced that she was the one the gun man had targeted. One night Craven is visited by the mysterious Jedburgh (Ray Winstone) he decides that not only will he find his daughters killers but bring them to his form of justice. His search leads Craven from the under belly of Boston to it's highest level of politcos. Craven deals out his own brand of justice along the way, he leaves behind him a pile of body, as his search for the truth brings him closer to finding out something he may wish he never knew.

The movie does build suspense, but once the plot is revealed it very quickly spirals downward, the ease in which Craven is able to get near the people responsible is a little to pat. This isn't the worst thing about the movie, the worst is the cheesy dialogue, it's as if it was written as a high school project. Governmental conspiracies have been the center of several dozen Hollywood movies for years, but here we get the addition of corporation compliance, and the secret building of nuclear weapons. Emma had discovered this fact and tried to deal with this legally, this is the reason that Emma was targeted. The movie has several one liners that seem cheap and forced, there are no sex scenes but the violence is upfront and in your face, so this may be one movie that parent may want to ensure that there teen children do not see.

Edge of darkness is an intense movie about family and a man with nothing left to lose. The love between Thomas and his daughter Emma is made abundantly clear, it takes up a huge portion of the beginning of the movie and are also the subject of several flashbacks that seem more a gimmick than a plot point. His will to find the truth keeps the movie entertaining, and fast paced, it gives the viewer what they want to see, a bad ass Mel Gibson again. Gibson's Craven is as good a performance I have seen in a while, he is at once angry and distraught, and at times he shows his human side.

I give Edge Of Darkness a 2 and on my avoidance scale a 1, this movie will find it's audience and that may be action movie fans, the movie has tons of action from shoot outs to car crashes to Mel beating up the bad guys, This movie packs a punch and has what many of American movie goers want, a plot that's easy to follow and an ending with the good guy handing out his own brand of justice. I wish that Mel Gibson had taken a little more time to reread this script before he thought that this was the perfect movie for him. there are worse movies out right now so if you choose to see this one you shouldn't be disappointed.

Edge Of Darkness is rated R for Strong Bloody Violence and Language
Running time is 1 hr. 56 mins.

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