It has been nearly eight years since Mel Gibson has been in front of the camera and his performance in Edge of Darkness is stellar, it’s just a pity that there were too many conspiracies and cover-ups squeezed in which were confusing and annoying at times.
Edge of Darkness, which is based on a rather successful BBC mini-series of the same name, is a thriller which is more about the characters and the drama than about the action, which is what I like. It is definitely gritty, but director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale ) should have taken a step back and, dare I say it, simplified the many weaving plots as there was just too much to keep track of. In saying that, the film was entertaining, with plenty of ‘edge of seat’ scenes.
Gibson plays Boston detective Thomas Craven, a loving father who is looking forward to his daughter visiting. Emma Craven becomes suddenly ill, and appears desperate to tell her father something, but before she is able to she is gunned down by a masked killer who shouts “Craven” before pulling the trigger. A grieving Detective Craven first believes that he was the intended target but this notion soon changes as he launches his own investigation and discovers a link between his daughter’s killing and her work with a dodgy company. There are also links with an environmentalist group and a government type cover-up.
During his investigations Detective Craven starts stepping on many toes and a secret government operative, Darius Jedburgh (Ray Winestone ), is brought in to clean up and hide any remaining evidence. However throughout the film it is unclear whose side Jedburgh is on, as he seems to be impressed by Detective Craven’s skills and offers some little nuggets of information. From here on in, it’s one conspiracy after another, who is working for whom, and what is being covered-up?
The film does hold your attention hostage, and there are some great scenes but there are also some questionable ones. Gibson is fantastic at protraying the grieving father who has got nothing to lose. Winestone has also got great presence here, but sometimes his dialogue was far too complicated (he needed subtitles at times ) but I did wish that he was given more scenes.