The Edge (Blu-ray)
What would you do if you were stranded with someone you didn’t trust in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness? Why is Anthony Hopkins always getting into a brawl with a bear? These pivotal questions and many more are answered in Mark Steven Johnson’s THE EDGE.
At its core, THE EDGE is more than just a tale of survival. Wonderfully written by well-known playwright David Mamet, the story centers on two men- one a billionaire named Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) and the other a cocky fashion photographer named Robert “Bob” Green (Alec Baldwin). The men come together for a fashion shoot for Charles’ much younger wife Mickey (Elle MacPherson). During the shoot, Charles is looking on at his wife while Bob gets ready to take the photographs. Before he starts, he noticeably kisses Mickey on the cheek. Mickey immediately glances at Bob and gives him a wink. This sets something off in Charles, and not even a small birthday celebration can take his mind off it. This is hardly the beginning of their troubles…
The next day Bob is looking to scout a new model. Charles lends his plane and their friend Stephen (Harold Perrineau) joins the ride. While in the air, Bob tried to push Charles’ buttons. Bob humors Charles by questioning him on the comfort in his riches, saying that it must be hard to trust anyone. Charles is intrigued by his questioning and asks him why he even likes him. Bob simply answers, “Your style, your wife…” Then moments later, the plane collides with a flock of geese that destroy the planes propellers. The plane goes down into the wilderness at terrifying speeds. When they hit the ground, they find the pilot was killed, but everyone else is still breathing.
The rest of the film is the struggle between Charles and Bob. Bob spends most of his time taking shots at Charles. Bob’s jealousy is obvious from the first couple of scenes, and yet he is bound and determined to make Charles break. A very calm, collected, confident man, Bob does not spend the time they have in the wild worried over trivial things. Although Bob is just picking at Charles to anger him, Charles takes the words and turns them into an experience. The progression of the movie is basically watching Charles come into himself, while Bob’s feeling perpetuate.
While the movie didn’t immediately pick up for me until the crash, it was still a great piece of filmmaking. Hopkins and Baldwin play tremendously well off of each other. This film also made me think about Baldwin and his overall acting skills. Oddly this was never anything I really thought about before. Baldwin is a solid comedy actor in my opinion, but I don’t usually feel him as much when it comes down to a dramatic role. I always feel like he’s taking his character much farther than he has to. But here, he nails it. It almost seems like Bob fits that Baldwin persona. So in turn it’s so easy to buy into. Another thing I immediately noticed was that someone who had a strong background in playwriting wrote this story. All the elements are there for the set up—a slow beginning, plenty of dialogue between two central characters, and an ending that is fulfilling in a bittersweet sort of way. I’d say that this one is a can’t miss. Besides, you want to make sure you catch Hopkins vs. the bear.
Video: I was really surprised at the transfer on this one. Great quality for a film that was made 13 years ago. No grainy patches, color is great, and overall very smooth. (2.35:1 Widescreen).
Audio: Crystal clear sound on this one. Again, the transfer is great. If the video/audio weren’t so great I would have given the blu-ray a much lower score, especially since there were no special features. (5.1 DTS-HD).