Thursday, April 28, 2011

Edge of Darkness

Directed by Martin Campbell.
2010. Rated R, 117 minutes.
Mel Gibson
Ray Winstone
Danny Huston
Bojana Novakovic
Shawn Roberts
David Aaron Baker
Jay O. Sanders
Dennis O’Hare
Damian Young
Gbenga Akinnagbe

Det. Craven (Gibson) is about to rush his daughter Emma (Novakovic) to the hospital. Just as the two step out the front door, a gunman fires a single shot, kills her and speeds off. It’s assumed the bullet was meant for him. After all, he’s been a cop for long time and has presumably made a number of capable enemies. He’s not so sure. Maybe it was, but she’s been acting awfully strange since he picked her up earlier that evening. She wouldn’t say much about it, but seems to be going through a tough time. Physically, she’s a total wreck. Every so often, she’ll suddenly vomit. The she has a spontaneous nosebleed. That’s when dad tries to get her to the hospital. Then there is that plant she works at that does something or another with nuclear energy. Hmmm.

Our hero tells his bosses that he is going to be involved in the investigation of his little girl’s murder, regardless of policy. Oddly enough, this doesn’t involve any yelling. In fact, he doesn’t get much of a fight at all. After this, he’s got people to see, starting with Emma’s boyfriend. From there, let’s just say he meets some very interesting, wealthy and/or powerful people.

We follow Det. Craven on his crusade to serve justice. In turn, we’re rewarded with a solid thriller/mystery. After a short while, it becomes apparent who killed Emma. The mystery actually lies in figuring out why. When we get the thrills, they often start with a jolt and are pretty brutal.

Mel Gibson plays the lead with a constantly pained look on his face. He ably conveys the emotions of a grieving father, albeit on who is an action hero, but a grieving dad nonetheless. However, his attempt at a Boston area accent doesn’t work too well. Part of the problem is it sounds exaggerated. The rest of the problem is that no one else seems to be doing one at all. This makes his efforting to say things such as “cah” instead of car that much more obvious.

Gibson’s accent, and your personal feelings about him, aside, Edge of Darkness is a solid flick that has some easy answers, but doesn’t necessarily give us the easy ending. Because of the way it’s presented, whether or not it’s a happy one is open to debate. Luckily, even though it’s not an action flick there is just enough of it interspersed to keep us interested until we get that far.

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