Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Edge of Darkness (Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
6.5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: R

Starring:
Mel Gibson as Thomas Craven
Ray Winstone as Darius Jedburgh
Danny Huston as Jack Bennett
Bojana Novakovic as Emma Craven
Shawn Roberts as Burnham
David Aaron Baker as Millroy
Jay O. Sanders as Whitehouse
Denis O'Hare as Moore
Damian Young as Senator Jim Pine
Caterina Scorsone as Melissa
Frank Grillo as Agent One
Wayne Duvall as Chief of Police
Gbenga Akinnagbe as Detective Darcy Jones
Gabrielle Popa as Young Emma
Paul Sparks as Northampton Police Detective

Directed by Martin Campbell

Special Features:
Access Fascinating Focus-Point Featurettes: Revising The Edge Of Darkness Miniseries Mel's Back
Director Profile: Martin Campbell
Boston As A Character
Plus Additional/Alternate Scenes

Includes Standard DVD Copy Of Edge Of Darkness

Includes Digital Copy Of Edge Of Darkness For Portable Media Players

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.40:1)
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French and Spanish Languages
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 117 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

"The bullet that killed his daughter was meant for Boston cop Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson). That's what police brass and Craven himself think, but that's not what the investigation finds. In fact, the search leads him into a shadowy realm where money and political intrigue intersect. Martin Campbell ('Casino Royale') directs from a screenplay written by Andrew Bovell and 'The Departed's' William Monahan."

"Edge of Darkness" is rated R for strong bloody violence and language.

Mini-Review:
I missed "Edge of Darkness" when it hit theaters, so I was eager to see it on Blu-ray. Unfortunately it didn't quite live up to my expectations.

On the positive side, director Martin Campbell does a lot right. He does a great job at conveying Craven's grief at losing his daughter. There's a tragic moment as Craven washes his daughter's blood off of his hands and it slowly goes down the drain. It's such a sad and powerful moment. He also handles the few action scenes very well. We are shocked as the violence starts and then cheer Craven on as he unleashes hell on the bad guys. Those action scenes are some of the most satisfying of the entire movie. And as anyone who has followed Mel Gibson's career knows, he can perfectly portray a character that slowly simmers and then ultimately explodes in a final confrontations with the villains. It's what he's best at and this role is well-suited for him.

On the negative side, I had some problems with the script. First of all, part of the mystery is who killed Craven's daughter and why. Rather than slowly revealing the answer, they blow a lot of the surprise early on when they reveal Darius Jedburgh and another character explains everything to him. That then puts the audience ahead of Craven as far as knowing what is going on and the rest of the movie is spent waiting for him to catch up with us. Another point against the script is Craven repeatedly meets former friends and associates of his daughter. They argue with him, act scared, start to walk away, then ultimately relent and give him a tiny bit of helpful information but not everything they know. I could see that happening once, but it happens again and again in the story to the point that it gets tiresome. I also have to admit that I was lost several times in the movie. I had a hard time following what was going on, and I got particularly confused when Jedburgh showed up. I didn't understand if he was a good guy or a bad guy. I'm also ashamed to admit that the accents threw me for a loop. Between Gibson's fake Boston accent and Winstone's British accent, I missed a lot of key dialogue. I work with people with thick accents on a daily basis, but for some reason this was really, really difficult for me to follow.

If you like murder mysteries or conspiracy dramas, then I think you'll enjoy "Edge of Darkness." I don't think it's a great film, but it is definitely a solid piece of entertainment. For your money, though, you might find Liam Neeson's "Taken" more what you're expecting.

The bonus features on the Blu-ray are pretty thorough. Besides getting a digital copy of the film, you get a series of featurettes and deleted scenes. The featurettes cover such topics as director Martin Campbell, shooting in Boston, Mel Gibson, adaptation of the BBC mini-series, the musical score by Howard Shore, and more. They cover most aspects of the film you'd want to hear more about. All that's really missing is a commentary or a gag reel.

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