Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Edge of Darkness

Thomas Craven has been pushed to the Edge of Darkness.  A dedicated Boston homicide detective, Craven, played by Mel Gibson, in his first lead since Signs in 2002, lives for little besides his daughter, who comes home for a visit.  Shortly after she arrives, she is gunned down on his doorstep.  Investigators assume Craven had been targeted by someone he had investigated, but Craven begins to wonder if in fact his daughter was the intended target after all.  As he digs into her past, he learns of her activism against a large corporation.  He suspects that they know something about her death, and ends up in a web of deceit involving his own department, corrupt politicians, and evil businessmen. 
As homicide detective Thomas Craven investigates the death of his activist daughter, he uncovers not only her secret life, but a corporate cover-up and government collusion that attracts an agent tasked with cleaning up the evidence.
This is a perfect Mel Gibson role: the grieving widower, the honest cop, the beacon of integrity, the passionate pursuer of justice in an unjust world.  Any parent can relate to his deeply felt grief over the loss of his daughter.  He finds a compassionate ear in an unlikely place: the mysterious British operative who is his hunter, informant, foe.  It's not giving anything away to say that ulitmately justice is done in a satisfying (though tragic) way.

I don't mind badmouting corrupt politicians; they're all corrupt, some more than others.  Ours is a sick political system rife with perverse incentives.  But I do get tired of the businessman as the enemy.  Granted, there are evil, corrupt businessmen; every walk of life is manned by fallen people who do bad things.  But rarely are business people portrayed as heros, as people who contribute to society by employing people, investing in their communities, and enriching people's lives.  Hollywood loves the evil businessman.  Edge of Darkness is an enjoyable movie but it feeds into the destructive anti-corporate, anti-business mentality.

Bottom line, 2 1/2 stars.

No comments: