Edge of Darkness Review
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Once upon a time, Mel Gibson was one of Hollywoodís golden boys. He cranked out movie after movieódramatic roles, action roles, even a chick flick or two. But then he decided to step behind the camera for a whileófor movies like The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto. In the meantime, heís taken on a new role: Hollywood train wreckóa position that seems to have prepared him well for his outlandish (yet curiously entertaining) return to acting.

In Edge of Darkness, Gibson plays Tommy Craven, a Boston detective whose reunion with his daughter, Emma (Bojana Novakovic), is cut brutally short. Shortly after Emma returns home for a visit, she becomes violently ill. But before Tommy can get her to the hospital, sheís shot and killed on his front porch.

  
 
At first, Tommy assumes that the bullet that killed Emma was meant for him. But as he searches for answers, they all seem to lead him back to Northmoor, the company where Emma had just been hired as a nuclear engineer.

Soon, Tommy finds himself caught up in a web of classified government contracts, greedy CEOs, and shady activist groups. And, to make matters worse, thereís a mysterious British guy (Ray Winstone) following him aroundóand itís hard to tell whose side heís on.

Edge of Darkness is the kind of action movie that usually stars Nic Cage. Itís quick and dirty. Itís filled with ridiculous action scenes and overdone drama. And it makes little or no sense. Yet thereís still something about the whole crazy mess that makes it just the slightest bit craptastic.

Though you might expect a pretty solid thriller from the director of Casino Royale (Martin Campbell), the screenwriter of The Departed (William Monahan), and the guy from Braveheart, Edge of Darkness is mostly just complicated and wacky. In fact, the story is almost as chaotic as Gibsonís personal life. There are so many shady politicians and sinister businessmen and mysterious others that itís hard to keep track of them all. They all seem to be connected in some way, but the connections are a bit sketchy (other than the fact that theyíre all clearly evil). And the overplayed (and usually muffled) Boston accents definitely donít help to clear things up.

At the same time, though, itís all so ridiculous that itís often strangely entertaining. From the over-the-top performances and corny writing to the all-too-inept bad guys and the all-too-convenient (and totally predictable) twists of fate, itís absolutely, positively laughable. As a serious action movie, though, Edge of Darkness is, to put it simply, dreadful. So itís probably best to wait to see it until it comes out on video (or, better yet, late-night cable)óbecause, mixed with a row of shot glasses and a bottle of something cheap and potent, itís sure to make for an entertaining evening.


Blu-ray Review:
It may be one big, chaotic adventure, but Mel Gibsonís Edge of Darkness is just the thing for an entertaining and action-packed movie night at home with your friendsóbecause now you can keep a running commentary of the over-the-top action without disturbing your fellow moviegoers. (Or, better yet, make it a drinking game: take a drink whenever a character says something completely unintelligibleóand whenever the bad guys let Melís character slip right through their fingers.)

If youíd like to take a closer look at Edge of Darkness, the two-disc Blu-ray release (which comes with DVD and digital copies of the movie) also includes a couple of special features. The nine ďFocus PointsĒ are basically a bunch of short making-of featurettes, touching on everything from the score and screenwriting (based on director Martin Campbellís 1980s BBC series) to the key members of the cast and crew. Also included are four deleted/alternate scenes, which actually help to explain the story a little bit more. Sadly, though, writer William Monahanís cameo (which he mentions in one of the Focus Points) made neither the movie nor the discís deleted scenes.

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