Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Edge of Darkness" (2010) - Movie Review

Martin Campbell the series director of the television series the film “Edge of Darkness” takes it form from hesitates a moment near before the end of the film. The dilemma to take the direction of drama or shift tracks to the political inclination. This costs him the film to not ditch but to leave stale. This intense film bringing back Mel Gibson to the role he performs with the intensity he is known for does things right for most part.

Tom Craven (Mel Gibson) appears to be a reformed Porter from Mel Gibson’s previous movie “Payback”. He is not violently mean and dreadful as Porter but has a still face blocking the emotions inside. It never breaks but you know it is there. This brings Gibson at his best and his scenes are subtle electricity and sudden punch to earn our attention and appreciation. He is the father of Emma Craven (Bojana Novakovic) coming home from her work as an Intern as she says. The night she arrives along with her health going deep end, she gets gun down by a stranger outside their home. Every one believes the target was Tom and the gunman misfired at her. Tom does not have an opinion.

This is the part I really liked about “Edge of Darkness” because it did not pose a father stubbornly believing in the conspiracy and going after it with rage. Tom Craven knows the futility of explaining his colleagues is a waste of time. Moreover he is still in muddle of the real killer and the motive. He goes through Emma’s belongings and the direction each of those points, he takes not as a fearless man but a man with clearly nothing to live for.

Then the story brings in the talented English actor Ray Winstone as Jedburgh, Mr. Clean for corporate and government mess ups. He for reasons not much clear decides to have word wars with Tom. They begin to talk in cryptic questions. Add the regular sleazy CEO of the company Emma worked for Danny Huston as Jack Bennett and it becomes from a thriller drama into a cliched thriller.

“Edge of Darkness” is not about the suspense of this suspicious company Northmoor but about Tom dealing his grief in his own accord. His revenge is about meditating on the path to get there. He is focussed and disturbed in the hunt of his daughter’s killers. He does not possess excellent physical skills apart from his excellent marksmanship in shooting. He has regular voices and visions of his daughter and converses to comfort himself for the loss. Another addition to the inability to show sorrow without dream sequences/hallucination.

There are sudden deaths which shakes us up and there are revelation we already have connected the dots. The vacillation in determining which way to continue this battle of a father in getting even with himself and lead on a life becomes the decider of whether “Edge of Darkness” is a strong drama contender or usual fodder of bland thrill ends. The compromise is neither exciting nor excruciatingly painful. It leaves us with the yearning that it could have been a lot better film.

The film moves on the shoulders of Mel Gibson and rightly so as the director Martin Campbell puts forth. Even with nothing more than smallest amount of detail we know about Tom, Gibson plays him with such an intensity that we are in the same mood and mentality as him. What required was a balance to that character either through a friend or a foe. That I believe was expected out of Jerdburgh but it does not form so. Making the government and greedy corporate executives as the shooting match is not fun to watch or is something the audience never saw before.

I have to say that the film gets the attention and it keeps moving on. It would suffice an average movie goer to be contended with the money they paid. But it is not a fulfillment of watching a complete film. It becomes as mentioned before a compromise and for people who are living their life with several of those does not need one more by paying to it.

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