After having been missing for close to eight-years, Mel Gibson (Signs 2002) returned to acting in a starring role back in 2010 in the crime-thriller titled, “Edge of Darkness” directed by Martin Campbell (Green Lantern 2011). Also starring in this one are; Ray Winstone (Lords of London 2014), Danny Huston (American Horror Story 2013) and Bojana Novakovic (The Little Death 2014).
Detective Thomas Kraven (Gibson) welcomes his daughter Emma (Novakovic) home for a visit and just as their catching up can begin she is shot and killed in front of his home. What first is believed to be an attack on him, Kraven realizes his daughter was the target. He will soon discover that he knew very little, if not nothing about his daughters real life.
As he begins his lone investigation, Kraven learns of his daughters activist beliefs, her far reaching contacts and that she was in much more danger then he could have ever imagined. Kraven continues to relentlessly seek out the people responsible and while doing so, he will uncover corporate corruption that reaches up to government levels.
I will start by saying this turned out to be just the exciting crime-thriller I was hoping it would be. After a long break from the leading role I was not worried that Gibson lost his skill in intense character acting, I was worried he had lost a step in the action department, and was unsure how much this film would try to incorporate. The thought of poorly framed stunt-doubles was a fear that turned out to be a waste of time because the action was just right, and a perfect fit for a man of Gibson’s age. The sequences were not overdone and fit realistically with the well planned script.
The story-line started with a swift pace and fed just enough information to build intrigue early on. With the skill of Gibson, his character was easily able to convey the sorrow and heartbreak of the situation, which fed the motivation for his success even more. With minimal screen time in the first-act, the story was able to set up the father/daughter dynamic well and thus built the right amount of connection and interest to keep you pulled in throughout the rest of the film. The script doesn’t stray far into many subplots which allows enough time to focus on the main theme which was intricate, and able to develop with a great sense of realism despite some minor implausibility.
The small cast delivered great impact by allowing more face-time to connect with the characters. Ray Wintsone as an actor still continues to baffle me. I cannot pinpoint why I find his acting so intriguing while at the same time not being able to understand most of what he says given his extremely thick accent and monotone delivery.
He was great in this film and showed some nice chemistry in his back-and-forth’s with Gibson. Also with minimal screen time and a bulk of her work being in flashbacks, Bojana Novakovic was solid and very believable in her role capturing the desperation of her character. Danny Huston was also great in his role and continues to be the perfect man to hate in his antagonist-ish direction of character casting over the years.
It would be a crime to not mention the performance of Gibson as well who showed he can still carry a film. Many times I felt like I was seeing an older version of his character from the “Lethal Weapon” series. He was relentless in his pursuit and delivered his trademark ‘controlled rage’ as he searched for answers to his daughters death.
In the end, there was no question he would find the answers he was seeking, and regardless there was still a feeling of unpredictability to a certain extent which added appeal to the story. “Edge of Darkness” was a gritty crime-thriller and perfectly suited for Gibson and his return to the leading role. This was a great film to spend the evening watching and did not disappoint on any level. Fan of the genre or not, you will not be wasting your time giving this one a view.
Time: 117 min
MPAA Rating: R (For strong bloody violence and language)