Edge of Darkness | Film Reviews | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Edge of Darkness 

Grief Counseling: The sizzle over-cooks the steak in Edge of Darkness.

Pin It
Edge of Darkness
  • Edge of Darkness

Perhaps the spate of “vengeful parent” thrillers over the past months—Taken, Law Abiding Citizen, the new Edge of Darkness—is a cinematic manifestation of our collective sense of helplessness in the face of seemingly insurmountable national and international crises. Or maybe I’m just over-thinking something fairly simple.

That precise malady seems to have struck the makers of Edge of Darkness, who miscalculate what can make this type of movie so appealing. Emerging from seclusion for his first mainstream starring role in eight years, Mel Gibson plays Tommy Craven, a Boston police detective whose only love outside of his work is his daughter Emma (Bojana Novokovic), a research assistant at a nuclear facility. While visiting Tommy, Emma is gunned-down outside his house—the initial suspicion is that it was a disgruntled criminal’s attempt on Tommy gone wrong. But as Tommy investigates Emma’s personal and professional life, he realizes that she may have had more dangerous enemies than he ever had.

Adapting a six-part 1980s British mini-series, screenwriters William Monahan (The Departed) and Andrew Bovell have to cram a lot of conspiracy-building content into two hours. There’s Emma’s chilly, soulless boss (chilly, soulless Danny Huston), a mysterious government “fixer” (Ray Winstone), a possibly corrupt U.S. senator (Damian Young) and a group of anti-corporate activists—it all starts to feel so densely packed that you get the feeling nobody can quite keep up with the details.

And in truth, you probably shouldn’t have had to. Director Martin Campbell pauses at times to focus on Craven being haunted by flashbacks and whispers of Emma’s voice, his grief becoming almost tangible. Compared to that emotion, the wranglings to cover things up are merely a distraction—the sizzle that over-cooks the steak.



Mel Gibson, Danny Huston, Ray Winstone
Rated R

Pin It

Speaking of...

  • Letters to Juliet

    True Love: Letters to Juliet is more than a sunny, romantic travelogue.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Ajami

    Crash Course: Ajami creates a vivid, authentic world that’s bleak but not oppressive.
    • Apr 28, 2010
  • The Losers

    The Also-Team: Every other minute of The Losers is stuff you’ve seen before.
    • Apr 21, 2010
  • More »

More by Scott Renshaw

Latest in Film Reviews

  • Not All ...

    Men gets a bit too smug about its metaphorical gender politics.
    • May 18, 2022
  • More Than a Feeling

    Memoria offers the kind of cinematic experience you have to decide to feel, rather than "solve."
    • May 11, 2022
  • Army of Strangeness

    Sam Raimi returns to his Evil Dead roots in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
    • May 4, 2022
  • More »

© 2022 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation