MOVIE REVIEW: Gibson brings the pain in ‘Edge of Darkness’

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

Mel Gibson made his reputation by playing guys who know how to solve a problem with a well-placed bullet.
From “Mad Max” to the “Lethal Weapon” movies, Gibson’s characters are at their best when unleashing righteous vengeance on the bad guys.
He’s back to form in “Edge of Darkness.” He plays Thomas Craven, a button-down police detective who’s eagerly anticipating a visit from his daughter, Emma (Bojana Novakovic).
The reunion comes to a premature and violent conclusion when Emma is shot on the front porch of Craven’s home. At first, the police think the shotgun blast was meant for Craven.
The grieving father digs into the case, and bodies start to pile up. He follows the trail to Emma’s workplace, a defense contractor for the government.
Will Craven survive to make the bad guys pay? If you have to ask, you haven’t been paying attention.
There was a pretty good movie buried in “Edge of Darkness.” Gibson is solid, and there are a series of effective flashbacks that add emotional punch. In addition, Ray Winstone does fine, nuanced work as a CIA operative who’s experiencing doubts about the things he’s asked to do.
But the story gets muddled by extra characters and odd plot shifts. Many of my complaints probably can be traced to the fact that the movie is based on a six-episode British TV show from the 1980s.
It must have been difficult to cram all of that story into a single movie. I’m willing to bet the series, also called “Edge of Darkness,” was a good one.
There are satisfying gunshots that clear up some confused plot points, and the ending carried unexpected emotional weight.
Still, a lot of stuff in “Edge of Darkness” didn’t make much narrative sense. For instance, a man so shaky that he can barely stand shouldn’t make every shot he takes.
I give “Edge of Darkness” a C plus.
It’s showing at the Cinemark in Tupelo, as well as Malcos in Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, and Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville.

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