182: Edge of Darkness

Edge of Darkness (R) - 2010 - Runtime: 117 minutes
Starring: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone
Director: Martin Campbell

When I first saw the trailer I scoffed. "Is this Mel Gibson's version of Taken? This will be a fun trainwreck, then!" But the more I saw of it, the more I really did want to see it and when it got here on DVD, I couldn't resist checking it out. To my disappointment this was a trainwreck of a movie and fairly disappointing. I've talked to quite a few people who loved it and they say it's a thinker of an action/suspense movie. But I have to disagree: the movie is dead in the eyes and seems to wander around aimlessly, looking for some signs of life.

Mel Gibson plays Thomas Craven who is picking up his daughter for the holidays. Not soon after, as she's vomiting up blood and rushing out the door to the hospital, she's brutally shot and killed by what seems to be a random burglar. This was probably the coolest part of the movie - I think his daughter gets shot with a sawed-off shotgun and it's a gruesome as you think it is. It's great and I thought, hell yeah, let's get this mother started! But no! God no! There's lots of meandering around the next day by Thomas, who seems to be at a loss at what to do. Slowly, and very slowly, he starts to find clues as to who murdered his daughter. Surprise! It has to do with her shady work at some big corporate fat cat place that has ties to the government. It's really not a complicated plot - you pretty much figure out what's going on half way through. But the problem is: there's this other guy (Ray Winstone) who's been hired by the government and/or the big wig corporation to stop Craven from finding out the truth. But he doesn't, instead he kind of helps him along the way. What the hell is that all about? I don't know because this guy has no background, he just comes and goes as he pleases in this movie.

And that's the big deal: there's just not enough character in this movie. I just didn't see Thomas Craven as a man hell-bent on getting revenge, even at the end when he's tying up loose ends with his gun. And I would have liked a little more plot twists - it was all too easy and nicely wrapped up in the end to justify a whole movie with all of these supposedly conspiracy-laden big wigs (or fat cats, I'm still deciding). And Gibson was laying that god-awful Boston accent on pretty thick, too. Yeah, this movie takes place in Boston. And with most movies that take place around this area, it's full of itself. I hate that - they reference all of these places as if everyone in the world knows about Cambridge and Somerville and Brockton (why do I know the names of these cities? I looked it up on Wikipedia specifically for this article). It's too self-indulgent for me and I was getting more and more frustrated as Craven plodded along, contemplating what he should do next and supposedly mourning his daughter at the same time. I just didn't buy any of what this movie was selling.

So please skip this one for the love of all that is holy and good! At least with Taken there was a fantastic pace and you really had the sense of revenge on Neeson's mind. It may not have been as logical, but it was way more fun than this dull movie.

Rating: Avoid Like the Plague!

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