January 29, 2010

Edge of Darkness & The Return of Mel Gibson The Vengeful Badass

Edgah of Dahhhhknass Brah

The new film "Edge of Darkness" is one bloody welcome back party for all folks involved. Of course, it's a welcoming back party for Mr. Gibson who is very comfortable in his role as badass Boston cop Craven (what a cool name). Yet,  Mr. Gibson is far from the only good thing going on with the film. The direction, by the underrated and almost transparent director Martin Campbell is tight, focused, and thrilling. And finally it's a great ensemble thriller, full of actors who always deliver the goods but have never really gotten the recognition they deserve.

The big story regarding the film is Mel Gibson, and don't worry he doesn't disappoint. When looking at his body of work, it's clear he's the most happy when playing psychos with nothing to lose and large list of people to kill. The only thing that's different here is after he kills someone, he's out of breath and has to lie down (he literally is getting too old for this shit). At the start when he's playing the caring Father, he's a little hard to buy, it's almost like Mel as an actor is waiting till he gets to start throwing suckas around. But don't worry, once he does start regulating, he does it well, Warren G and Nate Dogg style.

As the viewer, there is one man to thank for the action to be so satisfying: director Martin Campbell. While many people don't know his name, his movies read like a list of action classics: Casino Royale Mask of Zorro, and Goldeneye. He works with cinematographer Phil Meheux to create environments full of restrained colors and pale characters (which totally reflect the tone of the piece brah). Boston does not come across as some yuppie city here, it's dark full of shady folks with souls hovering on the edge of uh, well you know.

But a film like this does needs actors who can handle the material, and Campbell has assembled a fine team. Danny Huston from "Children of Men" & "The Constant Gardner" absolutely destroys every scene, seeping evil and menace like Satan himself. Ray Winstone who replaced Robert De Niro after Robert couldn't learn his lines, also shines as a shady government fixer. All in all it's an ensemble cast doing strong work.

"Edge of Darkness" is not "Taken" in Boston, it's a slow burning hyper realistic thriller that satisfies in the strength of it's payoffs. This isn't some slam damn action movie with an pounding sequence every 10 minutes (that would be Mel's new movie: "Cold Warrior"), it's a rewarding thriller that grabs you, pulls you to the precipice, and then reminds you that no one does vengeance like good ol Melly Mel.

1 comment:

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