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REVIEW: Edge Of Darkness

If you've seen any of Mel Gibson's movies--except Braveheart--you've seen this one

Edge of Darkness: Rates a D.
Courtesy photo

I read one review on Edge of Darkness where the critic talked about how funny it was when Mel Gibson told a crooked politician in the movie, “You have to decide…are you up on the cross or are you the one drivin’ in the nails?” Somehow that became the transition to talking about Gibson, and his religious views and drunken rant against the Jews.

I found it funnier when a hitman in the film tells Gibson he knows he doesn’t smoke or drink. The latter being something that fueled his racial tirade.

And for someone who is half Jewish (the top half, in case you were wondering), I was a bit bothered by what Gibson said. But I was more bothered by the way he treated the female police officer. There’s something about disrespect for law enforcement that rubs me the wrong way.

But this is a review of a movie, not the bizarre rants of Mr. Gibson.

And instead of looking back at the past conversation he’s had (both with police and with media), you can look at the past movies he’s done: because Payback, Conspiracy Theory, Lethal Weapon, Mad Max and, well…it’s probably easier to list the movies Gibson did that aren’t borrowed from in his latest. That would be: Braveheart.

For fans of Mad Mel, this is like someone anxiously awaiting the next Rolling Stones album, only to find out it’s a “greatest hits live” package.

Sure, the supporting cast is great (including John Huston’s son) and Ray Winstone, who is quickly becoming my favorite heavy in films. I loved him in The Departed and 44 Inch Chest (but those movies disappointed me, too).

The action scenes in Darkness are fun. I just tire quickly when there are so many plot holes in the film.

I understand the director did a few Bond pictures and, at times, this feels very Bondesque. The thing is, we treat James Bond like a superhero. We don’t mind the plot holes or the bullets or bad guys that never seem to get him. When a movie is trying to be serious and is dealing with corrupt politicians, police, and ruthless killers…we want it to at least seem plausible.

I read a piece Roger Ebert wrote on the film, and he complained about the factory filled with bad guys being so visible on a hillside, instead of in a warehouse hidden somewhere. That didn’t bother me. They explained how this company is able to get away with the crooked stuff they do for the government.

When Gibson fires shots into a car that’s speeding at him and quickly moves out of the way after hitting his target, I thought about his partner Danny Glover doing that in Lethal Weapon. And with all the lines on Gibson’s face these days, I was waiting for him to use Glover's line of, “I’m too old for this sh**!” It’s a line that many watching the film could’ve said , because if you're over the age of 15, there's not a lot here to enjoy.

Gibson handled the grieving father parts well, and he pulled off the Boston accent better than Nicholson did in The Departed. Although, it seemed like the first scene in the movie had him speaking without it. I was prepared for a performance like Costner in Robin Hood, where he went in and out of the British accent.

Apparently, Edge of Darkness was a BBC miniseries. And I noticed in the credits, the BBC was involved with this film. It reminded me of how fans of The Fugitive were so worried the film adaptation would ruin the memories of an interesting TV show.

That movie showed you what a good action picture can be, and what they seldom are.

Grading this on an “action-picture curve,” it would get a B+. On it’s own as a movie, it gets a D.

There are just too many other movies out there to spend your money on, making it the perfect film to Netflix. The husband can watch it, and the wife can go do other things when she quickly grows bored. I’m guessing he would do the same, making his way to the garage while she watches The Notebook.