Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Edge of Darkness

Although there are some cool fights and action sequences in it, Edge of Darkness wasn’t an action film like I’d hoped for. It was however a really nice little Film Noir mystery. By the time you get to the end of it, you realize that the mystery isn’t all that complicated and you’ve already seen the plot in a bunch of other thrillers, but that didn’t matter that much to me. What mattered was that as Mel Gibson was running around trying to figure out who killed his daughter, I cared about what happened to him.

I cared that Gibson’s relationship with his daughter hadn’t been all that great lately. I cared about his grief and his memories of her. I wanted him to find out who killed her and wasn’t sure how he was going to. I was pretty sure he was never going to find peace, but I sure wanted to see him find justice. I got totally sucked up into his character and didn’t even care that much that the trailer had given me all the clues I needed to solve the mystery. I just wanted to see him solve it.

That’s mostly due to the acting, I suppose, and not only Gibson’s. Unlike a lot of mysteries and thrillers, when characters in The Edge of Darkness talk about being scared, I believed them. Just about everyone in the movie looks frightened out of his or her mind and that made the threat to Gibson’s character that much more menacing. Most of all though, Gibson does a great job. I already tend to like his performances, but I didn’t even mind his Boston accent. He could have really overdone it, but he lets you believe he’s from Boston without being annoying.

There are some things I don’t like about the movie, the biggest of which I can’t talk about without spoiling the end, but if you like Mel Gibson’s work at all – especially the vulnerability he brings to otherwise hard-case heroes – this is a welcome, emotional return for him.

Four out of five Blofeldian headquarters.

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