Posted: 05/07/2010


Edge of Darkness

by Del Harvey

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Of the many films which have come out in the first half of 2010, I actually enjoyed Edge of Darkness more than most. I found it an intriguing remake of an 80’s film which played to the paranoia of the nuclear missile crisis of that time. The update focuses more upon the loss of a daughter and a father seeking revenge and retribution. Like last year’s Taken, starring Liam Neeson, this film makes no bones that it is pulling at heartstrings and targeting a specific audience. And like Taken, this film succeeds in all areas.

The new version is directed by Martin Campbell, who helmed the 1985 original. Other differences are that this version is placed in Boston and the Jedburgh character is now British. Campbell’s replacement for Joe Don Baker in that role is the very talented Ray Winstone, whose version of the spook is much more threatening in a very brutally quiet sort of way. He is also a good companion and counterpoint to Mel Gibson’s stoic variation on the lead character, Thomas Craven. As has been noted in numerous reviews, this film marks a return to acting for Mr. Gibson, and he is effective and convincing enough to overlook his personal gaffes so easily recalled from the past few years.

Edge of Darkness uses the classic plot device of personal nightmare played out in dramatic form. Senior policeman Thomas Craven is estranged from his family by his devotion to his career. His adult daughter, Emma (Bojana Novakovic), is coming to visit but is gunned down on the front steps of his home.

Craven is stunned at first, then the cop inside his skin takes over and he begins to question the otherwise routine investigation taking place before his eyes. Driven by grief and guilt, and believing that he was the intended target, Craven will stop at nothing to track down his killer. As he scurries about, falling deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of an investigation, he uncovers disturbing truths about his daughter’s job at a top security-research compound which has shadowy ties to the government.

What this film may do for most of Mr. Gibson’s fans is surprise them, as he seems to have aged tremendously since his last film, and it’s a rather startling revelation. Surface elements aside, the actor’s very raw portrayal of a man with nothing left to lose marks one of his best performances to date and clearly reminds us of this individual actor’s talent. After seven long years, it’s good to see the actor return to form.

As noted above, supporting players Ray Winstone and Danny Huston are superb as a quiet but deadly government op with a license to clean up potential messes and a coldly inhuman corporate head honcho.

Detailed information about the BluRay Combo Pack is provided below.

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

English SDH, French, Spanish

25GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD)
Digital copy (on disc)
DVD copy

Special features include:
-Past and Present of Edge of Darkness (BD-exclusive)
-Focus Point video pods (BD-exclusive):
-Scoring the Film
-Revisiting the Edge of Darkness Mini-series
-Edge of Your Seat
-Making a Ghost Character Real
-Adapting the Edge of Darkness Mini-series
-Director Profile Martin Campbell
-Boston as a Character
-Mel’s Back
-Craven’s War of Attrition
-Additional scenes

Check out the official site here.

Available on BluRay, DVD, On Demand and for Download on 5/11.

Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, a film teacher, a writer and a film critic in Chicago.

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