Friday, February 12, 2010

Thursday Night at the Movies - Edge Of Darkness

Mel Gibson hasn't been in a major movie since 2002's Signs. He's directed two controversial movies since then (Apocalypto and The Passion of Christ), and been in the news for other reasons, so it's good to see him acting again. Most of this movie is a suspenseful thriller. Gibson plays Boston police detective Tom Craven. His 20-something daughter comes to visit him. It's apparent that they've not seen each other too frequently recently but we never learn why. And pretty much before we can learn anything about their relationship, she gets shotgunned down in his doorway. It was a bit shocking to see this even though we knew from the trailers that she was going to get killed. Craven spends most of the rest of the movie trying to reconnect with his daughter and trying to find her killer. Although the Boston PD thinks he was the target, he is sure he wasn't. Gibson is pretty good in this but the last 10 minutes of the film turn into a revenge fantasy which maybe I should have expected but was disappointed in. After the poster come spoilers.Although we know that the daughter is going to get killed, we didn't know from the trailers that something is seriously wrong with her. She's throwing up in Craven's kitchen sink while waiting for dinner and having spontaneous nose bleeds. In fact, they are on their way to the hospital when she is killed. It turns out that she worked for a defense contractor which was involved in some shady business. This business isn't really explained very well. The government is somehow involved but we're never sure if it's some black op being run by the CIA or just some rouge government people. Ultimately it doesn't matter. The daughter was closing in on their secret and planning to expose them. So they poisoned her with some radioactive material. Her boss, after the shooting, explains to his shadowy government overlords, that her contamination would be traced back to her disregarding safety procedures at work. OK, that's suspicious but why gun her done after setting this up? Is it because the thought she was going to tell her father? Didn't they think she might tell someone what she was up to? This is a big plot hole.

Eventually they poison Craven as well. Hey, it worked so well the first time why not do it again? They would claim that he got contaminated by him. Except they forgot that they left a bottle of radioactive milk in her apartment. As Craven starts to stagger around he gets his gun and starts to kill anyone involved. Everyone who had a speaking part in this movie, except for Craven's fellow police officers, dies in the last 10 minutes. Pretty much no chance for a sequel.

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