Well, its hard not to say that I don't appreciate seeing Mel Gibson back ON the screen for a while. Despite his craziness in real life, I love a lot of his movies and when I found out that the British televised series was coming to America with him in the lead role directed (again) by one of my new favorites Martin Campbell, its hard not to get excited. Luckily, it pays off with "Edge Of Darkness" more often than not despite a seemingly overdone revenge/conspiracy premise and a linear moving film.
Thomas Craven is finally getting back in touch with his daughter. She suddenly takes some time off to come visit. When an assumed botched attempt at his life takes that of his daughter, a good and decent detective is pushed into an investigation that goes outside that of the law. When the villains play with fire, sometimes the good guys do to and Thomas Craven finds himself bringing a little flame a bit further than he expected when he finds out his daughter was at the heart of a little cover-up and a bit of political intrigue. Who's ready for a roast?
One of the best things about "Edge Of Darkness" is its ability to play two very extreme edges of the basic Thriller. A good portion of the film is dedicated with a silent diligence and character defined subtly that Gibson plays off perfectly. There are moments with him and his daughter (in a semi-flashback form) that are so heart wrenching one could cry considering the circumstances of the film. Its these silent moments that we are reminded at how good Gibson actually is and how damn good Campbell is at portraying a long silent shot that exhibits so many emotions. This is counterbalanced with an edge and craziness of darkness that takes those silent thoughts and turns them on their primal head. Watching Craven decide not to kill a man in a car with just his eyes or the random and intensity of the violence of the film highlights these moments perfectly in unison with the rest of the film. The dark and the sad go hand in hand here.
Of course, the film's fairly straight forward story and predictably tend to hold it back form being a new instant classic a bit much. Had it not been for riveting performances all around and a visionary director, this film might have run the road of being your average thriller/drama. We've seen this film done a million times, but not normally with this much heart and with the balls that this film could have.
"Edge Of Darkness" is one of the best thrillers that this reviewer has come across in a long time considering how fairly unoriginal it was at its basic foundation. But the intense amount of detail work and atmosphere that was thrust on top of the film more than makes up for some of its faults.
Written By Matt Reifschneider