Review: ‘Edge of Darkness’
It's been seven years since his last film, but Mel Gibson is still playing martyr.
For much of his career, Gibson has played both reluctant and enthusiastic heroes righteously battling corruption ('Lethal Weapon'), oppression ('The Patriot', 'Braveheart'), injustice ('Payback', 'Ransom') and disinformation ('Conspiracy Theory').
In 'Edge of Darkness', he's up against a little of each. But will moviegoers forgive Gibson (of drunken driving and anti-Semitic remarks) to watch him being sacrificed for the sins of others?
Here he is Thomas Craven, a humble Boston police detective and single father to a 24-year-old daughter, Emma (Bojana Novakovic). When Emma comes home for a visit, she's abruptly and mysteriously shot and killed.
Grief-stricken, he coldly sets out like a discharged bullet to find the killer, a journey that leads him into a complex web of corporate and political cover-up.
Emma had been working as a researcher at Northmoor, a private energy company run with government assistance that may be secretly involved with nuclear weapons. Almost everything, Craven finds, is "classified."
As he delves deeper, Crave meets the villains hidden behind an elaborate PR-created artifice. The dependably excellent Ray Winstone plays Darius Jedburg, who's a little like George Clooney's "fixer" in 'Michael Clayton' He's more of an obscurer, though: His job is to make sure people never connect "A to B" - that the truth remains too shrouded in lies for police, reporters and the public to decipher.
In a complex modern world with seemingly less accountability all the time, Winstone's weary, philosophical Jedburgh strikes a chord.
Some might reasonably swear off films with Gibson, but there aren't a lot of actors that try to bring urgent, contemporary rage to popcorn movies. Perhaps, though, crusades needn't always be a bloodbath.
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