Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Night at the Movies Week 8 - Edge of Darkness

Edge of Darkness

Let's get this out of the way quick.  Yes, it's a remake of the BBC mini-series.  Yes, it covers the same ground.  Yes, it's directed by Martin Campbell, the bloke who directed the mini-series.  No.  It's not as good. 

Do we have that out of our systems, because for the most part, that's all I'm going to say about the comparison.  It is a creature all it's own, and I'd rather not do a frame by frame comparison Mr. Van Sant.


I'll watch Mel Gibson in anything.  I've always enjoyed his work, from Mad Max to Martin Riggs to William Wallace.  The guy knows how to portray a compelling character.  Put him in some sort of stressful situation and watch his eyes and Adam's apple do all the work.  Yeah, he's so good that his throat can act.  Take that Meryl Streep.

But is the movie any good?

Yes and no.

It's got it's weak points for sure.  Mel can't do a Boston accent.  I understand, it's tough to pull off.  Matt Damon and Ben Affleck had trouble with it in Good Will Hunting and they are from Boston.  Luckily, to steal a line from my friend the Paparazzi, Mel attends the Kevin Costner School of Accents.  If it bothers you, wait a minute.  Odds are the accent will disappear.  And it does.  Unfortunately, he's not the only actor struggling with it.  There are at least three other characters that I want to slap each time they open their mouths.

One of them is not Ray Winstone.  I would not dare raise a hand to him.  Not because he speaks with his regular accent, but because he would mess me up.  I'll admit it, I'm afraid of him.  He uses the frightening quaility he possesses beautifully in this film.  He's a guy who solves problems, wink wink, nudge nudge.  Each moment he is on screen, the film is elevated beyond it's level.  He's that good. 

His character, Captain Jedburgh, is the conscience of the film.  It's his job to right the wrongs that need to be, regardless of his bosses wishes.  Everyone has a secret in this movie, and his is what compells him.  I wasn't suprised of his actions, and if you pay attention, neither will you.  The twists aren't exactly telegraphed, but they are easy enough to spot ahead of time.

So what's my verdict?  The film is solid, but nothing spectacular, with the exception of the aforementioned Ray Winstone.  Remove him or replace him and this film suffers beyond Mel's repair.  It's worth a viewing, but it won't go down as classic Mel.

I'm going to go watch Lethal Weapon now.


  1. Yeah, Winstone is one bad mutha. It takes a lot to steal a scene from Mel Gibson, but Winstone does this effortlessly.

    This movie was, by no means, a waste of time or money; it's fine if you're in the need for a Mel-fix. But, if you're looking for Mel in some crime (noir) action, I gotta put Payback in front of you first, then Tequilla Sunrise. This one takes the bronze.

  2. Oh man, Tequila Sunrise! I haven't seen that in decades. Adding that to the Netflix Q.

    Also, did you get a chance to see the director's cut of Payback?

  3. Dan, aside from a slice of about 7 minutes, I love Tequila Sunrise like no other! That's one goddamn subtle piece of work.

    I didn't know there was a director's cut of Payback. I'll have to see that soon, as I can only imagine how awesome it is.