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"Edge Of Darkness" - {Blu-ray} - (Wayne)
Reviewer:

Wayne Klein

 

Studio: Warner
Genre:
Drama
Release Date:
5/11/10
Special Features:

9 Featurettes

Review:

A director remaking his own movie suggests that the first time around he feels he didn't get it right. When Hitchcock remade "The Man Who Knew Too Much" he contrasted the first version with the second by stating that the first was made by a talented amateur while the second was made by a professional. The only other time I can think of a director tackling a remake of his or her own work is when the original was made for a foreign market and the remake has been turned into a vanilla hodge podge for the unwashed english speaking audience. So to see a director tackle the same subject matter twice suggests a lack of confidence in the original, second guessing him/herself or emasculating the project. ***

I'm not sure why director Martin Campbell decided to tackle "Edge of Darkness" again when he nailed it the first time with the mini-series he made for the BBC but he did Mel Gibson a favor. Gibson who has been riding on the edge of a cliff for some time (anti-semetic rants, getting busted for drinking and driving; knocking up his Russian girlfriend outside of marriage when he is, in fact, supposedly a devoted Christian)despite his successes ("The Passion of Christ" which the passion of the public has cooled on in recent years) truly needed redemption as an actor. While "Edge of Darkness" may not exactly provide that redemption (after all Gibson has done some plain idiotic things in the last couple of years despite being a very talented actor and director), it gives him a role where he can exercise his acting chops and be outraged (one of Gibson's best qualities as an actor--he can make his outrage seem genuine even when it's nothing but pure performance). ***

Gibson plays Tom Craven a former police detective. His daughter Emma is murdered outside his home. Believing he was the target he begins his own investigation and discovers that his daughter's job with the government may have played a role in her killing. Gibson does an exceptional job of playing Craven and while this film can't possibly overshadow the mini-series, Campbell's direction of the film also has merit. I'd note however that the late Bob Peck who appeared in the original BBC-TV mini-series was flat out brillaint in the role of Craven (named Ronald in the original) making it a tough follow up for Gibson but Gibson does an admirable job in the film. ---

Image & Sound:

We get an exceptionally good looking Blu-ray presentation. Image quality varies a bit not because of a sloppy transfer but because Campbell uses stylized visuals throughout the film. ***

Audio sounds terrific with a strong lossless immersive 5.1 mix. ---

Special Features:

We get nine featurettes that focus on casting, direction, a comparison to the TV mini-series and various other odds and ends that went into the production of the movie. They are pretty good featurettes but don't come close to a revealing commentary track. ***

We also get a digital copy playable on portable players as well as a DVD of the movie on the same disc as the digital copy.

Final Words:

Although "Edge of Darkness" doesn't work quite as well as the original source mini-series, Mel Gibson gives a strong performance. Campbell's stylized visual approach doesn't work quite as well as he probably hoped here and the changes to the script add nothing to the film. It's worth a rental.

 

 
 
 
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