Monday, February 15, 2010

Edge of Darkness

I recognize that this came out a few of weeks ago but I really wanted to see it and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the end result. When I first heard that Mel Gibson was returning to the silver screen in front of the camera I was dismissive. Mel Gibson is a loon who the hell would give him a lead role now a days. When I saw Director Martin Campbell's name attached I was intrigued. I've enjoyed almost all of his major action flicks from Goldeneye and Mask of Zorro to Casino Royale and his upcoming Green Lantern. (which I have no doubt will be awesome.) Add to it writer William Monahan (The Departed) and damnit I'm on board. Yes, Mel Gibson is crazy but he plays crazy so good. I love early Mel from Mad Max to Lethal Weapon and then later Ransom and Payback. You don't mess with Mel's family, bad guys never seem to understand this. This movie certainly lives up to some of these films. No one does the intense vengeful hatred with a heavy dose of suffering better than 'ol Sugar Tits. And he doesn't disappoint here. He's not as crazy as Riggs but when he gets going you certainly want to get the hell out of his way because he will bulldoze your ass into the ground.Detective Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) investigates the murder of his estranged daughter (Bojana Novakovic) but as he digs deeper finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy that could find him taking a dirtnap. There are some pretty cool twists and turns here, most of them work pretty well. But I don't want to give to much away, so I'll keep my trap shut on those. I really enjoyed seeing Ray Winstone in the flick as a NSA clean up man. The guy is truly great in almost everything he does. There are some excellent scenes between he and Mel in the battle of who is a tougher bad ass. Obviously the edge goes to Mel but not for a minute did I believe that Winstone's Jedburgh was gonna be on the losing end. I also really enjoyed the conspiracy itself, but again I will spare you the details. Suffice it to say that Danny Huston's Corporate goon was perfectly cast and wonderfully executed.I'm actually really curious now to see the original BBC mini-series that Campbell himself made that was the inspiration for this film. I honestly thought it was going to be just another revenge flick but as we dig deeper there is a more complex story here that ends up in some murky moral waters, that I thought, played out nicely. The only time I felt the film fell flat was the constant flashbacks to happier times with his daughter. I get that you want to show the tragedy of the story. The humanity behind Craven, but occasionally it's laid on a bit thick. It began to feel like a Lifetime movie within an edgy action flick. I think the first couple of flashbacks work seamlessly through the film but then it becomes contrived when he's going back to similar images again and again. The audience isn't dumb they get it he really loved his daughter, now move on. Otherwise I felt that this was a tight action film that builds to a perfect bubble as Craven gets closer to the truth. If you haven't seen this yet, check it out it's worth seeing in the theatre and it's a great example of a director, writer and star simultaneously kicking ass at their jobs.

Grade 3 Buckets

1 comment:

Captain Mike said...

Mel Gibson + Lifetime Movie = DEATHTIME!!!