Posts Tagged ‘edge of darkness

26
Feb
10

Movie Review: Edge of Darkness

It must be the “conspiracy” edge of darkness…

Starring Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic. Directed by Martin Campbell. Based on the British TV series of the same name created by Troy Kennedy-Martin

Dry, somewhat disjointed, but it picks up by the end.

Mel Gibson returns to headlining a film with this cinematic remake of the 1995 BBC TV series, “Edge of Darkness.” Gibson is Boston police detective Thomas Craven, a man who lives alone and on one particular weekend is waiting for his daughter Emma (Novakovic) to arrive. Emma goes to college and is a research assistant at a company called Northmoor. She doesn’t tell him exactly what she does except to say “I’m a glorified lab assistant.” Thomas is fine with that and things are going swimmingly until Emma pukes into an empty soup bowl and her nose begins bleeding. As they rush out of the house to go to the hospital a car pulls up and a guy in a mask shouts “CRAVEN!” before using a double-barreled shotgun to blast a hole through her chest. She flies backwards through the front door, the car peels off, and Thomas is left with his only daughter now dead.

Partners, friends, and other officers arrive on the scene and Craven is in a place he doesn’t want to be: the victim of a crime. His friend Whitehouse (Jay O. Sanders) tries to comfort him, saying that the Department will treat it as an “officer involved” incident. They expect him to take some time off for grieving purposes and they want to run through every file he has, spinning the idea that the gunman was aiming for Thomas instead of his daughter. Not believing that for a second, Craven goes out for answers with a side of vengeance.

Piece by piece we get to know Emma as Thomas gets to know the daughter he thought he knew. She worked for a company called Northmoor. At some point she became involved with a group of activists and had helped them get into, and out of, Northmoor. What Northmoor was doing and why, and how his daughter got involved in any of it, is the cloud of mystery Thomas is flying through.

Craven’s world is slowly dragged into the “conspiracy sphere”: bugged rooms, paranoid people, sharp dressed agents in SUV’s with tinted windows, etc (even though Mel starred in a film called “Conspiracy Theory,” he was relatively clueless in this one). Thomas traces a 9mm his daughter was carrying to her boyfriend Burnham (Shawn Roberts) who gives Thomas his daughter’s personal belongings duffle bag. Checking out her apartment he finds it broken into and her computer taken. Her best friend Melissa talks with him about Emma getting involved with the activists. She’s promptly killed after.

Enter Jedburgh (Winstone). He’s the guy that “stops people from connecting Point A to Point B,”; hired hitman, assassin, what-have-you. Jedburgh is brought in to keep tabs on Thomas Craven for Northmoor because Craven is the father of the girl considered a “security risk.” Thomas and Jedburgh meet, Jedburgh gives him an idea of who he is, Craven accepts this and continues doing what he does.

And finally the villain behind it all: Jack Bennett (Huston). Bennett is the head of Northmoor which not only keeps stock of items used for nuclear weaponry but its R&D division pumps money into the Massachusetts economy, and that’s just on paper. What the public doesn’t know and what we come to learn is that Northmoor is developing nuclear arms for foreign countries under their specs. Also, they gave “irradiated gas” to the activists and poisoned Emma Craven. Thomas is running out of options and against the clock as he tries putting the pieces together and exposing those who were complicit in his daughter’s death.

The movie is a long, slow train that heads for what could be called a “slambang” end. All the clues that are laid in front of us for the first hour slowly begin paying off and when the body count begins to rise, we see the “full extent of the conspiracy.” There are several twists and turns and by the end everyone dies. Everyone. (See also: “Hamlet,” “The Departed”)

Director Martin Campbell decided to re-adapt his 80’s British show in an American environment, choosing Boston because of its English and Irish influences. Campbell is known for previous drama/action movies such as “The Mask of Zorro,” and “Vertical Limit,” as well as the James Bond movies, “GoldenEye,” and “Casino Royale.” While “Edge of Darkness” does contain brutal realism within its violence (there are no pre-meditated vengeance camera shots) the acts are SUDDEN and the audience isn’t prepared, giving a sense of realism. Another plus for the movie is the fact that Campbell made Gibson’s character emote through most of the range of human emotions, even though his character is naïve (a Boston cop not knowing about conspiracy? Really?)

The major flaw for this film is the script. Watching it feels like someone edited the breathing room out of a TV show or rather constructed a film out of the best parts of one and structurally it’s apparent. According to reports the initial script had to be re-written to make it more “action oriented” and in doing so there’s a slapdash feeling to the pacing of scenes. The British sensibilities added to the story (the hitman confronting Craven, the voice of his daughter directing him to find justice) speak more to British films than American ones and could’ve been left out.

Can I honestly recommend this one? As long as you realize that it’s not the action packed movie advertised to you (nor is it really a psychological drama), you’re good to go. I would suggest matinee or the dollar theatre.

