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Friday, February 26, 2010

Edge of Darkness (2010)

If you were looking for Edge of Darkness to be as entertaining as last year's vengeful father thriller Taken you will be sorely disappointed. Surely that was the goal for Warner Bros. as it aims to take advantage of the exact same release date that earned Taken nearly $150 million at last year's domestic box-office. However, WB shouldn't be on the lookout for a similar return as the "from the director of Casino Royale" tagline and what's left of Mel Gibson's star power is sure to only grant this film a modest opening weekend as word-of-mouth won't be strong.

Written by the same man that turned the Hong Kong thriller "Infernal Affairs" into the Boston area crime drama The Departed, William Monahan, this time, adapts the 1985 BBC miniseries of the same name into another Boston adventure and while the accents are over-cooked and obvious so are the mundane plot twists.

Every move of this thing is telegraphed and while Mel investigates, if you aren't willing to talk he's likely to bash your face in. Occasionally he'll only ask a name before smashing some guy in the nose and taking him for a tumble down a hill. Edge of Darkness is a beat-'em-over-the-head thriller that's trying way too hard to be smart and comes off just plain dumb. It's a film ripe for an episode of "Mystery Science Theater" as a laugh track would have made the third act more tolerable.

Director Martin Campbell has proven over time he can churn out a good actioner as evidenced by Casino Royale, GoldenEye (sort of) and Mask of Zorro, but this film just sits there — lifeless from the start to the point you begin questioning each scene rather than absorbing them. Such as how did that car know when she was going to open that door? Why didn't they just kill him in the first place? Lord knows had they shot both Thomas and Emma in the opening act the audience would have been saved from the tedium that followed.