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Edge of Darkness Marks the Return of Mad Mel

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Mel Gibson made his name in movies like Mad Max and the Lethal Weapon series. The after his career was established as an actor he got sidetracked into directing and scored big with The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto. Now he is back in full acting mode on the big screen as a man with a mission in Edge of Darkness.

Thomas Craven (Gibson) is a Boston police detective. He has one child, a daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic), and she is everything to him. The movie starts with him picking her up at the train station for her first visit home in some time. She is working as a research intern in a huge plant, and Craven knows very little about what her job entails.

When Emma is gunned down as she and her father are leaving his home the first thought is that she was killed accidentally by someone after her father. But as Craven investigates the murder he becomes more and more convinced it is Emma who was the target. That is when he really gets mad.

Edge of Darkness is a movie with a lot of edge and most of it comes from Gibson's performance. He is very effective as a distraught father looking for his daughter's killer. In order to play this grieving, stressed man Gibson lets the age lines show and the bleary eyes work for him. His weariness is almost tactile and his dedication is obsessive.

Equally good in the film is Ray Winstone who plays a mystery clean up man. The scenes which focus on him and Gibson together are the best in the movie. These two come across as old war horses who have seen it all and are worn out by it. Also good is Danny Huston as the leader of the NorthMore group. If you need someone to play a smarmy villain then Huston is your man.

The film is based on a BBC miniseries and is directed by Martin Campbell who steered Casino Royale And The Legend of Zorro to success. The sometimes difficult to follow script is by Andrew Bovell and William Monahan. There are some questions that are never answered in the plot but happily they don't interfere with the overall enjoyment of the film.

The movie is rated R for profanity and violence.

Mel Gibson is a talented actor and a man of tremendous charisma and charm. Edge of Darkness is a welcome return to his dramatic roots and he is fascinating throughout the length of the film. He may look a little older and a little more worn around the edges, but he is still Mel and audiences have not forgotten him.

You will be totally drawn into the story of Edge of Darkness. It has brilliant acting, a suspenseful story, and provides an emotional outlet for all who are mad as hell and not going to take it any more.

I scored Edge of Darkness a shadowy 7 out of 10.