My grade: B-

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06
Jan
10

January Movie Release Schedule

“Daybreakers” – 2017. A plague has changed most of the human race into vampires, which are threatened with a dwindling blood supply. Meanwhile a researcher (Ethan Hawke) struggles to find a way to save the human race. Opens January 8, 2010

“Leap Year” – Amy Adams to follow an Irish tradition that allows women to propose to men on Feb. 29th and the man has to say “yes.” So, she follows her boyfriend to Dublin to do so but falls in love with someone else. Opens January 8, 2010

“Youth in Revolt” – Michael Cera is a teenager who falls for the girl of his dreams and develops a split personality who creates havoc. Wasn’t this “Fight Club?” Also stars Ray Liotta, Steve Buscemi, M. Emmet Walsh, Justin Long, and Fred Willard. Opens January 8, 2010

“The Book of Eli” – Denzel Washington is a lone man who is trying to bring society redemption through knowledge culmed from the aforementioned book. Gary Oldman is the sheriff of a small town determined to take the book. Opens January 15, 2010

“The Lovely Bones” – Peter Jackson (“LOTR,” “King Kong”) movie based on the Alice Sebold novel about a girl who views life after death –literally. Stars Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Stanley Tucci, and Susan Sarandon. Opens January 15, 2010

“The Spy Next Door” – Jackie Chan babysits some kids when one of them downloads a secret code. Suddenly he’s forced to fend off secret agents. Also stars George Lopez and Billy Ray Cyrus. Opens January 15, 2010

“Creation” – Paul Bettany is Charles Darwin as he struggles between his scientific theories and his religious wife. Opens January 22, 2010

“Extraordinary Measures” – Brendan Fraser is a corporate up-and-comer who finds that his two kids have a fatal disease. He walks away from it all and teams up with an unconventional, underappreciated scientist (Harrison Ford) to create a bio-tech company focused on making a life-saving drug. Opens January 22, 2010

“Legion” – Paul Bettany is an archangel trying to save humanity after God gives up on it and sends an army of angels to begin the apocalypse. Mankind’s future rests on a woman about t give birth to a child who will be the next Christ. Also stars Dennis Quaid and Tyrese Gibson. Opens January 22, 2010

“The Tooth Fairy” – Dwayne Johnson is a hockey player that brutalizes on the field as well as off. One night he’s given a new charge: being a tooth fairy. Also stars Julie Andrews. Opens January 22, 2010

“Edge of Darkness” – Mel Gibson is a cop whose daughter’s death is cover-up by the government. He teams with a hit man (Ray Winstone) and sets out to avenge her death. Opens January 29, 2010

“When in Rome” – Kristen Bell is disillusioned with romance. While on a trip to Rome she plucks a coin from a fountain, suddenly bringing her suitors. But whose love is for real? Opens January 29, 2010

27
Nov
09

Movie News and Views November 27, 2009 Trailer Edition

“Edge of Darkness” – Mel Gibson is a cop whose daughter’s death is cover-up by the government. He teams with a hit man (Ray Winstone) and sets out to avenge her death. Opens January 29, 2010

“Dear John” – Channing Tatum is a young soldier who, one summer, falls for Amanda Seyfried. The write each other over the next seven years as he takes increasingly dangerous missions. Opens February 5, 2010

“Remember Me” – “Twilight” brooder Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin in a story about two people who fall in love amidst their family tragedies. Also stars Pierce Brosnan and Chris Cooper. Opens March 12, 2010

“Clash of the Titans” – Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Ralph Fiennes, and Liam Neeson star in this remake of the 80’s tribute to Ray Harryhausen and Greek mythology. Opens March 26, 2010

“How to Train Your Dragon” – Based on the Cressida Cowell children’s book about a Viking kid who adopts a scrawny, toothless dragon. Opens March 26, 2010

“Babies” – The babies are coming! Documentary tracking four babies from different spots around the world from birth to their first steps. Opens April 16, 2010

“Kick-Ass” – Based on the Marvel Comic about a high school dweeb who decides to become a superhero despite the fact that he has no special powers or abilities. Trouble arises when he meets real bad guys with real bullets. Opens April 16, 2010

“Date Night” – Steve Carell and Tina Fey are the Fosters, a married couple with little private time. They schedule a “date night” and upon taking someone else’s dinner reservations find themselves mixed-up with the wrong people. Also stars James Franco, Mila Kunis, and Mark Wahlberg. Opens April 9, 2010

“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” – Jake Gyllenhaal plays the title character in a movie based on the popular video game. Also stars Gemma Arterton, Alfred Molina, and Ben Kingsley. Opens May 28, 2010

“Grown Ups” – Adam Sandler, David Spade, Kevin James, Chris Rock, and Rob Schneider in a comedy about a group of friends coming together years later. Opens June 25, 2010

“Despicable Me” – Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is the World’s #2 Supervillain with dreams of world domination and stealing the moon. His plans are interrupted when he meets three orphaned girls who look up to him to be a potential dad. Also starring the voices of Jason Segel, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, and Danny McBride. Opens July 9, 2010

“The Expendables” – Sly Stallone and Company are mercenaries on a mission to overthrow a South American dictator. Also stars Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Brittany Murphy, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, and Bruce Willis. I’ve also heard that Ah-nuld is in it… Opens August 20, 2010