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Edge of Darkness down in the hole 

Mel Gibson embodies his role, but everything else falls off the cliff.

Mel Gibson's publicized blowup and now grizzled appearance inform his perception as Thomas Craven in Edge of Darkness. Both loving father and gruff duty-bound cop, his daughter's murder pushes him to the brink of madness. Gibson embodies Thomas, physically and spiritually, as someone who has been to hell and back. The rest of Edge of Darkness never meets the occasion of its star's return. Having reinvigorated the Bond franchise with Casino Royale, director Martin Campbell doesn't get half as far in deconstructing a rage-driven movie hero as he did with the 007 persona. The brief action hits excite, but the film grammar slags: too many shots have nothing happening. Edge of Darkness is mounted as an exploration of the impact of death, yet its overbearing conspiracy detective chit chat keeps things impersonal. Gibson excites, but Campbell disappoints. The oddly conservative Edge of Darkness looks like a January throwaway from 1997.


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