blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Edge of Darkness (2010, Martin Campbell)

Mel Gibson and Danny Huston star in EDGE OF DARKNESS, directed by Martin Campbell for Warner Bros.

One joke–just to start. One.

Was anti-Semitism a requirement for appearing in Edge of Darkness?

Ok. I’m done.

Mel’s return to the screen (pause–people actually saw Signs) tries hard to not be the return of a movie star. He’s got a lot of scars (the two on his forehead, are those really his?) and he’s balding and he’s got a belly. Definitely no butt shot in this one. Though one knows Mel’s not a Bostonian (wasn’t his being Aussie part of the heartthrob mystique?), the accent’s fine.

However, it’s supposed to be this careful, deliberate story about loss and it isn’t. Ray Winstone’s character, who maybe is supposed to be juxtaposed with Gibson’s, adds to this element. In fact, the only time you really feel the depths with Gibson–except immediately following the daughter’s death scene, which is well-done–is when he’s experiencing something Winstone tells someone else about.

The intent is clear, but the movie’s too busy being a visceral revenge flick to really come through.

The return of the Mel parts of the movie are outside it–and the filmmakers clearly tried not to engage with it. Besides Gibson, the only other real “stars” are Winstone and Danny Huston. Not going for effect there, just acting.

Caterina Scorsone is excellent in her one scene and it’s nice to see Gbenga Akinnagbe (“The Wire”) getting work. Jay O. Sanders is awful.

The film’s an anti-corporate vigilante pic for liberals (the bad guys are Republicans).



Directed by Martin Campbell; screenplay by William Monahan and Andrew Bovell, based on a teleplay by Troy Kennedy-Martin; director of photography, Phil Meheux; edited by Stuart Baird; music by Howard Shore; production designer, Thomas E. Sanders; produced by Tim Headington, Graham King and Michael Wearing; released by Warner Bros.

Starring Mel Gibson (Thomas Craven), Ray Winstone (Jedburgh), Danny Huston (Jack Bennett), Bojana Novakovic (Emma Craven), Shawn Roberts (Burnham), David Aaron Baker (Millroy), Jay O. Sanders (Whitehouse), Denis O’Hare (Moore), Damian Young (Senator Jim Pine), Caterina Scorsone (Melissa), Frank Grillo (Agent One), Wayne Duvall (Chief of Police), Gbenga Akinnagbe (Detective Darcy Jones) and Gabrielle Popa (Young Emma).


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