Edge Of Darkness DVD Review And Giveaway

There’s a certain old school charm about Edge of Darkness, which is otherwise a rather run of the mill suspense “thriller.” Mel Gibson is Thomas Craven, a Boston detective with a lot of years on the force, and less than ten minutes into the film his daughter is gunned down while standing right next to him, on his own front porch.

It’s pretty easy to assume, especially since the gunman yelled, “Craven,” before firing, that the senior Craven was the target, but the investigation doesn’t seem to lead in that direction. Craven discovers that his daughter was mixed up in something pretty big, and his investigation takes him through a bizarre mystery, and none of it seems to make a lot of sense.

It’s a film that reminds of several classics, and moreover an overall theory from an earlier time in filmcraft, but it clearly wears a new skin. That makes sense, because it’s the reworking of Director Martin Campbell‘s television effort of the same name which aired in 1985.

Long before Campbell directed GoldenEye, The Mask of Zorro, and Casino Royale, he worked on a lot of things that were, frankly, a lot cooler. Things like this, and Reilly: Ace of Spies, just to name two. We’re moving back toward that level of direction here, which delivers suspense and thrills in a much more substantial way, and leaves off the flash.

Gibson is better than he’s been in quite some time, putting together a thoroughly believable cop, father, and father with an interesting relationship with his daughter. It’s a cunningly envisioned, and executed, balance between hunting and losing it, and there’s something refreshing about how the movie seems almost to nod at its own genre, and say, “Bull… this is how things would really go down.”

Maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t, but it feels like that sort of effort. When Craven meets up with a cleaner hired by the powers that be, aka the bad guys, it’s a meeting between two guys who know the score. When Craven says, “I’m not going to arrest anyone,” it’s dialog to proud of. The big line from the clips is when Craven says, “I’m the guy with nothing to lose,” and that’s something that has been missing from a lot of similar stories, even those that sort of plays at a similar idea.

Gibson pulls that off quite well, though he perhaps suffers somewhat from having to carry the entire film, and the updated gumshoe role seems tailor-made for him.

For fans of mystery and suspense, Edge of Darkness is a perfect evening killer, and it’s unlikely to be found too disappointing by anyone. That said, the last ten minutes feel a lot more like a throwaway than the work of someone with more than twenty years invested in the story. Almost the kind of turns that will leave you feeling like all that has come before has been negated (and it probably will for some), the resolution is disappointing to say the least, and I would probably give the film a full star more if not for the self-defeating end.

The film’s greatest asset is probably the lack of expectation most will go into it with, and though it is easily above-average and sufficiently entertaining, it needs that boost.


The DVD release comes with only a few additional/alternate scenes. I’d actually include most of what you get here if possible, which makes it a good bonus, but not really a tremendous addition in value.

Own it on Blu-Ray and DVD today!

Are You Screening?

Marc Eastman
Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

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