Edge of Darkness

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic. Action/political thriller. Written by William Monahan, Andrew Bovell. Directed by Martin Campbell.

FILM SYNOPSIS: A Boston cop’s daughter is murdered on his doorsteps. At first he thinks he was the intended victim. Soon, he learns that she had a secret life and now he is on the hunt amidst corporate cover-ups and government collusion.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It’s engrossing, with a powerful performance by Mr. Gibson, but beware the brutal and bloody violence. A gang of people get killed in this one, with several people shot-gunned to death. And this film contains one of the most jolting hit-and-run CGI effects I’ve ever seen in a film. Though that is probably an enticement for some moviegoers, you others be warned. You who are still disturbed by graphic violence in movies may be upset by the shotgun blasts that knock people through doors, leaving their lifeless bodies in an oozing pool of blood coloring. And, like me, you will find that hit-and-run an unpleasant jolt to the nervous system.

The most interesting fact about this movie is the audience reaction. It features corporate and government baddies and do they ever get theirs. Like the old Death Wish movies, where a wronged man sets out to avenge his family, here our hero sets out on a quest of vengeance. Though he has been an incorruptible policeman his entire career, the death of his child turns him into a killing machine. And many in the theater sat there applauding when uncaring politicians and businessmen got blasted. I sensed this was cathartic. Though I’m sure the audience members aren’t actually seeking blood, the villains’ demise is metaphoric – a release for those enforced to take whatever the government and big business allows.

I found the film to be a solid action adventure, but a sad one. We constantly see, along with the hero, visions of his daughter when she was a little girl. We feel the father’s heartache and his rage. But everything seems excessive, from the plotline to the language to the aggressive killing. We’re not lifted up by the end “justice.” Or shouldn’t be. He has become a vigilante and we have been celebrating murder.

DVD Alternative: The Searchers. John Wayne stars in John Ford’s most complex and visually stunning western. Ethan Edwards searches for his niece after marauding Indians kidnap her. A powerful look at the emptiness of hatred and bigotry. The perfect western. A perfect movie.

Along with 21 chapters that guide you safely through the maze of Hollywood mediocrity and the spiritually unrewarding, MOVIES: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE REALLY, REALLY BAD by Phil Boatwright offers countless references to films, plus spotlights on classics and soon to be classics. It’s a useful tool for parents and concerned moviegoers, one you’ll find yourself coming back to over and over.

“Thoughtful and thought-provoking, his work could very well become the standard for historical reference.” - Will Hall, Vice President for News Services, Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee and Executive Editor Baptist Press.

To purchase a signed copy, click on the home page’s promo.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Warner Bros

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Around fifty obscenities, mostly the f-word.

Profanity: Three misuses of Christ’s name and one profane use of God’s – spoken by the lead.

Violence: Excessive, bloody and brutal; several people are beaten; some are gunned down at point blank range, a few from shotgun blasts that leave their bodies mangled, lifeless in pools of blood; we even see brain matter spewing about after the gunfire; a very jolting hit-and-run murder with the broken body thrown about; two people have been slowly poisoned, we see them vomit, blood coming from their noses; close-ups on bullet holes in bodies and a head nearly taken off by a shotgun blast. Blood: A whole lot of blood.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Brief drinking.

Other: None

Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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