Edge of Darkness

The first thing I will say for Edge of Darkness is this film does not make you wait. Some movies take a bit of time to get going, this is not one of those films. Here is a man, here is his daughter, here is a secret, here is death, let’s go!

A gripping and emotional thriller of a man willing to do anything because he has nothing left to lose, Edge of Darkness is a shocking, intriguing, emotional ride.

Caution! This review contains very minor spoilers. I’m not going to say spoiler free, cause your definition of spoiler might be different from mine, but it’s pretty much spoiler free.

Right from the start, I knew I was going to like this film. There was no overly-long exposition to introduce the characters, yet they were well-rounded and three-dimensional enough that you easily understood what you were witnessing. The opening sequence is crammed with information, so you can understand the relationship you’re seeing and jump straight into the action.

Although the story has been told before, there is a certain je ne se quoi about Mel Gibson’s character, Craven, that makes him seem – to me – considerably more sympathic and drastically less cliched than Liam Neeson’s character in Taken. Craven is just a cop, not a superhero with crime fighting techniques to stun a bull and a web of international contacts. But, he is clever and determined.

He is supported by a stronger story than Taken had, with just the right balance of mystery and revellation that dumb audience members like me didn’t feel lost in the twists and turns, but neither was the details of the conspiracy spoon-fed to us either.

It’s hard to be original and innovative in crime dramas these days, with Law and Order, CSI, NCIS, Castle, etc, etc; but this story is elegant in its simplicity. Non-essential details have been abandoned in favour of a story that races towards towards conclusion without side-plots or superfluous characters to act as distractions. Where, in other movies, these sort of details would be used to add depth to the tapestry that the character development, this movie does without, and does not suffer for it.

Certainly Emma had a mother, Craven’s wife. The movie does not tell us what happened to her. She is not seen in photos, in flashbacks, in memories. Characters mention jobs, families, lovers; but they are never seen. However, the movie was no less for this; the result is intensely focused on the main character.

Unlike the cold and calculating violence of Taken, Edge of Darkness is more brutal. People get shot. Lots of them. The film is not gory, torture is not included in Craven’s repertoire of investigative skills, but at times the action is confronting. You won’t lose your lunch over this one, but it is stark and shocking.

The closing scene is horribly tacky, but it works (endings are pretty damn hard), and I don’t think it ruins the overall impression. I was still incredibly impressed by this movie.

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~ by ghostwolfe on February 3, 2010.

One Response to “Edge of Darkness”

  1. Great blog!

    We just reviewed this one on our blog themoviebros.wordpress.com

    Stop by and check it out!

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