Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
|Featuring||Mel Gibson (Thomas Craven), Danny Huston (Bennett), Ray Winstone (Darius Jedburgh), Caterina Scorsone (Melissa Conway), Shawn Roberts (Burnham), Peter Hermann, Denis O'Hare (Moore), Bojana Novakovic (Emma Craven), Jay O. Sanders (Whitehouse), Gbenga Akinnagbe (Det. Darcy Jones), Frank Grillo (The agent one), Wayne Duvall (Chief of Police), See all »|
|Producer||Warner Bros. Pictures, GK Films, BBC Films, Icon Productions, Tim Headington, Graham King, James Laurenson, Gail Lyon, Lucienne Papon, Danton Rissner, David M. Thompson, E. Bennett Walsh, Suzanne Warren, Michael Wearing|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Pictures|
“Some secrets take us to the edge”
“Edge of Darkness” marks the return of Mel Gibson after a nearly eight-year hiatus from acting on the big screen. While his last movie “Signs” had him battling off aliens, Gibson is now a Boston cop named Craven who’s a devoted, single father to his only child Emma.
After picking his daughter up from the train station, Craven is happy for the visit, but grows concerned as Emma becomes violently ill. Though he tries to question her, she remains purposely elusive. After leaving the house together, Emma is brutally shot down in front of her father. Although her murder case is given to one of his colleagues, the grieving father takes it upon himself to investigate his daughter’s murder. His investigation eventually leads him into secretive corporations and massive conspiracies.
The movie lies squarely on the shoulders of Mel Gibson, as its lead actor. While Gibson’s been off screen for several years, he carries the movie well, helping to remind the audience the reason for his successful movie career. He brings believable emotion to the well-written character. While some movies will make the dad all macho, pumped full of revenge and testosterone, Craven actually uses his head and never forgets his detective skills. In one scene, Craven realizes he’s being followed, so he casually parks his car at a rest stop with the men following closely behind. As he enters the restroom, I imagined he would wait for them and simultaneously fight them off. Instead, he wisely runs inside, breaks a window, and makes his escape.
“Edge of Darkness” is based on the 1985 miniseries of the same name. While the movie undoubtedly takes out the bulk of its originating storyline, it does decently well on its own, especially considering both had the same talented director Martin Campbell. Some of the dialogue is confusing, but the discussed action would subsequently occur, keeping the audience in tow. The only potential drawback would be Craven’s numerous post-mortem conversations with his deceased daughter. One might wonder if he was truly hallucinating or simply finding a way to lessen the pain.
The cursing and profanity is quite heavy, with over 50 uses. The “f” word is used over 25 times, especially in the latter half of the film. The violence also increases as the film progresses. Several people get shot in bloody scenes; some guts are shown and people bleeding to death. As in any action movie, there’s also plenty of fistfights. “Edge of Darkness” began as a mild ‘R’ movie, but, by the film’s end, it became completely deserving of its adult rating.
The movie shows the corruption of large corporations and their sometimes conveniently close ties with high-ranking politicians. While one might see their wrongdoing and wish to stop it, it can certainly be intimidating when it comes to just one person versus an entire group of powerful people who’ll stop at nothing to permanently silence any loose ends.
This is a situation Christians often find themselves in when attempting to spread the gospel of Christ. The potential ridicule or negative reactions make some not want to share the truth of our only hope. We must remember that Christ is always with us, and that his death and resurrection is the only source of hope and good news. Paul wrote in Romans 1:16:
I do not personally recommend “Edge of Darkness.” While I enjoyed the performances, especially that of Ray Winstone, the movie’s last third becomes a rather messy bloodbath where no one emerges the winner.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
Response—I’ve considered carefully what you wrote in your comment. We both commented positively on Gibson’s acting and how well written his character is in the film. The comment on his personal life was not intended as a negative reminder. Its purpose was that while his previous events might have made the general public skeptical of any of his future projects, “Edge of Darkness” serves as a refreshing reminder of his acting talent. However, I can see how it could be potentially misleading, so I requested its removal.
Yes, most police movies do contain a lot of violence and heavy cursing to represent reality. Since the amounts can vary greatly in films, they are important to note. We all have different offense levels, so what might not offend you, might highly offend others. Christian reviewers should list all the objectionable content to help viewers make informed decisions on whether certain films are worth viewing. Paul often wrote of helping others not to stumble even when what they personally believed is not offensive to you. In his first letter to the Corinthians, he wrote: “Do not cause anyone to stumble… for I am not seeking my own good, but the good of many….”