Edge of Darkness (Blu-ray)
Nobody does unadulterated, blind vengeance quite like Mel Gibson. After taking way too long of a break between movies, Mel returns to form in character that possesses some of the qualities that made some of his greatest characters memorable. Mel is no stranger to the “man on a mission and with nothing to lose” character and although this isn’t quite the grand return we were hoping for, Mel offers enough greatness to keep us entertained and excited for the next turn. Although the film suffered at times, at the end of the day we get Mel Gibson back in action and busting bad guys, which is always welcomed.
Mel is Tom Craven, a Boston detective that watches his daughter get mercilessly shot down right in front of him. At first, it’s thought that he was the target of the violence, but after investigating further, he realizes that the gunman was after his daughter all along. This is where the mystery starts to unfold while we splice in shots of Mel violently beating anyone that stands in his way. His research and beatings lead him to the desk of his daughter’s former employer, where he begins to realize the cover-up and conspiracy is much greater than he ever anticipated. Unfortunately, the audience figures things out pretty quickly, so the mystery of the film is a little anti-climatic, which put more pressure on Mel to deliver on the attitude and violence.
As it turns out, Mel’s violent attitude is what makes the film and ends up covering up a lot of the film’s shortcomings. Sadly, the biggest negative in the film comes from director Martin Campbell, who made some odd choices and choppy edits that served to distract from the film. The movie lacked a smoothness that it needed for Tom to go from source to source. Instead, Tom ended up at various points in his journey and it was unclear why or how he got there. It was fine in the beginning as he was going through his daughter’s phone, but it got convoluted as the attention turned to the company behind the murder. That choppy, unfinished feeling came back with some awkward scenes with both Mel and Ray Winstone, where they were either given too much time to say their lines or not enough. Campbell is a fine director, but something went askew in the editing room and it took away from an overall quality film.
I have to admit that I was expecting greatness from EDGE OF DARKNESS and I’m a little disappointed I only ended up with a good film. Despite his mistakes in his personal life, Mel Gibson is one of the greatest actors of our generation and seeing him in front of the camera again was a blast. He’s one of the few actors that can make any film watchable and that charm and charisma carried this film from start to finish. Even with some bad editing and questionable directing, EDGE OF DARKNESS is an enjoyable film that should please all Mel Gibson fans.
Video: This is an outstanding release from Warner Brothers and one of the better “dark” video transfers I’ve seen. The black levels were clear and distinct as were the strategic use of color that popped up throughout the film.
Audio: The audio was not quite as great as the dialogue struggled to come through at times. The mix felt a little uneven and could have benefited from a more efficient use of the front channel, especially with the dialogue.
Focus Point Featurettes (31:16): These are a collection of 9 mini-featurettes that cover the very basic elements of the film (location, making-of, the score, etc.). There’s some decent content in here, but the featurettes themselves are too short and choppy. This would have worked better in a longer featurette.
Deleted Scenes (5:58): Nothing new with these scenes. It was actually difficult to tell that they weren’t in the finished film.