'Edge of Darkness'
(Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, et al / DVD / R / (2009) 2010 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Mel Gibson is back on the conspiracy trail in Edge of Darkness, a slow-burning police detective thriller that favors a gradual descent into the world of corporate collusion over fist-pumping action.
DVD: Mel Gibson's career has taken a bit of hit in the past few years but as a person more interested in Gibson's on-screen career rather than the banter of his private life, Edge of Darkness was enough to peak my interest. In his first on-screen role since 2002's Signs, Mel Gibson returns to a familiar role similar to that of his roles in Lethal Weapon, Ransom, Payback and The Patriot. Gibson plays Boston cop Thomas Craven whose daughter was mysteriously murdered in a supposed "hit" seemingly meant for him. However, Craven begins to dig deeper into a government conspiracy surrounding nuclear weapons, thallium poisoning and the shadowed sales of weapons of mass destruction.
For fans of the original series, the film version is three times removed from its English television series counterpart despite director Martin Campbell's experience directing a few episodes. Still, the film has the right amount of bloodshed, car-involved sequences and plot twists to qualify as a typical 2000s action thriller but it's clichéd dialogue, sluggish progression and sub-par storyline prevents it from become something greater. Reminiscent of Gibson's Conspiracy Theory, it emerges interestingly but falls into a mess of epic proportions in which larger than life conspiracies cloud the narrative thread and wrestle all the intrigue away due to the lack of plausible explanations for anything that transpires.
Nevertheless, Gibson pulls together a believable performance as a man with nothing to lose while Ray Winstone gives the most eye-catching of performances. The quiet, reserved yet capable character of Darius Jedburgh played by Winstone is often unpredictable as it never seems clear what side he is on, what ideology he operates by or what his true goal is. In that sense, he provides the most intrigue in a film that dissolves intrigue as it goes along.
The ending is rather lackluster as the main characters don't make the grand exit you would hope or expect them to. In the end, the film does not leave the lasting impact that Martin Campbell's GoldenEye or Casino Royale does. It plays off like your run-of-the-mill mystery thriller that at best will become a TBS movie of the week rather than the unraveling thriller it could have been. [TW] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Extended and Alternate Scenes.