Saturday, 30 January 2010

Film Review: EDGE OF DARKNESS (2010)

Director: Martin Campbell
Running time: 117 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Watched at the cinema Saturday 30th January 2010.


This film is based on a mini-series made by the BBC in 1985 which was directed by a certain Martin Campbell. I remember the series very well, partly for a stellar performance from Bob Peck and partly for an excellent score from Eric Clapton amongst others. Of course, the story has been updated and locations have been changed to make it more commercial, but the basics of it are still there.

Thomas Craven is a Boston detective and his daughter has come to pay him a visit. He lives on his own and it’s quite apparent that his daughter, Emma, is not well. They are just leaving the house to go and see a doctor when a man drives up and shoots Emma, fatally wounding her. The police assume that Thomas was the intended target and he, of course, is mortified at the loss of his daughter. He looks into his current cases but can find no reason for anyone to want him out of the way. And so he begins to look into his daughter’s life. He goes to see her boyfriend who is very paranoid and refuses to tell him anything, but he does give him the keys to her apartment. There he finds a Geiger counter and discovers that she had been exposed to radiation. Thomas is visited by the enigmatic Jedburgh, a man employed by the US government to cover things up. He tells Craven that his daughter was the intended target of the assassin and that it has something to do with her work at a company called Northmoor, run by Jack Bennett. Taking matters into his own hands, Craven now begins his own investigation into Northmoor and this leads to a discovery that could bring down the government.

This film is well made; however, I feel that it worked better on TV. I was fine with the relocation and the updates to the narrative but I did feel that it was all a bit rushed towards the end. Maybe there will be an extended director’s cut that will be more to my liking. Having said that, there were some very good performances, Mel Gibson as Thomas Craven, Ray Winstone as Jedburgh, Danny Huston as Jack Bennett and Bojana Novakovic as Emma Craven.

I don’t quite know how I feel about the performance of Mel Gibson in this one. One minute he’s moody and distraught and the next he’s kicking ass or playing it like the charming Riggs from the Lethal Weapon films. It was good to see him on the big screen again though, after a bit of a break. Over all, quite a slow paced and very dark thriller, it’s had mixed reviews, but I quite liked it. The TV version, I feel, was better, but if you haven’t seen that, then this is a decent attempt to put the story on the big screen.

My score: 7.8/10

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