I saw Edge of Darkness Friday night.
You know, as many movies as I see in a year, I still wish I had time to see more. Especially right now when there are so many great films out. And, this is one of them.
I don’t read thrillers much or mysteries, but I do love a good mystery/thriller movie. That’s what this is, a thriller.
Edge of Night stars Mel Gibson as, Thomas Craven, a Boston Police detective who is a widower who lives for the job, and his adult daughter. The movie opens with Gibson’s character picking her up from the train as she’s coming home for a visit. Before they can enjoy each other, though, she starts to get violently ill, vomiting blood and hemorrhaging blood from her nose. As they leave out the front door to rush to the hospital, a masked man guns down the young woman. It’s assumed that he was actually after Craven for some old case, but not everything is what it may seem on the surface.
His daughter worked for a contractor with a government security contract, but she won’t talk about it because of her contract, not even to her father. So, after she’s killed and things start to point toward something not on the up-and-up, one of the places he goes to try and figure things out is his daughter’s work. Turns out they make radioactive ordinance, and other things, for the U.S. government. They also seem to be run by a psychotic megalomaniac who’s so narcissistic and lacking in empathy that Craven is suspicious of him almost on sight.
Before Craven gets too far into his investigation, he’s approached by an unidentified agent who steers him toward key people and gives him insightful advice about how to proceed. It’s unclear who’s side this man is on, pretty much throughout the movie, even through the very end. It is clear, however, that he’s dangerous, but still surprisingly moral, considering the other people involved in mystery.
It turns out Craven’s daughter was suspicious that something wasn’t right at her company and, after exhausting all legal avenues open to her, hooks up with a crazy environmental group who try to expose dangerous and illegal goings there. She helps them sneak into the labs where she works so they can gather the evidence they need to bring her employer to justice. The only problem is, they don’t survive the attempt.
Naturally, this all comes out during Craven’s investigation and, as a father trying to avenge his deceased daughter, he pulls out all the stops and crosses all barriers to get the answers he needs. That’s where the action comes in.
Now, to tell you more might ruin the plot, but it’s a living, breathing conspiracy that goes all the way up. Craven is just a Boston cop with nothing left to lose who goes out looking for answers, and Mel Gibson plays him well. There is an interesting cast of characters, each with their own agendas, and each played by interesting actors. The end result is a fast-paced, intriguing and action-packed film. It does keep you guessing, though not on all the points, and yes, even I was surprised by the ending. I won’t go into details, so that the film still works for you, but, rest assured, the people who need to be punished are, and justice is served, after a fashion.
The acting is good, solid, no-nonsense stuff and everyone is on their game in this one. It’s gritty and violent, but it’s about a man seeking justice above all things. A man driven to solve the murder of his only daughter and the center of his life. It grips you and doesn’t let you go until the credits roll.
Probably not in the top ten films of the decade, but a good, solid film well worth getting out to see. Gibson is really good as the hardened cop, even if he seemed to have a bit of a problem maintaining that Boston accent. I suppose we can forgive an Australian for not being all that great at a very specific American regional accent. And, really, that’s the weakest part of the film. Everything else, well, just works.
So, if you’ve got the time, Edge of Night is definitely worth seeing.