Edge of Darkness (2010 film)
|Edge of Darkness|
The original theatrical poster.
|Directed by||Martin Campbell|
|Based on||Edge of Darkness
by Troy Kennedy Martin
|Music by||Howard Shore|
|Editing by||Stuart Baird|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Running time||117 minutes|
Edge of Darkness follows a detective (Gibson) investigating the murder of his activist daughter (Bojana Novakovic), while uncovering political conspiracies and cover-ups in the process.
By moonlight, three bodies float to the surface of the Western Massachusetts stretch of the Connecticut River. At South Station, Boston, Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) picks up his daughter, Emma (Bojana Novakovic), who has returned home to visit. She vomits while getting into the car. At home, as Craven prepares a meal, Emma starts to nosebleed and vomits again, and becomes frantic, saying that she needs to see a doctor and tell him something. When they stop at the porch, as they hurriedly leave to find a hospital, a masked gunman yells "Craven!" and then fires simultaneous shotgun blasts at Emma before driving away. Blasted through the door, she dies in Craven's arms.
At first, everyone believes that Craven, a homicide detective for the Boston Police Department, was the gunman's target, but when Craven finds Emma had a .45 pistol in her night stand, he starts to suspect that Emma was an intended target. At the police station, he checks the ownership of the pistol and finds that it belongs to her boyfriend David (Shawn Roberts). David is living in fear of a nearby company called Northmoor, where Emma worked, and Craven makes a discovery: Emma found out that Northmoor, a research and development facility under contract to the U.S. government, was secretly manufacturing nuclear weapons using foreign material and foreign specifications. It was intended to be traced to foreign nations if they are used as dirty bombs. Following the failed break-in of the activists seen dead at the opening, Emma was poisoned with thallium through a bottle of organic milk. Burning her clothing in his backyard, Craven encounters Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), a British "consultant" tasked with preventing Craven from discovering Emma's information, or killing him. Jedburgh instead takes a liking to Craven, and leaves him to investigate. David is later killed. Throughout the film, Craven repeatedly imagines he hears and sees his daughter, even having short conversations and interactions with her (as the happy young child he remembers and loves).
Craven also has several encounters with Northmoor agents, and he eventually discovers through one of Emma's friends, another activist who is nearly killed by another of Northmoor's agents, that Jack Bennett (Danny Huston), head of Northmoor, ordered the murder of his daughter, as well as the activists Emma was working with to steal evidence of the illegal nuclear weapons. Northmoor personnel kill a hitman marked as a fall guy after he is set up for killing Emma. Craven confronts lawyer and Massachusetts U.S. Senator Jim Pine (Damian Young), contacted earlier by Emma, revealing that they know almost everything that happened. At night, Craven's fellow detective and friend, Bill (Jay O. Sanders), talks to Craven at his home while the Northmoor agents break into the house. Craven realizes that Bill set him up, and the agents taser and kidnap him, taking him to Northmoor. Craven, upon waking up handcuffed to a gurney, manages to quickly escape the facility and returns home.
His health deteriorating rapidly from the poison, Craven arrives at Bennett's house and kills the agents, one of whom Craven realizes is the man who shot his daughter. After he orders him at gunpoint to scream the name "Craven", he executes his daughter's killer. Bennett shoots Craven, but Craven tackles Bennett and pulls out the radioactive milk. He forces it down Bennett's throat and collapses. A gagging Bennett frantically runs to his cabinet to get pills to counteract the radioactivity, but Craven drags himself over and shoots Bennett in the throat, killing him.
Craven is hospitalized for the gunshot wounds and radiation poisoning. Jedburgh, who is revealed to be suffering from an unrelated terminal illness, meets the Senator (for whom he had been working) and the two political advisors who assigned Jedburgh to eliminate Craven. He listens to their suggestions as to how to play the Northmoor incident in a positive light. He tells them that he is done and then suggests an assassination attempt on the Senator should be the feature story, to drive Bennett's death out of the tabloids. They are happy to go along with the story until Jedburgh coldly tells the senator that he is on the wrong side of the equation. As the meeting ends, Jedburgh abruptly pulls out a gun and shoots both advisors, and then the senator dead, before a young Massachusetts State Police officer enters (the meeting is at the Senator's home). Jedburgh points his gun at the officer and asks if the young man has a family and kids. The officer says yes; Jedburgh contemplates shooting the officer, and thus ultimately becoming like those who he sought to stop, lowers his gun to face his death as an honorable man. He is immediately shot dead by the officer.
