LOVE IN THE TIME OF THALLIUM “Edge of Darkness”, reviewed

Posted in Uncategorized by MOVIE, REVIEWED on January 30, 2010

LOVE IN THE TIME OF THALLIUM – “Edge of Darkness”, reviewed

by Gregory A. Butler

Mel Gibson has not starred in a major motion picture since 2003.

During those 7 years, he’s been the subject of controversy – about his Orthodox Catholicism, his alleged prejudice against Jewish people, his drinking and driving, his having a child with his mistress ect ect ect.

But, you know what?

Despite all of that, Gibson is still a hell of an actor – there is a REASON why this dude has been a movie star for the last 31 years!

We are reminded of why that is in Martin Campbell’s “Edge of Darkness”.

Gibson’s character, Craven is a Boston Police detective who is so estranged from his nuclear engineer daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovik – and no, I never heard of her either, but she’s been in a few movies, just not as the star) that he doesn’t know anybody in her life, not even her boyfriend and he barely knows what she does for a living.

Emma comes home out of the blue to visit Craven one day, but before he can even put dinner on the stove, hitmen have shotgunned Emma to death.

At first, his colleagues on the force think this was a botched hit against Craven – but he knows better. Even though he’s torn with grief over the murder of his only child, Craven deals with it by throwing himself into a one man investigation of her killing.

Craven’s unofficial probe into Emma’s murder manages to open up quite the can of worms – he discovers that his daughter’s employer, a secretive defense contractor, is involved with a shadowy conspiracy with elements of the intelligence community – an evil scheme which they are quite willing to kill to protect.

During his investigation, Craven encounters Jedburgh (awesome British character actor Ray Winstone) a shadowy government troubleshooter (and I mean troubleSHOOTER quite literally) who gives him some unexpected help along the way.

Ironically enough, Craven also becomes closer to Emma while investigating her murder than he ever was at any time in her adult life.

There are action scenes in “Edge of Darkness” – but with a quite remarkable humanistic twist.

When folks get killed, you really get a sense that somebody is killing a PERSON – a human being with hopes and dreams, someone’s child, someone’s parent, someone’s lover – not at all like the typical action movie, where human lives are as disposable as kleenex.

Also, quite surprisingly in a film starring a man widely viewed as a conservative, the politics of “Edge of Darkness” are very progressive.

The film is highly critical of the War On Terror and the secret government it’s spawned – in this picture, the villains are defense contractors, federal agents and a corrupt Republican Senator from Massachusetts

And no, that character’s name isn’t “Scott Brown” – this film was made way before the recent special election – he’s Senator Jim Pine, played with appropriate oiliness by Damian Young.

The anti establishmentarianism of “Edge of Darkness” really isn’t that surprising when you consider that Campbell and screenwriters William Monahan and Andrew Bovell adapted it from British television writer Troy Kennedy Martin’s 1985 BBC miniseries of the same title.

The BBC’s “Edge of Darkness” took place in the Great Britain of the mid 1980’s second cold war, and was harshly critical of the Anglo-American military industrial complex of it’s era – this film shares similar politics.

“Edge of Darkness” hits all the marks – it has compelling political drama, riveting action and it explores the lengths a father will go to for the love of his child.

And we’re reminded of what an amazing talent Mel Gibson is – it’s been a long 7 years, and it’s good to have him back on the big screen!

On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 is unwatchably bad – 10 is incredibly awesome) I give “Edge of Darkness” a 9.84 – you have to see this movie!


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