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Edge of Darkness
BLU-RAY disk
May 20, 2010 By: Aaron the H
Edge of Darkness order download
Director:
Martin Campbell

Actors:
Mel Gibson
Ray Wintsone
Danny Huston

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
When an aging copís daughter is brutally murdered, he embarks on a one man crusade to find the men behind it. And kill them.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
When I heard that Mel Gibson, one of my all-time favorite actors and star of my all-time favorite movie (Braveheart) was coming back to the big screen, to star in a revenge movie no less (maybe my favorite genre), I was practically bursting with excitement, and yes, that is despite my Jewish roots. Add in the fact that the film had an Oscar-winning writer (William Monahan, The Departed), an action aficionado director in Martin Campbell, and an R rating, and well my expectations were just about sky high.

Sadly, the film didnít quite live up to my epic standards, but thatís not to say itís not an enjoyable flick. The problem lies in the fact that everyone involved is just too damn intelligent, and wouldnít settle for making the simple, cold-blooded revenge caper the formula called for: Tough guyís daughter gets killed, tough guy gets pissed, tough guy kills everyone- simple! As long as itís brutal and redemptive enough, thatís all we require.

But instead of going on the bloodthirsty rampage we all know Mel has in him, we get a quiet, restrained man on a mission to solve a mystery involving a private weapons company that has a government contract. The problem is, you can figure out in the first 15 minutes that theyíre behind the whole thing, so really who cares what their trying to cover up? His daughterís dead. I want vengeance damnit. Campbell and Monahan sure tease us too; when the action does come, itís exhilarating and will elicit more than a few cheers. Gibson was made for this role, and his inevitable aging over the years actually serves him well here, stacking the odds against him even more.

The film is very low on style, as Campbell intently aims to let the performances and sharp dialogue take center stage, and thereís nothing wrong with that. Needlessly complex story aside, Monahanís script is fantastic, laced with intelligent dialogue and a few unexpected action beats, even if the action is far too scarce. With the exception of a few young actors who take their performances way over the top, performances are top notch as well. Ray Winstone, as ďthe guy who stops you from connecting A to BĒ, manages to be extremely badass here, despite never using anything other than his indoor voice. The man has talent in spades and was truly born to be a gangster. Danny Huston is similarly solid in his usual role of ďHead of Evil EmpireĒ.

All in all, Edge of Darkness is by no means a perfect film, but hey, it's just damn good to see Mel back in action. Literally.
THE EXTRAS
Deleted/Alternate Scenes (5:23) - Four scenes, (available only as a Play All) two of which are alternate (and vastly inferior) versions of ones that appeared in the film. Another brilliant turn from the eerie cool Ray Winstone though.

Melís Back (4:00) - The cast and crew heap praise on Mel Gibson, and Mel himself shows up to drop one awesome line.

Making a Ghost Character Real (3:32) - To discuss what this special feature is would be a bit of a spoiler, so, Iíll just say itís kinda "blah".

Scoring the Edge of Darkness (3:29) - Title pretty much says it all. The fact that 3-time Oscar winner Howard Shore is here to take us through it makes it a little more interesting.

Revisiting the Mini-series (2:32) - Discusses the BBC mini-series from the 80ís, also directed by Campbell. The most interesting part is listening to him describe how awesome the BBC was in giving freedom to the production. Turns out it was for the bestÖIím talkiní to you, H-wood!

Adapting the Mini-Series (3:32) - Discusses the tonal changes and challenges of modernizing the original story into the film.

Thomas Cravenís War of Attrition (4:51) - Spends a few minutes discussing the story. Getting a little bored by this point.

Boston as a Character (2:51) - Cast and crew talk about shooting in Boston. You know what at this point, all these features are so generic, the titles are pretty much explaining all.

Director Profile: Martin Campbell (3:21) - You already know how this one will go. If you donít know who Martin is, he directed the two best Bond films of the modern era (Casino Royale, Goldeneye) and is working on Green Lantern at the moment, so heís A-OK in my book.

Edge of Your Seat (2:36) - They end things with the most cookie-cutter feature of all. Everyone sits around and talks about the story. Again.

The Blu-ray also comes with a DVD/Digital copy combo disc.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
While it's certainly not the best revenge film ever made, it's nowhere near the worst. Combine all the talent involved, a few very memorable moments, and the triumphant return of Mel Gibson, and you've got yourself a film that's worth a spot in your Netflix queue at the least. I say give it a go.
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