The Edge Of Darkness: Welcome Back Mel Gibson, Welcome Back
I hope everyone enjoyed Championship Sunday two weeks ago. For me it was great to watch Peyton Manning solve the Jets mid-game and dissect their heavily vaunted defense and see Haitian native Colts receiver Pierre Garcon drape the Haitian flag over the AFC trophy. Also, it was awesome to see the New Orleans Saints finally reach the Super Bowl for the first time ever and help the city of New Orleans emotionally rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. That, by the way is one of the biggest reclamation projects going right now and will lead to one of the highest rated Super Bowl's ever why you ask?
Reclamation projects are huge! The media loves to write about movie stars who experienced a personal and or career fall from grace only to pull themselves up and return to prominence. Just look at the names who have accomplished this feat in the last five years: Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke, Tom Cruise, Sandra Bullock, Ben Affleck, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, and many more pending cases that could still turn out either way (Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Tiger Woods etc.). The point is as long as the public likes you, and you are legitimately talented enough, you can come back from anything. Which brings me to Mel Gibson.
Gibson is a man with two Oscars, a long list of hits, one of the top ten greatest guest starring roles in "Simpson's" history, and was easily one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. This is a guy who directed two hit movies filmed entirely in dead languages (Aramaic with "The Passion of the Christ" and Mayan with "Apocalypto"). Then in 2006 it all went away with his DUI and ensuing tirade. He was blacklisted for a long time and essentially went in to Tiger Woods-like exile. I was afraid that Mel Gibson would choke Brett Favre-style in his big moment, but I'm happy to report that "Edge of Darkness" is not only an interesting action thriller, but proof that Mel Gibson is back.
This film is based on a BBC miniseries in the 80's from "Casino Royale" director Martin Campbell. It is about widowed Boston Detective Tom Craven whose daughter (played by newcomer Bojana Novakovic) is murdered in his arms and he believes the she was collateral damage for an attempt on his life. He goes on a rampage (think Liam Neeson in "Taken") trying to find out who killed his daughter.
Before too long, Craven begins to suspect his daughter may have been involved in something else, and after investigating the matter he is visited by government operative Darius Jedburgh played by Ray Winstone ("The Departed", "Beowulf"). Jedburgh warns Craven to stop his investigation because he has no idea what he is dealing with.
Once Jedburgh sees that Craven won't back down, he decides to guide him in the right direction. The rest of the movie is filled with conspiracies and other confusing plot twists that, while not exactly compelling, were not enough to keep me from enjoying the movie.
This is obviously not going to be on anyone's Oscar list, but like "Taken" it's a great revenge movie and it features the one guy you want playing a man with nothing to loose and willing to suffer in order to find justice. Think back at every awesome Mel Gibson character and you'll find that they are all motivated by personal tragedy and he suffers greatly when trying to seek vengeance. Gibson picked the perfect movie to forge his comeback.
Fun note: Gibson is going to be in a movie later this year directed by Jodie Foster, and is also planning to start his epic about the Vikings (the real ones not the Minnesota ones, but then again Brett Favre is old enough to play an extra). That will be filmed in the dead language of the Vikings and will star Leonardo DiCaprio. All in all, a great start for Hollywood's next great reclamation project.
If this does not sound enticing there is also the romantic comedy "When in Rome" starring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned as next week I'm visited by John Travolta who is coming "From Paris with Love".
Remember you can catch these and other fine films at your local Edwards, click here for show times.