Friday, January 29, 2010
EDGE OF DARKNESS / ***
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Release Date: January 29, 2010
Genre: Drama / Thriller
Running Time: 108 minutes
MPAA Rating: R
It may not seem like it, but it’s actually been over seven years since we’ve seen Mel Gibson headline a movie as an actor. The film was M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs.” He’s finally back on the big screen as Boston detective Thomas Craven, a man who is about to get more than he bah-ganned fah.
The film opens with a bit of stunning violence – Craven’s daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic) is gunned down on their front porch one rainy night. The killer shouted out “Craven” right before firing, so naturally the assumption is that Thomas was the target.
However, director Martin Campbell (“Goldeneye,” “Casino Royale”), adapting his own 1985 BBC miniseries, has plenty of surprises up his sleeve. The best surprise is the appearance of the mysterious Jedburgh (the seriously underrated Ray Winstone), a man whose motives are hard to pin down. The scenes between Gibson and Winstone are unquestionably the strongest in the movie, and help elevate it above the usual films of this genre.
Craven naturally undertakes his own investigation of his daughter’s murder, and it’s clear that her employer, a shadowy corporation named Northmoor (doesn’t it just sound evil?) is probably hiding something, particularly the boss Jack Bennett (Walter Huston, son of the great John Huston). Huston has an innate ability to be sleazy and hate-able, a quality that serves this character well.
Campbell keeps the action and violence going at a pretty solid clip – between the action sequences and terrific dialogue with Jedburgh there is little time to be bored. Gibson does a serviceable job in what seems to be a not too challenging part. At times I felt he was a little too goofy, but overall it served as a reminder of why he became such a big star in the first place. Winstone and Huston class up any movie they appear in and I appreciate the mini “Proposition” reunion, even if few others will.
“Edge of Darkness” didn’t reinvent the wheel, but in the movie doldrums of January it was a pleasant surprise. Campbell imbues it with a sense of urgency throughout, and did I mention how awesome Ray Winstone and Danny Huston are?
Theater: RDM Westroads 14, Omaha, NE
Time: 700 pm
Date: January 26, 2010