26 Jan 2010

Edge Of Darkness

 Released this weekend, can Mel Gibson carry a film after seven years out of the acting game to concentrate on being on the otherside of the lens?

In the first episode of season 11 of the Simpsons, Homer  Simpson attends a test screening of the latest Mel Gibson film, a remake of ‘Mr Smith Goes to Washington’. Unhappy with Mel’s drama heavy approach he angrily fills in his comment card which catches Mel’s eye, and confirms the Hollywood starsv own major worry about the film, “But I don’t shot anybody” Mel believes everybody else loves him too much to tell him the truth so works with Homer to make what he believes his fans really want to see, an action heavy dramatic piece revolving around the world of governmental cover-ups and political corruption.

 The production notes describe Edge of Darkness as an emotionally charged thriller set at the intersection of politics and big business. Perhaps this is the film Homer and Mel would have made. The trailer certainly makes Edge of Darkness look like a cash-in on last years surprise hit ‘Taken’, a action heavy, revenge drama focusing on a man losing his daughter and ‘Having nothing left to lose’. However  Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) has created something a little different in a genre that many believe has been drained of any originality.

 Something of a re-imagination of the 1985 BBC  mini-series of the same name, the plot focuses around Thomas Craven (Gibson, in his first appearance in front of the camera in seven years after a successful stint behind it) a veteran Boston detective, driven by grief and searching for the truth after his only child, Emma, is gunned down by a bullet the police believe was meant for him. Shattered by his daughters sudden death, Craven is looking for answers, taking on, or down anything or anyone who gets in his way.
 Sitting in-between last years political drama ‘State of Play’ (another remake of a successful BBC drama) and the action heavy ‘Taken’ Campbell has created the sort of edge of your seat thriller you’d expect from the director who rejuvenated the bond franchise with Casino Royale, indeed the Edge of Darkness is very much the film Casino Royale would have been if you’d removed all the high tech gadgets and ‘Bond girls’ that the franchise demands. Certainly a very well made Saturday night popcorn movie. It certainly won’t stick in your memory, or affect you too deeply (after all were very familiar with the concept that the government maybe hiding a few secrets here or there.) but as a piece of celluloid escapism it works wonderfully.
Homer Simpson: Movies aren’t stupid. They fill us with romance and
  hatred and revenge fantasies. Lethal Weapon showed us that suicide
  is funny.

Mel Gibson: That really wasn’t my intention.

Homer Simpson: Before Lethal Weapon 2, I never thought there could be
  a bomb in my toilet, but now I check every time.

Marge Simpson: It’s true. He does.

Mel Gibson:  Do movies mean that much to you, Homer?

Homer Simpson:  They’re my only escape from the drudgery of work and

Patrick Gamble


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