It has been seven years since Mel Gibson has had a picture in the theatres. As an actor, that is. He is back in the genre of film that made him famous. He is a cop/detective/tough guy who is dysfunctional, but kind of lovable. Something happens to him and he has to use his fists/guns/street smarts to save the day.
About 20 years ago Edge of Darkness was a successful UK television show. Director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale – 2006, Beyond Borders) was the director back then and is again. This is another in a long line of action thrillers where there are plenty of unbelievable moments, but in this case you won't mind overlooking them. While you won't be arguing for Oscar noms you will be telling friends about it if they want film recommendations.
Coming home to visit her father, Emma (Bojana Novakovic – Drag Me to Hell, Seven Pounds) is going to get picked up at the airport by her father, Detective Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson – Braveheart, Signs). Craven is excited to see Emma as they don't often visit. Almost as soon as she gets home it seems as if something is wrong. Emma seems to have something on her mind and her nose frequently bleeds. Right before she is about to spill the beans to her dad she is murdered on her own front porch.
Without a moment passing, Craven switches into cop mode. He is trying at all costs to find out who killed his daughter. His investigation is hampered by the constant flashbacks he has of his own childhood. At first he thinks he was the target, but the deeper he goes into the investigation the more he realizes that Emma was the target. His daughter has some skeletons in her closet. With this knowledge he becomes consumed by revenge and not justice.
I have to admit that I though that Mel Gibson's days as a plausible actor were long over. I was wrong. Surprisingly enough this was an enjoyable film. I went in with low expectations and came out of it satisfied. The pacing is quick in parts and you have to keep up. It is worthwhile in the end.
Obviously the story is a wild one and will require you to make some leaps of logic. It is easy to go along with the twists and turns because it is an enjoyable ride. Gibson wears this role like a second skin. There are not many actors who can better portray the slightly insane cop looking for answers. For a change in this one he uses his brain more than his fists.