Edge of Darkness (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

Gritty crime dramas predicated on revenge aren’t exactly the newest, most original, things in film. Ok, let’s face it, it’s as tried and true as the OK Corral or a romantic comedy. Still, when done right, they’re some of the more enjoyable genres of film out there. This, of course, brings us to Mel Gibson, who’s starred in a few of these himself: “Ransom” and “Payback” come to mind, though it might be argued that “Braveheart” is a story based solely on revenge as well. We’ll leave that discussion for later on. Gibson was a wise choice for the title role of Thomas Craven, though “Edge of Darkness” was based on the 6 episode BBC mini-series from 1986. Times have changed and though the central theme remains the same, the story has been updated and is once again under the direction of Martin Campbell.

Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) is a veteran of the Boston Police Department as a detective. He’s just welcomed his daugher (Bojana Novakovic) back home from her job as a “glorified intern” at a private security company. Things instantly turn bad when she’s shot and killed in her home. Thomas, grief-stricken and bent on revenge, is on an all out mission to find out what happened to his daughter. Working independent of the Boston Police, Thomas tracks down Emma’s (his daugter) ex-boyfriend and starts to put the pieces of the puzzle together. But is Thomas getting in over his head? He meets a mysterious man by the name of Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), someone who might help him figure things out or might be there to kill him. Naturally there’s an icy CEO (Danny Huston) who might be pulling the strings and it’s only a matter of time before Thomas finds out the ugly truth. But, what could it be?

Admittedly, I have never seen the original “Edge of Darkness” mini-series, but like “State of Play” which I saw last year, I might have to check it out since I very much enjoyed the movie. Gibson is good in his role here and as I mentioned, it’s a role that he’s played before. Also of note is that this is his first starring role since 2002’s “Signs”. Naturally he made his mark with 2004’s “Passion of the Christ” and he made some news off camera as well with his berating of a police officer a few years back. All of that is beside the point, of course, and it’s clear that Gibson is still a fine actor and he’s in his element here.

Video: How does it look?

Warner presents “Edge of Darkness” in a 2.35:1 VC-1 HD trasfer that looks good. If you needed any indication that Mel Gibson (a former “Sexiest Man Alive”) is, in fact, aging then look no further than any scene he’s in. The cracks in his forehead and around his eyes are visible and this might be the down side of Blu-ray in that the transfer is almost a bit too good. But, actors age and it’s a testament to the picture quality that we can see as much detail as we do. Contrast is good and well-balanced, though the film is a bit darker in tone. Still, we get some good shots of the Boston skyline and some other sights. A good effort here in regards to picture quality.

Audio: How does it sound?

The DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack isn’t the best out there, then again I don’t think it was supposed to be. We get a few car chase scenes, a few gunshots but the one part that really caught me was early on when his daughter gets shot. The sheer power of the blast really makes use of all the speakers and it’s a very powerful moment both on the audio front as well as plot-wise. Dialogue is rich and deep as Gibson’s commanding voice is heard throughout the film. The remainder of the soundtrack is relegated to the front stage, but nothing too out of the ordinary here.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Warner has given “Edge of Darkness” a bevy of features, though none are too thought-provoking. We start off with 9 “Focus Points” which are nine short featurettes about the film. These range from the score of it, its roots from the original BBC mini-series and even one as to how they make a “ghost” character real. Admittedly, the first one I went to was “Mel’s Back” as it was good to see him in a starring role again as well as “Boston as a Character” as I’m somewhat of a sucker for Beantown. We get a profile of director Martin Campbell as well as how they adapted the original “Edge of Darkness” mini-series to the 21st century. There are also some additional and deleted scenes as well as a digital copy of the disc and the DVD of the film as well.

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