Friday, November 26, 2010

Review - 'Edge of Darkness'

While Mel Gibson may have many personal issues, along with run-ins with the law, and questionable behavior in recent years, I have found him to be a great actor with a lot of range. He has also delved into directing and producing. With movies like the Mad Max series, Gallipoli, the Lethal Weapon series, Braveheart (directed and produced by Gibson), Ransom, The Patriot, What Women Want, We Were Soldiers, and Signs, to name a few, I think that Gibson has proven that he is quite versatile on screen. It is no wonder he became a cross-over sensation from Australia in the late 1980s.

One of Gibson's latest roles is that of Thomas Craven in Edge of Darkness. I truly enjoyed this movie. Craven is a homicide detective whose daughter, Emma, comes home to visit and soon starts demonstrating signs of illness. Before Emma can reveal to her father the source behind her sickness and disclose what she has learned about the company she works for, she is viciously murdered on the front porch of their home. Craven's hunt leads him into a world of political cover ups and illegal nuclear weapon production at Northmoor, the company his daughter worked for. Craven takes on his daughter's murderers all the way up to the top of the Northmoor corporate ladder.

I appreciate that this movie focuses on the love of a father for his daughter, and the lengths he will go to protect and bring her justice. When Emma first comes to visit, Craven refers to her as "my girl" and that sentiment is maintained throughout the film as he tracks down her murderers, and you see his memories of Emma as a little girl on the beach. Craven often talks to Emma, after her death, about his grief, love for her, and his determination to bring her justice. The emotional range is dynamic in this film, and there are many twists and turns as additional characters' motives are revealed. As a crime drama and thriller, the dark nature of the film, visually and within the plot line, pulls the viewer in and keeps them guessing what's going to happen next, and who is playing who. I have seen this movie several times and I'm sure that I will watch it many more in the future; I recommend this movie to those who appreciate a film that makes you think and empathize with the characters.