Combustible Celluloid
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With: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic, Shawn Roberts, David Aaron Baker, Jay O. Sanders, Denis O'Hare, Damian Young, Caterina Scorsone, Frank Grillo, Wayne Duvall, Gbenga Akinnagbe
Written by: William Monahan, Andrew Bovell, based on a mini-series by Troy Kennedy-Martin
Directed by: Martin Campbell
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence and language
Running Time: 117
Date: 01/28/2010

Edge of Darkness (2010)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Nukes and Crannies

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Emma Craven (Bojana Novakovic), who works as an intern at a security research compound, comes home to Boston for a visit with her beloved dad, police detective Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson). Before they even get settled Emma is shot and killed on Thomas' front porch. The police think Thomas was the target, but his own investigation leads much higher up. He learns that Emma was about to turn whistleblower against her company, but why? And how can just one cop stand up against an entire web of corruption that includes a corporate CEO (Danny Huston), a U.S. Senator (Damian Young) and a mysterious secret agent called Jedburgh (Ray Winstone)?

The talented genre director Martin Campbell (The Mask of Zorro, Casino Royale) steps up to adapt a BBC mini-series he worked on in 1985, and the result feels condensed and convoluted, with too many cheap short cuts to tie things together. It's a combination of the absurd, as it deals with cartoonish villains with cartoonish plans, and grim, as it follows the murder of the hero's daughter, and several other gruesome, violent deaths.

The thrills are few and far between, and the rest of the movie consists of complex, but not particularly clever, dialogue. Ray Winstone's character is used to fill in the blanks, but the movie is never sure if he is a mysterious, all-knowing outsider, or just another link in the chain. Gibson (with a Boston accent) is very good in the lead role, and his scenes with Winstone make for some of the movie's most enjoyable moments. But as the character spins more and more violently out of control, the movie seems to go with him.

Blu-Ray Details: Warner Home Video's Blu-Ray disc comes mastered in a 2.35:1 widescreen image, sparkling clean, with optional Spanish & French audio tracks and optional subtitles. It also includes a DVD copy and a digital copy (which expires in May of 2011). Extras include 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes and about 5 minutes of deleted scenes. There's more stuff in the BD-Live.

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