Ten Thousand Bytes of Cinematic Critique
Edge of Darkness is a reasonably made thriller that almost works. Ignoring the distracting Boston accent Mel Gibson tries to use, the problem with the film is that it's too linear. It never gives the mystery a chance to linger with unknowns. For example, the movie begins with Gibson's daughter being shot. The promotional material for the movie explains that he thinks it was supposed to be a hit on him by criminals, but they really were trying to kill her. And that's the problem right there. Let us believe it was a mistaken slaying, and then reveal the twist. When Gibson's boss asks him if he has any enemies, he immediately says "no." There's no suspense! Give him some enemies, send us on the wrong path, keep us diverted. That's what adds the pop and punch to a good mystery. Still, the film is acted well, and there's enough plot and action to keep the viewer interested. It's not a waste of time, it's just a waste of a good idea.
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