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Genre: Action/Thriller
Director: Martin Campbell
Cast: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Shawn Roberts, Bojana Novakovic, Frank Grillo, Gbenga Akinnagbe
RunTime: 1 hr 48 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: NC-16 (Violence and Coarse Language)
Official Website:

Opening Day: 28 January 2010


"Edge of Darkness" is an emotionally charged thriller set at the intersection of politics and big business. Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) is a veteran homicide detective for the Boston Police Department and a single father. When his only child, twenty-four year-old Emma (Bojana Novakovic), is murdered on the steps of his home, everyone assumes that he was the target. But he soon suspects otherwise, and embarks on a mission to find out about his daughter's secret life and her killing. His investigation leads him into a dangerous, looking glass world of corporate cover-ups, government collusion and murder – and to shadowy government operative Darius Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), who has been sent in to clean up the evidence. Craven's solitary search for answers about his daughter's death transforms into an odyssey of emotional discovery and redemption.

Movie Review:

There’s an undeniable thrill to watching Mel Gibson’s return to acting since 2002’s "Signs". Once considered one of Hollywood’s most bankable male leads, the actor had of late been mired in some controversial off-screen behaviour that has done little good to his reputation. But Gibson’s role as a grief-stricken Boston police detective in the revenge thriller "Edge of Darkness" is as good a comeback as any and indeed sees the actor in great form.

As the doting father whose daughter is abruptly and brutally killed in front of him, Gibson digs deep to portray the agony of Thomas Craven- also a respected detective who finds his profession an fortuitous aid in his search for the truth behind her murder. Looking noticeably older from eight years ago, Gibson is at front and centre the heart of the film, bringing much emotional gravitas to his character as an aggrieved parent.

The film’s best scenes lie in the quiet moments with Gibson, brows furrowed, trying to hold back his tears while memories of his time spent with his daughter come flashing back. In these moments, Gibson lets you feel the psychological distress of his character that would ultimately lead him to the edge of darkness. Yes, let’s not forget that "Edge of Darkness" is a revenge thriller, and you can be sure that in due time, the bad guys will discover they better not mess with Mel.

For you’d just have to look at the kind of "Payback" Gibson dealt out when he was held "Ransom" to know that with Mel, revenge is a dish served cold, hard, fast and brutal. So it is with "Edge of Darkness", that when Gibson finally catches up with the villains, each one of them would meet with death in particularly swift and violent means. Be warned, you’d best be prepared that certain scenes are definitely not for the squeamish.

While Gibson’s excellent turn helps preserve the character motivations of the original 1985 BBC miniseries on which this film is based, director Martin Campbell (who also directed the miniseries) is considerably less successful in updating the Thatcher-era politics for the geopolitical climate of today. More than twenty years back, the subject of nuclear aggression may have seemed prescient with the rise of Russia as a nuclear power; but twenty years later, the subject just seems too dated to be able to sustain much intrigue.

In their attempt to contemporarise the former Troy Kennedy Martin script, screenwriters William Monahan ("The Departed") and Andrew Bovell have added shadowy military corporations, morally ambiguous government officials and radical left-wing activists to their conspiracy tale. Unfortunately, Monahan and Bovell don’t make the story any less far-fetched than it sounds. They are also not helped by director Martin Campbell’s suffocating approach of telling the story strictly from Gibson’s point of view, so much so that one understands little outside the clues picked up and is eventually left perplexed by the seemingly gaping plot holes.

And although one may think that with Campbell on board this would be an action thriller, "Edge of Darkness" really is not. In fact, it is surprisingly talky- much like last year’s "State of Play"- with its focus on intrigue instead of action. Alas its story just isn’t intriguing enough, and without much action to compensate, what’s left to savour is only the cast’s excellent performance- including the outstanding Ray Winstone in a nice supporting role as a shady government operative. But this is through and through a Mel Gibson show, and he proves that he still has the edge to deliver a fine, fine performance.

Movie Rating:

(Mel Gibson’s performance has still got that edge, but the rest of the movie is just too blunt to make this an edge of your seat ride)

Review by Gabriel Chong


. Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

. State of Play (2009)

. Taken (2008)

. The Brave One (2007)

. Casino Royale (2006)

. The Departed (2006)

. Four Brothers (2005)

. Man On Fire (2004)

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