By: Ashley Ricks
When the trailer for Edge of Darkness plays on TV what are the first words that cross your mind? Probably thriller, suspense, and blood; well, that’s exactly what you get.
After almost a decade of being off the big screen, Mel Gibson gives a star performance portraying Thomas Craven, a man on a mission. As he waits for his daughter, played by Bojana Nocakovic, to arrive at the airport, he has flashes of his adorable little girl dancing in the sand and splashing in the water. But the ride home shows the distance between Emma and Thomas Craven that has grown over the years. She seems weak and fragile in the car; after stopping for groceries, her father finds her leaning beside the car vomiting. Just minutes later as they begin to make supper, her sickness turns for the worse; she coughs up blood. As they try to rush out the door she says “I have to tell you something.” What happens next comes in a flash; they open the door, a man yells “Craven!” and a father loses his daughter in a matter of seconds.
Of course with his being a Boston Homicide Detective, most assume he was the original target. But his years of paternal and detective instincts kick in and he remembers the six words his daughter said to him before her death. He knew he was not the intentional target. As he begins his personal investigation, he goes to the ends of the earth to bring justice to his daughter’s death. As he says “[he is] a man with nothing to lose.”
He quickly discovers that his daughter wasn’t any typical, underpaid intern at a scientific research center. Jack Bennett (Danny Huston) is head of the research at the institute where Emma worked. Bennett swears that no nuclear weapons were or are made at the center, but Craven is suspicious. His suspicion is only pressed further when Bennet asks what it “really feels like” to see a loved one die.
We soon meet Jedburgh, played by London native Ray Winstone, a government “clean up” man. He comes out of nowhere, and literally shows up in Craven’s backyard unseen. But as they size each other up, a certain respect is shown between one another. They are both men with nothing to lose, and will do anything to complete their missions.
As the investigation continues, Mr. Craven comes in contact with people who were in his late daughter’s life, including her boyfriend and friend/coworker. Both are painfully paranoid and try not to say too much. But Emma’s friend breaks down and tells her father everything, even giving him a personalized video Emma had made. The video glued together the pieces of stories Mr. Craven had gathered.
With all of the above said, I give this movie three stars; one for Mel Gibson’s incredible performance, another for the twists, and a last because honestly, the movie was just outright good. I’m lacking the two last stars for the unnecessary amount of blood (I could have gone without seeing Emma’s organs), and the back-and-forth moments that take just a minute for someone to process.
The movie kept me on the edge of my seat; eyes squinted from suspense, and heart racing waiting for the next explosion of events to happen.