1 hour, 57 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for strong bloody violence and language.
DVD Features: Additional/alternate scenes.
Mel Gibson ... Craven
Ray Winstone ... Jedburgh
Danny Huston ... Jack Bennett
Shawn Roberts ... Burnham
David Aaron Baker ... Millroy
Jay O. Sanders ... Whitehouse
Denis O'Hare ... Moore
Damian Young ... Senator Pine
Bojana Novakovic ... Emma Craven
| In this updating of a six-hour British
miniseries, Mel Gibson ("Lethal Weapon"), plays Thomas
Craven, a widowed detective who is waiting for
daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic "Drag Me to Hell") to return home to Boston for a visit. When she
arrives she appears to be ill, coughing up blood. But when he tries to
rush her to the emergency room, they’re confronted at their front door by a masked gunman who yells out Craven's name and fires a single shot, killing his daughter.
At first it Craven believes that he was the intended victim and his daughter an accidental casualty,
but he soon decides that the gunman wasn't shooting at him, and goes on a
mission to discover the truth. This brings him in contact
with a bunch of sinister characters including Jack Bennett (Danny Huston "The Constant Gardener"), Emma’s
boyfriend David Burnham (Shawn Roberts "X-Men"); a snooty senator (Damian Young "Unbreakable"); and his smarmy advisor (Denis
O’Hare "Milk"); lots of cops including Whitehouse (Jay O.
Sanders "Revolutionary Road") Craven’s buddy; and Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), a smooth-talking British
fixer who’s constantly causing problems and making people disappear. And then there's Emma’s ghost,
who periodically pops up in scenes with her father.
Despite all these characters and an equal number of plot twists, the attempts
of director Martin Campbell ("Casino Royale") to misdirect us doesn’t work. Once you witness Emma’s
sickness and her ID card which identifies her as a nuclear engineer, it’s
pretty clear what’s going on, right at the beginning. But the worst part of the film is the burning question: Why would anybody
shoot down somebody they’ve already poisoned?
And the only answer seems to be: Because there would be no movie if they didn’t.
Still, Mel Gibson does what he can to keep Edge of Darkness moving along, despite
its many flaws and Ray Winstone makes the
smoothly diabolical Jedburgh properly menacing, even if he
remains an obscure character. The locations are visually interesting and the cinematography and editing are competent, and there's an unobtrusive score by Howard
Shore, but you'll spend most of the film's running time figuring out a plot
that turns out to be disappointingly stupid.