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Edge of Darkness Review

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Edge of Darkness Review

Mel Gibson, Edge of Darkness

Edge of Darkness” is directed by Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale,” “Mask of Zorro”) who, interestingly enough, is remaking the film from an award-winning six-hour BBC miniseries he directed 25 years ago.
Campbell is working from a screenplay adapted from that series by two seasoned scribes: William Monohan (“The Departed,” another remake transplanted to Boston) and Andrew Bovell (who brought similar, moody twist-turning to 2001’s underrated “Lantana”).
Now 54, Gibson is grayer and grimmer. The part of Craven leaves little room for humor, but the wildness and fire that once exploded unpredictably from Gibson is much dimmed after several hard years for the actor…read more [The Olympian]

Mel Gibson returns to action on the big screen in Martin Campbell’s new thriller “Edge of Darkness,” and while he’s undoubtedly in great shape, the movie itself could do with a little more spice. That said, “Darkness” still qualifies as an entertaining viewing experience I had no trouble enjoying throughout…read more [The Screening Log]

This really is the perfect comeback role for Mel, one that harks back to some of his most memorable roles, but also allowing him to stretch as an actor, returning after eight years with a new perspective and maturity towards what his job as actor entails. There’s little question that when it comes to carrying a movie as a leading man, Gibson is still one of the best, and while his acting starts off shaky, Gibson eventually finds his legs with the character, delivering a heavy Boston accent with the type of nasally voice we might normally expect from Dustin Hoffman. Not that Craven is particularly awkward or shy, because when it comes time to meting out justice and roughing up those who stand in his way, he is surprisingly brutal and vicious…read more [ComingSoon]

Mel Gibson stars as Thomas Craven in Edge of Darkness
Mel Gibson stars as Thomas Craven in Edge of Darkness

The much-beloved 1985 British miniseries Edge of Darkness gets a Yankee redo with the same director, Martin Campbell, and Mel Gibson as Thomas Craven, a Boston flatfoot who turns rogue gumshoe after his daughter (Bojana Novakovic) is gunned down in cold blood. Gibson shapes the mood and rhythm of this feature-length digest version as surely as the late Bob Peck (whom stateside audiences might remember as Jurassic Park’s raptor hunter, Muldoon) did with the series. This means there’s more emphasis on bloodlust than grief—a shame considering the mini’s most powerful moments explored Craven’s deeply conflicted agony. There’s no room for such soul-searching uncertainty with Gibson. After a few rapidly ticked-off minutes of gloom, the mission is clear: Get the sons of bitches, and make ’em pay…read more [TimeOut New York]

Taking on his first lead role since 2002’s “Signs,” Mel Gibson returns to form in “Edge of Darkness” as an agonized homicide detective determined to avenge the murder of his only daughter, uncovering corporate corruption and political conspiracy in the process.
If the subject matter seems familiar, it’s likely because director Martin Campbell has returned to the scene of his highly regarded 1985 British miniseries of the same name, to largely explosive effect…read more [THR]

Edge of Darkness Wallpaper
Edge of Darkness Wallpaper

Edge Of Darkness begins at a canter but slows noticeably in the plot-saturated middle act when Craven experiences beatific visions of his daughter from childhood. Gibson has played the embattled father before in Ransom and he weeps convincingly here, when he’s not beating up shady individuals who stand between him and the identity of Emma’s killer. Confrontations with Jedburgh lack the necessary tension – it’s a pity that Robert De Niro was replaced by Winstone during shooting after reported ‘creative differences’. The veteran, American actor would have brought more gravitas and menace to the role. Plot threads are neatly tied up before the end credits roll and Campbell can’t resist a cheesy final shot to emphasise the importance of family ties…read more [LondonNet]

Ray Winstone stars as Darius Jedburgh in Edge of Darkness
Ray Winstone stars as Darius Jedburgh in Edge of Darkness

… When Mel tracks down her boyfriend named Burnham (Shawn Roberts), he’s deathly afraid of saying much — tho he tries to help in “other” ways… Other friends (such as Melissa, played by Caterina Scorsone) are also fearful of talking to him, & it’s clear from “run-ins” that certain elements (such as Millroy, played by David Aaron Baker) are trying to violently STOP his investigations…
… There are numerous TWISTS & TURNS in the story line, with loads of attempts to “REMOVE” particular people deemed “dangerous” to those in “charge”… Mel is typically dogged in his pursuit of facts… At one point, he comments that, “My daughter was not a ‘joiner’.”…read more [HollyWood Chicago]

Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva, Edge of Darkness Red Carpet

Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva, Edge of Darkness Red Carpet

A better title for Edge of Darkness would be Mel Gibson’s Return to Acting. Gibson’s performance is the showcase of Edge and almost everything else falls by the wayside. It’s almost a challenge to Gibson: we’re going to give you tone-deaf direction, a monotonous script, only one valuable supporting performance, and you have to convince people you can still lead a movie even though everyone thinks you’re a crazy anti-semite.
In all this haze, some may have forgotten one very important fact: the guy can act. He’s captivating, energetic, and he holds every frame of Edge of Darkness together (although Ray Winstone lends a valuable assist whenever he’s on screen). Without Gibson, the film could not succeed. With Gibson, it still doesn’t succeed, but at least it’s not painful. The way director Martin Campbell kills people in this movie-now that’s painful…read more [Collider]

Writers William Monahan (“The Departed”) and Andrew Bovell have done their best to update the Thatcher-era politics of the original, but they’re hampered by the glut of similarly themed fare conceived during the intervening quarter-century. They also devote considerable time to conveying Craven’s psychological torment, which resonates emotionally but frankly bogs down amid the clue-sifting and revenge-seeking aspects of the plot. In terms of consistent visceral thrills, “Taken” this isn’t — despite Campbell’s demonstrable flair for shooting action…read more [Variety]

Mel Gibson stars as Thomas Craven in Edge of Darkness
Mel Gibson stars as Thomas Craven in Edge of Darkness

In short, Mel has quite a lot to lose if Edge Of Darkness tanks. Which probably explains why Casino Royale helmer Martin Campbell plays it safe, smoothing off the edges from his classic 1985 miniseries to make it a standard-issue revenge drama in the vein of Mel’s earlier Payback. Relocated to Boston, it finds Gibson in Bob Peck’s role as the grieving copper trying to work out why his activist daughter was murdered in front of him. Where the original saw Peck uncover a complex conspiracy involving nuclear power, though, its successor has Gibson’s Thomas Craven reveal a rather more pedestrian case of corporate skullduggery, with Danny Huston’s urbane arms manufacturer pegged from the off as the man most likely to have something to do with his recent bereavement…read more [Total Film]

Edge of Darkness video review [IndyMogul]

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