Edge of Darkness

Film, Thrillers
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Edge of Darkness
We may have moved from veiled Cold War to explicit global terror in the 25 years since the excellent, UK-set nuclear conspiracy thriller ‘Edge of Darkness’ first aired on the BBC, directed by Martin Campbell (‘Casino Royale’) and written by Troy Kennedy Martin. It’s also been some eight, traumatic post-9/11 years since Mel Gibson’s last thespian outing in M Night Shyamalan’s ‘Signs’. But time seems to have stood still in Campbell’s drab remake for the big screen. With its nuclear concerns and old-fashioned heroics, it feels like a period piece.

In condensing the original mini-series into a conventional, two-hour package, scriptwriters William Monahan and Andrew Bovell have sadly sacrificed some of the original’s cultural specificity and its slow-burn quality. Moreover, in relocating from northern England to the US’s Eastern Seaboard, they have jettisoned much of the chilling atmospherics. Craven, the widowed police officer whose engineer daughter (Bojana Novakovic) is gunned down on a home visit, is now one of Boston PD’s finest; and if it’s true that Gibson, in the role, recalls the earnest intensity and investigative zeal of Bob Peck’s original performance, he also brings a lot of unwanted ‘Lethal Weapon’-era manic mannerisms to the part.

It’s basically a ‘little guy against the system’ movie, literally so in many of Campbell’s framings – for instance, where he miniaturises Gibson’s now slightly wizened figure against the looming bulk of Danny Huston’s smarmy corporate bad guy. However, Ray Winstone, as a boozy high-level fixer in pointed contrast to Craven’s ginger-ale-drinking sobriety, does offer good value in what is otherwise a surprisingly low-wattage and anonymously directed thriller.

By: Wally Hammond


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday January 29 2010
Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Martin Campbell
Screenwriter: William Monahan, Andrew Bovell
Cast: Caterina Nardi
Mel Gibson
Danny Huston
Ray Winstone
Wallace Shawn

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

I watched the fim on an aeroplane last year.I found the film gripping and the intensity was buiding all the time.Was that a twist right at the end.I must watch it again.

I watched the fim on an aeroplane last year.I found the film gripping and the intensity was buiding all the time.Was that a twist right at the end.I must watch it again.

Why is the TO reviewer so down on this movie . Not a classic but at least a 3 star

I went to see the film with low expectations of some gratuitous violence, but it had a bit more depth than the review suggests. The camera work, script and acting were good. Some cheesy hollywood scenes, but overall a 3 or 4!

I founf it tok a while to get into, once i did it was enjoyable. A couple of times i did jump as i wasnt expecting what happened. Excellant acting by Mel and Ray .

3 Crackerjack set peices in this film. Gibson's brooding menace is always good viewing. Ray Winstone's cool cigar smoking presence is welcome. Not bad for a rainy day or getting away from it all for a couple of hours.

DEAR wally , please explain did you miss the pervasively SUBTLE atmosphere -did you not see winstone and gibson giving great performances or were you reviewing gibsons political guffaws - did u note the fact that this movie has actually got better character development than hurt locker and up in the air put together -and an extremely sophisticated script and to top it the boston accents were much better than the acclaimed -DEPARTED -PLEASE DO REPLY

ignore the TO REVIEW -it is a very interesting and humane thriller both provocative and humane and mel gibson is in true form with the sordid american political milieu as the relevant theme -i enjoyed the acting -plot and dialogues and a great ending