As Craven lies dying in the hospital, a young reporter for the local FOX TV station WFXT, who spoke to Craven a few nights earlier at his home, opens a letter from him with DVDs (recorded by Emma) revealing the conspiracy, with Craven's "good luck" wishes, ensuring Northmoor's end. As Craven dies, Emma, in spirit form, comforts him. The father and daughter are shown leaving the hospital together, walking down the corridor and toward a bright, white light.
- Mel Gibson as Thomas "Tom" Craven, a homicide detective for the Boston Police Department. Gibson is a fan of the television series, and the film marks his first starring role since 2002's We Were Soldiers and Signs. Gibson attended a gun club with two policemen to improve his marksmanship for the film.
- Ray Winstone as Darius Jedburgh, an operative sent to cover up the murder. Robert De Niro had been cast in the role, but he walked out shortly after he arrived to begin shooting. A publicist for the actor cited "creative differences."
- Danny Huston as John "Jack" Bennett, Northmoor's shady head and the film's main antagonist.
- Bojana Novakovic as Emma Charlotte Craven, Thomas's murdered daughter.
- Shawn Roberts as David Burnham, Emma's boyfriend.
- Jay O. Sanders as Bill Whitehouse, Thomas's partner and close friend.
- Gbenga Akinnagbe as Darcy Jones, a detective in Thomas's squad.
In 2002, Martin Campbell announced that he was planning to adapt Edge of Darkness for the cinema. Active development began in early 2007 when Campbell met with producer Graham King, who first enlisted Australian playwright Andrew Bovell to write, and then William Monahan (fresh from winning an Academy Award for King's The Departed) to re-write the screenplay. Michael Wearing and BBC Films also co-produced the film. Filming began on 18 August 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. A scene where Craven scatters his daughter's ashes at a beach was filmed at Rockport on 25 and 26 September. They shot some scenes in Merrimac, Massachusetts from 15 September 2008 to 18 September 2008. Additional scenes were shot in Malden, Massachusetts in the old Malden hospital. Some of the final scenes were shot at a home in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.
Additionally, Gibson and his crew set up shop for filming in western Massachusetts, with 180 staff staying in Northampton hotels. They shot in various locations in the Pioneer Valley, including Tully O'Reilly's Pub, the Northampton Athletic Club, and an older part of the Hampshire County Courthouse, all in Northampton. Also, Sugarloaf Mountain was shut down for a few days while they rented it out. They also filmed at the Notch Visitor Center, Rt. 116, Amherst.
The film takes place in America, unlike the television series, which was based in England. "The idea was to transfer the story to a different time and place rather than just repeat what we did in England," Campbell said. "Boston seemed like the perfect location because it does have a whole English, Irish signature on it."
Jack Bennett disembarks from a helicopter in one scene. The FAA registration number, N401LH, is visible on the fuselage. This helicopter later collided with a Piper PA-32 on August 8, 2009, over the Hudson River, resulting in nine deaths. The helicopter was owned by Liberty Helicopters, which offers sight-seeing tours around Manhattan.
The film was originally scored by classical composer John Corigliano. However, the decision was made during postproduction (after Corigliano's score had been recorded and dubbed) to replace his score with a new one by Howard Shore.
Critical reaction 
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 55% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 193 reviews, with an rating average of 5.8 out of 10. The site's general consensus is: For better and for worse, Edge of Darkness offers vintage Mel Gibson, working within the familiar framework of a bloody revenge thriller. Another review aggretator, Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 1–100 reviews from film critics, has a rating score of 55 based on 34 reviews.
Film critic Richard Roeper of Richard Roeper & the Movies gave the film a B stating "Gibson excels in this entertaining conspiracy thriller" in his review for the film. Michael Rechtshaffen, a critic for The Hollywood Reporter, wrote in his review that "An intense Mel Gibson performance anchors this brutally effective crime thriller". Some critics such as A.O. Scott of The New York Times have noted the movie's similarity to Taken. However, some critics described Ray Winstone's character in the movie as "intriguing" such as Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips, and New Orleans Times-Picayune film critic Mike Scott.
Box office 
On its first weekend, the film opened number two, grossing $17.1 million behind Avatar. As of April 8, 2010, according to Box Office Mojo, the film grossed $43,313,890 in the United States and Canada and $37,670,000 in other countries for a worldwide total of $80,990,000.
