There’s something strangely satisfying about sitting down to watch a film about which you know virtually nothing, and Edge of Darkness was full of surprises.
Now, I like action films, so I don’t expect this to be everyone’s cup of tea. There’s a lot of shooting. Particularly at the end, where most of the characters who’ve been in the film long enough for you to have established their names end up dead. But it’s an action film, and like all good action films, the bloodshed at the end is expected, and most of the deaths are (in the confines and context of the story, you understand) wholly called for. The guy running the research company, for example, has his particular demise a long time coming.
I don’t generally go in for explaining the plots in my reviews. I figure if you’re even remotely interested in my thoughts on a film, it’ll be a film you already know something about in the first place. So suffice to say, this is a sort of Erin Brockovich for blokes. Mel Gibson is his usual intense self (think Ransom) as a grieving father looking for answers, Ray Winstone throws in an enigmatic turn (think…whatever Ray Winstone has been in, I dunno) as a conspiracy spin doctor, and the rest of the cast are variously (but appropriately) sinister and unpleasant. The plot is well conceived and once the first threads of it begin to reveal themsevles, the drama ticks along fairly frenetically. When action is called for, it’s well executed, and in the quieter moments, the dialogue is intelligently written. Inevitably, there are some weak moments, and I can imagine a lot of people will absolutely detest the closing scene, but as a complete package, this is a lot better than most of the action films around these days: Seagal, I’m talking to you. You and your bitch-slap fighting.