FiLM REViEW: Edge of Darkness, 2010

One of Mel Gibson’s favourite, or at least most common roles, is the self-righteous and enraged everyman, wronged and out for truth and vengeance. He’s so macho he steamrollers over all politesse and BS.

Airdrop him into a high level conspiracy and, well… it’s all a load of convoluted bollocks, frankly. In terms of believability the plot here is fairly preposterous.* But in terms of the fun we might have, watching Mel G punch his way through concrete? That’s, possibly, another matter.

The film starts with with Craven, Gibson’s character, meeting his near as damn it estranged daughter, at the airport. A cop, Craven is unhappily married to the badge, and lives alone. He takes hisdaughter, clearly ill, is pallid, vomiting regularly, and clearly troubled in mind. Just when we think she’s going to open up about what’s ailing her, she’s blown away, on the doorstep of Pop’s home. It’s assumed this is an attempt to kill Craven, gone wrong. But is it?

I’m not a fan of Ray Winstone, or ‘Wockney cankers’ in general. His presence here put me off watching this on several occasions. His role is to be the Yin to Gibson’s Yang, the devil to his angel. Mind if devils and angels are essentially the same, and basically just hitmen/butchers… hmmm!?

Also, in typical US casting style, Brits, posh or working class, are almost always ‘baddies’. There’s an almost hilarious twist here though, as Jdward… er, sorry …Jedburgh (Winstone) is a faux-mystic/intellectual assassin, who likes cigars and quoting poetry – what class! – and other ‘eyebrow’ literature. But, surprise surprise, he’s at his most eloquently candid when he says is with bullets.

A slightly odd supernatural/spiritual thread runs through the film, also connecting Gibson’s and Winstone’s characters. But the unifying theme underneath all of it, is death. America loves death. This film loves death.

Is it any good? Myaah… is it enough fun to warrant watching? Just about. Hardly a hearty recommendation!

* Mind you, if we all knew the horror of what really goes on in the corridors of power it might make the most insane plots seem entirely plausible.

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