Edge of Darkness Review

Published 5 years ago by

Short version: Edge of Darkness is more detective story than action-packed Taken knock-off, but if you miss Mel Gibson on the big screen it’s worth checking out.

edge of darkness review Edge of Darkness Review
Screen Rant reviews Edge of Darkness

I guess the first thing some people will need to decide is whether they are still a Mel Gibson fan. If you separate the on screen persona from the off screen and have been missing Mel acting in a film, then your wait is finally over. The last film of note that he appeared in was eight years ago in Shyamalan’s Signs.

In Edge of Darkness Gibson plays Boston Detective Tom Craven – he gets a visit from his daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic, who looks like a cross between a young Jodie Foster and Bridget Fonda). It’s been a while since they’ve seen each other but the father-daughter connection is established quickly and effectively within a few minutes. She has some sort of high security level job as an intern and that’s all we’re told early on.

She’s not feeling well and we get the idea that she is seriously ill, but she never makes it to the doctor as she is gunned down on her father’s front porch by a drive by killer who shouts “Craven!” from a black SUV. The assumption is that Tom was the target and the killer just missed.

Although his superior suggests a leave of absence, Tom has no intention of taking one. When told he can’t be involved in the investigation he says very seriously that he has no intention of arresting anyone. His search takes him to yet another evil corporation that is involved in top secret work for the government. He meets Emma’s creepy boss (played with requisite creepiness by Danny Huston) who is not too forthcoming with information. How creepy is he? He asks Toms how it feels to have lost his daughter.

Also in the picture is a black ops fellow (Ray Winstone) who while he works for the government and/or the corporation seems to want to help Tom with his quest to track down the truth behind his daughter’s death. He plays it effectively grey, ambiguous and “I might kill you” scary.

As the film moves on, it’s more of a detective story as Tom unravels the clues as we sit by and watch. Oh, there’s some action but it’s nothing compared to the film most people are expecting this to emulate: Taken. Personally, I enjoyed seeing Mel back on the big screen (although his Boston accent was a bit disconcerting). It’s a slower film than you might expect, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

What IS bad? Well there was one “witness” who was killed in a manner in which the exact timing and ability to predict the short term future required strains credulity to… well, infinity. But hey, that’s one little thing – the big thing is the whole reason for all the secrecy and the need to kill people in the film. Frankly, when it was revealed I almost laughed out loud because it was so ludicrous. Of course depending on what side of the aisle you sit or if you’re a conspiracy fan it might not bother you at all.

Those items notwithstanding Edge of Darkness was an interesting, enjoyable film that didn’t feel the need to throw an action sequence at you every five minutes.

Our Rating:

3.5 out of 5
(Very Good)

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  1. @Vic, would you say this was a good comeback film for Mel Gibson?
    I miss seeing him in movies, so I'm glad he's acting again

  2. If this film is a success it will be seen by many as a nod of approval for Gibson's anti-semitism, so i for one will not see it. Also, i have trouble taking him seriously now that we know how truly nutty he is.

  3. Vic, I saw this and besides the less flattering comments you made I can only add that I get the same feeling about this as I had on the last Indiana Jones epic. Watching 60 year old men play Johnny Bad-Ass stretches the believability too far (even for me). I did enjoy him in Signs and I used to think Mel was a decent actor but that accent was quite distracting. Who told him to do that? You would think at some point the director would say er, Mel lets give it a go without the er…dialect.

  4. I'm actually interested in this one … but probably not until the DVD release. Good review.

  5. Lethal weapon, Braveheart, Payback. Mel is a great actor, no matter was is real life is. I'll see it for sure.

  6. I think so, yeah.

  7. Being on the bit older side myself, I actually enjoy seeing guys like Neeson and Gibson playing tough guys. Don't underestimate the bad-ass-ness of an over 50 guy who's been in the tough guy business and has stayed in shape. :)

  8. You're entitled to your stance and I understand it. There are other actors whose films I have a very hard time going to see (and usually don't) because of their off-screen antics.

  9. I saw the movie, was pretty good. Gotta say though, that chick that played the girl that introduced his daughter to blah blah blah (don't want to spoil anything, but if you've seen it you know who I'm talking about) that scene in the car with Mel, OMG, her acting is atrocious!!! I kept thinking, get her off the screen! She's painful to watch! lol. It almost started to look like a parody the more she talked, and they gave her a lot of lines, which was surprising…

    Alright movie though, but some of the dialogue really could have been cut. I understand it's a detective movie and not an all-out action flick, but seriously, some of the dialogue was downright boring…

    Oh, one thing about the review, the shooter who guns down his daughter wasn't in a black SUV, he got into a dark blue Dodge Charger I think it was, or was it a Magnum? I forgot, it was one of those Dodge's… But he was actually out of the vehicle completely when he fired the shot, he just quickly jumped into the vehicle afterward.

  10. I'm a fan of Mel….. seeing his movie isn't a nod for anything. Most people that aren't American have forgiven Mel. The time he said those comments Israel was bombing the hell out of Lebanon (including civilian infrastructure) and most of us in the EU all felt the effects. It really did feel that Israel was about to start another World War. I think his comments were directed at Israel and in a drunken state said “Jews.”

  11. I must have misremembered that vehicle detail. Probably didn't even need to mention it.

  12. Really looking forward to this!

  13. No, that mistake makes your review the worst review EVAAARRRR!!!!! lol, j/k

    Yah, minor detail, EXCEPT….

    except it is KIND OF a minor spoiler since it turns out the guy that follows him later in the movie in a black SUV turned out to be the shooter… But I doubt anyone reading that would think about that while watching the movie…

  14. Anybody notice How conducting conspiracies at the highest level of power gets you a nice black Leather couch in your office ?
    Seriously though it could have been better.
    I think it woul have been better if Emma found out that NorthMoor was securing defense contracts through a prostitution ring they were running to blackmail political and corporate types to do their bidding .
    it would just have been nice to mix the Ivory towers with The Gutters.
    I think Mels character would have fit well in a Chinatown type mystery .
    Instead , this reminded me of another of Mels films Conspiracy Theory.
    still,Mels performance carried the film .

  15. I saw this yesterday right after watching Legion; should have seen this movie first. I like Mel but I felt bored in parts of this, and actually fell asleep. I kind of figured that it was because I had already saw one movie and was kind of tired; but both movies were free so I don't feel too bad. The accent didn't bother me too much but I did notice it a couple of times. I agree with Vic's assessment and would give it about the same rating.

  16. Your logic is terribly flawed. I will see it just because you said that.

  17. Americans are not all Jews. On the contrary. The media makes it seem that way but it is not. I will see this film in support of Mel as a fellow American

  18. I do want to see this, but I recommend you check out the original miniseries with Bob Peck, it is really good, and apparently goes much deeper into the story. Probably similar to the film version of State Of Play, wasnt bad but it is difficult to condense a six hour series into a two hour movie.

  19. i think what ever happens 2 him personaly is personal im sure u must have done some nutty things in ur life also lets not forget no body perfect except GOD

  20. i think what ever happens 2 him personaly is personal im sure u must have done some nutty things in ur life also lets not forget no body perfect except GOD