Friday, March 12, 2010

EDGE OF DARKNESS - Gibson Maxes Out!

EDGE OF DARKNESS (police thriller)
Cast: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Shawn Roberts, Peter Hermann, Denis O'Hare, Jay O. Sanders and Bojana Novakovic
Director: Martin Campbell
Screenplay: William Monahan and Andrew Bovell, based on the BBC mini-series written by Troy Kennedy Martin
Time: 108 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)

PREAMBLE: Those who have seen the trailer may be wondering why are we seeing Mad Max 'Mel Gibson' going after a Big Bad Company over the murder of his daughter. Isn't that so ancient as far as movie plots are concerned?

Well, it turns out that Edge Of Darkness is a remake of the 1985 BBC mini-series which Martin Campbell had directed. And of course, in trying to condense six hours of small-screen action into less than two for his movie, a lot of character development are lost and what we get is repetitive scenes of Gibson's cop doing what Gibson does best: bashing heads first and then ask questions.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? When Emma (Bojana Novakovic), the daughter of veteran Boston detective Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) is killed in front of him, the police assume that he was the target. However, after probing deeper into the case - and knocking a few heads - Craven begins to suspect that it has to do with the shady businessman (Danny Huston) she was working for..

HITS & MISSES: If you have missed watching Gibson on the screen you will soon get your fill of him in his trademark Lethal Weapon role. Gibson has taken a hiatus from acting since the 2002 Shyamalan film Signs. Now he is back with a vengeance as the hot-headed cop (a'la Martin Riggs) with director Martin Campbell providing flashbacks of his good times with his daughter just to justify his over-the-top actions.
Campbell may be too involved with the production to see its flaws. The pacing is erratic and all through the movie, we are wondering if Craven really needs to be so brash. Campbell gave us two Bond movies, having ushered in Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye and Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. There are times when events are presented with such awkwardness that the film almost plays as a parody. However, the ending seems justified, capping Craven's motives. However a little finesse would not have been amiss.

THE LOWDOWN: Just the film for Gibson's fans.


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