Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson), a single father, has been a Boston homicide detective for many years. His 24-year-old daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic), his only child, is killed on the front steps of his home. At first it appears that Craven was the intended target. He soon learns his daughter led a secret life that led to her murder. He quickly finds himself confronted with a shadowy world of corporate collusion with government-sanctioned murder. In the process he collides with a secret government operative, Darius Jedburgh (Gbenga Akinnagbe), whose job is to clean up and hide any remaining evidence. Directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale).
Rating: 6 out of 10
I’m a big Mel Gibson fan and it’s easy to forget about the professional Mel versus the personal Mel. The personal Mel sounds like a religious zealot who drinks till he’s almost unconscious, makes antisemitic remarks, and in the past has spouted massive homophobic statements. His father denies the holocaust. Now, why am I mentioning all this? It’s because I forgot all about all of it during “Edge of Darkness” because at the end of the day, he’s one hell of an actor and an even better director. Take the time to go IMDB and look over this man’s body of work. There’s maybe a handful of people that have accomplished what he has. He’s acted in “Hamlet,” conquered the box office in action films like “Lethal Weapon” and dramas like “Ransom,” and taken huge risks like “Passion of the Christ.”
Now that I got that out of the way, let’s move on to “Edge of Darkness.” It’s a film that without Mel Gibson is pretty standard stuff. It’s the paint by numbers, “You killed my family member and I’m going to figure out why and get revenge on you even if it kills me” movie we’ve seen a hundred times over. But, it’s all grounded by a very emotional and engaging performance by Mel Gibson. This is the kind of role that he needed to age to take on. He plays an older and wiser detective and makes the unbelievable believable when the film goes so far off course that it started to lose me. It has the proverbial cat and mouse chase scenes that Hollywood practically requires nowadays. So, I recommend it but just don’t expect a lot.