Belfast Telegraph

Monday 5 October 2015

Edge of Darkness: reader review

By Mike Bradford

Published 01/03/2010

Mel Gibson stars as cop Thomas Craven, a single Father who looks forward to renewing his relationship with long absent daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic).

What appears to be a feel-good homecoming is suddenly throw into chaos when Emma is suddenly shot dead in front of her father. The police verdict of a revenge killing is not good enough for the distraught Craven, who begins to believe that her death was related to her work at government nuclear site Northmoor, whose shady boss Jack Bennett (Danny Huston) seems keen to distance himself from events. Meanwhile, an assassin named Darius Jedburgh (Ray Winstone) is mysteriously called in to watch over and deal with any after effects of Emma’s murder.

Gibson is on a comeback in the world of cinema but are his films meeting his previously set standard? His supporting cast features Ray Winstone who had done a good job playing a menacing henchman in ‘The Departed’ and I figured his role in this movie would not be so dissimilar. It also features Danny Huston who was Colonel Stryker in the first X-Men Origins and takes up the role of a powerful man with dark secrets once again; portraying Jack Bennett with the similar air of menace that surrounded Stryker in X-Men Origins.

The action in ‘Edge of Darkness’ is both sudden and shocking and thus is quite effective in injecting excitement into this thriller and yet the plot is quite disjointed and the storyline is not as thrilling as one would have hoped.

Furthermore, character analysis is sadly lacking. Thomas Craven is certainly explored in depth and the flashbacks to his daughter as a young girl distort his reality while presenting a moving insight into his pain and sorrow. However, this impacts on the audience’s understanding of the other characters. There seems to be no in depth character analysis of the film’s other protagonists which makes their credibility suffer. This is particularly noticeable in the character of the government’s ‘cleaner’ Jedburgh. When the movie follows his action, the plotline becomes quite unclear as to his purpose. Winstone plays the deadly assassin to the best of his ability and yet his role in the film remains superficial and confusing.

All in all however, Gibson certainly plays his character very well. I think he has achieved a return to form. He effectively portrays Thomas Craven as a grieving and vengeful father who has nothing to lose but everything to take. I certainly look forward to the upcoming movies he is to be in and would recommend this dark, exciting thriller as worth a viewing.

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