Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
I wouldn’t have this as a poster. It’s just to blah. The image of Mel welding the gun doesn’t do the movie justice. It’s better than it’s being presented, that’s for sure. I feel like ditching the menu comments on Blu-Ray discs. There’s nothing exciting or interesting with menus these days. This one is designed to the flick, but that’s not screaming creativity.
- Focus Point Featurettes – There are a lot of featurettes that go behind the scenes, interviews with cast and crew, and a good coverage of how and why the movie was made. It’s all well produced but not too packaged to be interesting. I didn’t know this movie was based on a BBC series from the 80’s so that was a bonus learnin’ thing 🙂
- Additional/Alternate Scenes – There are only a couple of these little scenes, and they wouldn’t have lent much to the movie, but they are worth watching to add just that little bit more about the characters and events unfolding in the story.
- DVD Version Of The Movie – It’s a DVD, wow.
- Digital Copy – It’s a digital copy.
The Movie: 7/10
I got my quilt, sat in my comfy movie chair, the lights went down and I settled in for a Saturday afternoon flick. The only thing I knew about Edge of Darkness was that it stars Mel Gibson and at some point he would have a gun in his hand. This massive amount of information was from my quick glance at the box. That’s how interested I was in the movie overall. I would say I was just ready for a movie, any movie, and this happened to be on the marquee for the week. My neutrality was going to be defunked because this movie is actually pretty good.
It’s a story of a father and daughter thrust into a very dynamic situation. There is a big corporation, government cover ups, corruption, violence, political and ethical activism. It all sounds like a heavy handed and maybe bloated plot, but to be perfectly honest, it’s paced, edited, written, acted, directed, and otherwise put together in a way that makes it an extremly satisfying, action packed, and even a bit of an emotional thriller of sorts.
Gibson is quite restrained and holds back a lot to portray this straight and narrow aging cop. His daughter and her 20-something friends are all convincing and hold their own up against the mighty Hollywood strongman. There is enough movement in the story to keep me interested from scene to scene, and that’s saying a lot when it comes to some of these political/business/crime thrillers. They can be mushed together with so much twisting and turning it’s lost on me, but Edge of Darkness all fell into place as each twist, every character choice, and all the big action sequences played through.
There is one really well done fight scene. it’s the kind of quality stunt scene that reminds me of Matt Damon in the original Bourne movie. The fight with the guy in the apartment is so awesome. It’s the kind of fight scene that’s intense and almost viceral, not just like a dance that looks like a fight scene. I like a good knuckle to jaw fight in a movie when it’s done well. Even aging Mel handled it quite well.
This movie looks really good. It’s dark and brooding but not so much that it’s overwhelming. The subject matter isn’t cheery and light so it’s a good atmosphere to keep the vibe of serious, powerful, dark forces at work. Not like wizards and shit, not that kind of dark forces, but the whole power hungry business man, corrupt politician, stuff like that.
I say this movie has only a hint of whatever it is that makes it not hit my sweet spot for watching a totally satisfying movie. I’m not sure what it is, or why it is, but even though I really did like it, enjoyed the whole thing, sat on the edge of my seat (while reclined in my movie chair wrapped in my quilt), and felt quite entertained through the whole thing, I can’t say it had the impact of movies like say, True Romance, Michael Clayton, or something like A Serious Man. These aren’t all the same type of movie, of course, but they are all dramatic, some action, lots of character developement and that intangible goodness that keeps them swimming around in my head.
Edge of Darkness is a great weekend flick, so grab that quilt, get in the comfy chair, pop that corn and dig in for Mel Gibson’s return to the movies….and then watch Lethal Weapon just for a laugh at how Mel has changed through the years.
Audio & Video: 8/10 (By Ascully)
Director of Photography Phil Meheux uses a very simple style for Edge Of Darkness that Warner’s deftly executed 1080P/VC1 transfer handles with ease. Blacks are very black (this is a dark movie tonely and in it’s presentation) and contrast and flesh tones never look odd or off. I really like the way Meheux strips away most of the shots to leave you with the bare essentials. This allows you to focus on Gibson’s character who is the star of the show anyway.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track won’t win any awards for sound design but is presented well, this is a quiet movie with lots of brooding scenes. Some of the actors almost mumble lines under there breath but you can always can hear what they are saying thanks to the crisp soundtrack. There are very few action scenes in the movie but when Gibson gets into a fight or the occasional car wreck the rear speakers spring to life just as they should. The movie is scored by Howard Shore and it’s fairly invisible. I think that means he did his job well in this expertly designed character piece as a more rousing memorable score might have taken away from the performances.
Overall, I really liked Edge Of Darkness. It keeps you guessing has some genuine moments of surprise and is a great return to form for Mel Gibson. Love him or hate him it’s good to have his expert acting back on the screen after all these years.
I did enjoy this movie. It’s got that satisfying substance I can’t ever really define. That makes it worth watching and recommending, I just can’t say it needs to be on my shelf forever. It would make a great addition to a drama, thriller, action weekend of popcorn eating and movie watching. The extras are pretty darn good and if you are a Mel Gibson lover, you will own it no matter what I say.
Overall Score 7/10