Like milk that has gone bad, a weak premise and mediocre acting is all it takes to leave a sour taste in your mouth after watching this debacle of a film. “Edge of Darkness” will leave you not on the edge of your seat, but on the edge of consciousness.
Homicide detective Thomas Craven, played by Mel Gibson (“Braveheart”), investigates the death of his daughter, Emma. Craven uncovers secrets about her life, as well as a corporate cover up involving Emma’s government internship.
It has been eight years since we last saw the great Gibson onscreen since his 2002 thriller, “Signs.” You can tell that the rust is there by his mediocre performance in this film. At times, it was difficult to make out the words that Gibson was saying. Pulling off the Boston accent can be difficult at times, and although Gibson did a decent job, there were a few moments when it sounded as if he was speaking too low or even mumbled a bit.
Gibson did a great job behind the camera as a director when he was not onscreen as an actor. Maybe he just does not have the same spark he did as a thespian, but his success as a filmmaker shows that he may be better behind the scenes.
The problem with “Edge of Darkness” is that the plot is dull and unoriginal, almost as if it was a one-shot deal with one idea that had a beginning, middle and end, with no twists that would make the film much more interesting. It seems as if all of the good moments in the film were made for the trailer. Although a few of those scenes make you jump with surprise, the film altogether did not turn out to be all that enjoyable.
It fails to go in depth with the characters involved in the death of Craven’s daughter. The movie focuses on Gibson finding the person responsible for her death instead of finding major clues that would shed some light on why she was killed.
The plot seems unrealistic from beginning to end, because even though Craven wanted justice for his daughter’s death, the reality is that you cannot go around killing and brutally bashing people with your fists without any warrants.
Overall, “Edge of Darkness” was a snoozer, and a film that picks up slowly. When it does reach its peak, it quickly loses its luster, making it uninteresting and not likeable. As for Gibson, his success as an actor will be recognized and cherished for his previous works, but it will be forgotten pretty quickly during this one.
If milk has a funny smell or tastes sour, throw it away. As the old saying goes, you live and you learn.