Home media 
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (30 January 2010). "'Avatar' still leads in seventh Friday". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved 3 February 2010. ""Darkness," produced and financed by GK Films for $60 million, follows Gibson as a Boston homicide detective who uncovers the reasons behind his activist daughter's death."
- "Movie projector: Mel Gibson's return challenged by Kristen Bell, not that James Cameron has to worry". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). 28 January 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2010. "Still, distributor Warner Bros. paid $27 million to acquire domestic rights to the movie from GK Films, which fully financed it, meaning it could be a modest success if word of mouth is good and it plays well for several weeks."
- "Edge of Darkness (2010)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- Michael Fleming (1 August 2008). "De Niro to join Mel Gibson on 'Edge'". Variety. Retrieved 2 August 2008.
- Michael Fleming (28 April 2008). "Mel Gibson returns for 'Darkness'". Variety. Retrieved 29 April 2008.
- "We hear: Mel Gibson, Jason Varitek, Chaka Kahn". Boston Herald. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
- Michael Fleming (12 September 2008). "Winstone replaces De Niro in 'Edge'". Variety. Retrieved 12 September 2008.
- Borys Kit (14 August 2008). "Three join Mel Gibson's 'Edge of Darkness'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 22 August 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2008.
- Michael Fleming (4 September 2008). "De Niro exits 'Edge of Darkness'". Variety. Retrieved 4 September 2008.
- Bryon Perry (8 October 2008). "Gbenga Akinnagbe". Variety. Retrieved 7 November 2008.[verification needed]
- "Edge of Darkness 'set for big screen'". BBC News. 16 January 2002. Retrieved 9 April 2007.
- Jonathan L'Ecuyer (24 August 2008). "Mel Gibson will film scene in Rockport". Gloucester Daily Times. Retrieved 26 August 2008.
- The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts), October 1, 2008, "Actor Mel Gibson coming to Northampton next week to shoot new film on Main Street" (The page at masslive.com was updated on January 26, 2010; it covers all of the production locations mentioned above.), accessed 20 May 2011
- "Edge of Darkness: Martin Campbell interview". BBC Film Network. 26 January 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
- "Tourist Helicopter and Small Plane Collide Over Hudson River - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. 8 August 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- "Edge of Darkness Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster accessdate = 24 January 2011.
- "Edge of Darkness Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- "Edge of Darkness: Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- "Edge of Darkness Review". Richard Roeper.com. Retrieved 2010-01-29.
- Rechtshaffen, Michael. "Edge of Darkness Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
- Scott, A.O. (29 January 2010). "Movie Review – Edge of Darkness – Jaw-Breaking Boston Detective Unravels His Daughter's Murder". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-29. "Mr. Gibson brought a wild, unpredictable streak to his action-hero persona. He traded that in at some point for the haggard, humorless demeanor he shows here, cracking the occasional somber joke on his way to breaking another jaw. Liam Neeson did this kind of parental rage much better in 2008 in Taken, which was an unusually lively and persuasive example of the genre."
- Ebert, Roger (27 January 2010). "Edge of Darkness". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times Media Group. Retrieved 2010-01-30. "He's joined in this by the superb British actor Ray Winstone, as an intriguing free agent who turns up in Craven's garden one night with a cigar and an enigmatic line of patter."
- Phillips, Michael (2010-01-28). "Talking Pictures: 'Edge of Darkness' – 3 stars". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-01-30. "Among them: Ray Winstone as assassin/fixer/philosopher of mysterious employ, who quietly becomes the most intrigui ng character..."
- Scott, Mike (2010-01-29). "Mel Gibson returns in 'Edge of Darkness' – and it's the same old Mel". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2010-01-30. "British actor Ray Winstone ("The Departed", " "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"), who plays an intriguingly complex hitman torn between doing his job and doing the right thing."
- Corliss, Richard (2010-01-31). "Avatar Pushes Mel Gibson Off the Edge". Time.
- "Edge of Darknes DVD::Standard Edition". WBshop.com. Warner Home Video. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
- "Blu-ray Picks Of The Week for May 11th" HD Report
- Official website
- Edge of Darkness at AllRovi
- Edge of Darkness at the Internet Movie Database
- Edge of Darkness at Box Office Mojo
- Edge of Darkness at Metacritic
- Edge of Darkness at Rotten Tomatoes