johnlink ranks EDGE OF DARKNESS (2010)

We did an Iocaine Project show on whether or not to support Mel Gibson. I said that his recent troubles wouldn’t keep me from watching a film I heard was good, and this falls under that category. That said, I think it may be impossible to watch him on screen without thinking ‘Wow. That guy is crazy!’ This film should have been his career resurrection from the anti-Semitic stuff, but then he had the crazy phone calls. So who knows, maybe in ten years he’ll have another shot to remake his career. I’m betting on him winning a late-in-life acting Oscar for a performance that recognizes his faults. Because, really, there is no denying that Gibson is a brilliant actor. SOME SPOILERS BELOW

I watched EDGE OF DARKNESS (2010) on 11.26.10. It was my first viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

This is a revenge flick which tries to rise above the trappings of that genre. It is standard in the following ways: Father avenging daughter, daughter’s life was a lot more dangerous than first thought, major evil corporation covering things up, government covering things up, father framed for murders, one man against many.

It deters in the following way: Father is a cop and he uses that leverage to his own (often illegal) advantage, father sees his daughter’s spirit (or at least the memory of her) and talks with her, the ending, and Ray Winstone.

And that last is most important. Winstone plays Jeburgh, a shady British operative who cleans things up for the government. His character has a reason to not do what he normally does. That is, he helps Gibson when he should be killing him. His character makes the acting in this film go from average to above-average. Not only because of Winstone’s performance, but because it allows some great Gibson stuff. Without the character, this film is also much more average.

But the dilemma the character creates is that he also brings with him some deus-ex-machina. The script tries to correct this by trying to make him a more central character, so that what he does is important and not a side-story. But this is clearly a film about Gibson’s character, and his search for revenge. So when he gets information unprompted from Winstone (especially after being unable to get it through his own detective work) it  does feel like it is a little too easy.

The action sequences in this are shot and effected very realistically (except, perhaps, for one car flip). They keep this film grounded in a gritty reality that works for its tone. Information comes fast, and I’m not surprised that some people have complained that they couldn’t follow it. But really, it gives you all you need. It just doesn’t wait for you to catch up.

I liked this a lot. I had a little problem with the ending, but can’t complain too much. This really should have been the start of a Mel Gibson come back, if it wasn’t for the fact that he is just too crazy to deal with people every day.

SCORES

FILM: 6; MOVIE: 8; ACTING: 7; WRITING: 5

6+8+7+5+0=26

FINAL SCORE: 6.5

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~ by johnlink00 on November 27, 2010.

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