Mel Gibson is one of my four all time greatest actors. The list includes Michael Douglas, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and Mel Gibson. This selection might be surprising but try to think back to the late nineties when each of these stars ruled the movie stratosphere. If you would like to compare Thomas Jane or Paul Walker or Gerard Butler to them go ahead but it will likely prove you are much younger than I am or that you hold a personal grievance against the actors (I wrote the word likely for a reason). Movies are great now on account of technology and air brushing but when you want real acting go watch Mel at the megaplex.
Having missed by my calculation over five years on the silver screen, Mel Gibson has not missed a beat. From the opening credits to the final moving scene he is cogent. One does not realize what they miss until it is gone, and all prejudice aside, Mel is what we have been missing.
Edge of Darkness is about a Boston P.D. detective whose daughter he rarely sees comes home to be with him for reasons unknown. They are overjoyed to see one another. For the few moments of their reunion she vomits bile and drips blood from her nose. Being a concerned parent but also a detective, Mel is able to squash the overbearing father and remain patient so that his daughter would open up. That is thirty years of police training! As they decide to venture out of the house in the rain, the instant they reach the staircase a car drives by and his daughter is gunned down with a shotgun. She immediately dies in a bloody heap and is unable to tell her father what has transpired.
At first Mel believes the gunshot was a misfire intended for him. But, once he starts digging it becomes obvious his daughter, whom he barely knew but loved more than anything in the world, had become involved with something dangerous. She worked for a nuclear weapons facility, but a private one, not a federal institution. Once he contacts his daughter’s boyfriend who is scared to death of talking, Mel is convinced a conspiracy is in the making.
This may sound disappointing or cheap, but detailing the rest of the storyline would inevitably be a complete spoiler. The movie contains one twist after another. There is the standard twist, the non-standard twist, and a dozen other turns that you would never see coming. It is unpredictable throughout. I predicted only one character turn successfully.
Mel Gibson deserves an Oscar, a Golden Globe, an Emmy and damn it, give that man a Grammy too. Edge of Darkness is the most exciting movie I have watched in probably a decade. The murders and gunshots and vicious beatings are unlike anything ever seen on screen. It makes most war movies look tame. The suspense might literally kill you. If not, the flawless acting (forgiving Mel for having a barely passable Boston accent) might finish the job. Telling the tale of an emotionally destroyed father left with nothing to lose, a beautiful daughter gunned down in the prime of her life, and a private corporation’s sinister behavior sounds easier than it is. The script reminds me of a Dennis Lehane novel only better and far more suspenseful. Not enough can be said about Mel’s foray back into our theaters and dare I say, our hearts and collective memory.
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