Mel Gibson plays Thomas Craven, a Boston detective whose daughter has been brutally murdered shortly after coming home to visit him. The story follows his quest to find out who killed his daughter and why.
It’s tempting to say that Edge of Darkness is a rip-off of Taken because the plot is almost similar, but as the trailer for the movie shows instead of being kidnapped her beloved daughter is murdered early on in the film. Edge of Darkness has a lot less action compared to Taken but it manages to create more thrill and tension compared to the later. This movie is actually a film adaptation of a popular Brit mini TV series of the same name.
It’s been years since Mel Gibson starred in a lead role of a film and because of that prolonged absence from the limelight and a lot of controversies in his personal life people might have forgotten how good of an actor he is. This is the perfect role for Mel Gibson to stage a comeback because Thomas Craven feels much like Mel Gibson in real life, a tough guy that has endured a lot of suffering and now he finally looks defeated and exhausted.
We all know Martin Campbell also directed Casino Royale which was a great action flick but like I said this film is more of a drama/thriller rather than an action film. I actually believe that the first draft of the film only had one or two action sequences and when the producers saw it they asked for a more action-driven story. That being said it didn’t ruin the film, if anything it just made the film more believable. In real life, if one man was trying to uncover the real reasons his daughter got murdered he wouldn’t be kicking ass every day, he’d only be killing bad guys in between drowning in sorrow and finding clues.
And that’s where this film excels, it feels real, the plot twists, the characters and most of the circumstances feels like they’re happening in real life. The small details like Mel Gibson falling asleep while waiting to meet for an informant and sweating bullets after a scuffle added a lot the film. Certain scenes were also shot so well that you get the feeling that Thomas Craven and people he talks to were never safe and always under surveillance.
Other than Mel Gibson, there are two more actors that I really liked. Ray Winstone plays one of the more interesting characters in the film, Darius Jedburgh a chaotic neutral type of guy who never really makes his intentions known. I think his character could overshadow Thomas Craven if he was in one or two more scenes. It was fun to see who he would align himself with because you never know whose side he’s on throughout the film. He was charismatic on screen even though he talks to softly to be understood sometimes. Danny Huston plays Jack Bennett a typical CEO, evil and cowardice to the core. He also played his part well, even better than his portrayal of an antagonist in Wolverine Origins. As for the rest of the cast their performances range from okay (e.g. Bojana Novakovic who plays the daughter, Emma Craven) to downright horrible (e.g. Shawn Roberts as the boyfriend and Dennie O’Hare as some shady guy from the government).
Not every scene was believable though, there were certainly times where I found the dialogue corny, usually when its between the bad guys and also some events showing informants getting into harms way thanks to the villain’s impeccable timing are also hard to believe. Admittedly the film’s 3rd act probably wasn’t an interesting as the first two because it felt like Thomas Craven’s journey of vengeance was cut-short in order to keep the film under two hours.
Overall its still a nice movie, I wanted to look away every time Mel Gibson was talking to someone and the music stops because I know something bad is gonna happen but I never knew what and when; that coupled with a few strong character performances, great direction and an interesting plot with a lot of ok twists makes this film a good suspense/thriller in my book.