Edge Of Darkness – BD Review

“Edge Of Darkness” as a project was supposed to be a return to form of Mel Gibson. When it came out people weren’t quite sure at times what to make of it. Gibson did look older but he seemed to gain youth throughout the film. The same aspects are viable on the BD release. The beginning of the movie shows the man looking defeated (as that is part of the function of the character) but he seems to ramp it up from there. This is Mel returning to the revenge genre. This is a hard boiled approach which many people maybe didn’t expect. It wasn’t the normal Mel humor. The one thing that tended to throw this reviewer off was the inclusion of the ghosts whispering to Mel’s character Craven in the film. It seemed to be too much of a plot ploy. However some of the extras reveal later it to be an integral part of the original book. However on the surface it comes across as lazy storytelling through and through. Despite this, the shooting at the beginning of the film and especially the hitting of the girl in the car near the beginning of the 3rd act are particularly jarring and show how good a director Martin Campbell can be. This film for the lead creatives however seemed to be more of an exercise of being still. The different featurettes explain this specifically. There is a very brief reference that actor Ray Winstone makes to coming in late since apparently his role was originally supposed to be played by Robert De Niro who left a week into shooting. What this tends to do is place the film squarely on Gibson’s shoulders. Howard Shore, who did the music for “Lord Of The Rings”, talks about building a score which for this film means starting off with tinges of mourning and then creating the tension as the momentum builds. The film was adapted from the “Edge Of Darkness” miniseries which Campbell also directed. He had a specific writer working on it for nearly 12 drafts. Then Graham King brought in William Monahan who had done “The Departed” who was able to bridge certain elements and add the Bostonian flavor which was always key. Gibson speaks that he saw the story as a 17th century style revenge tale where at the end every body goes out including the hero. The deleted alternative scenes don’t necessarily lend anything much to the plot though the beginning golf scene which DeNiro supposedly shot and now has Winstone in it shows the blend of humor needed which might not have the been the right spark. “Edge Of Darkness” works a bit better on second viewing because its intention by its makers is very clear on the disc but still skewed perhaps a little too unbalanced despite an effective turn by Gibson. Out of 5, I give it a 2 1/2.

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