Another day, another cop film. Yup. Here we go. Welcome to 'Edge of Darkness' (a re-make of a BBC miniseries thriller). Mel Gibson plays Tom Craven, a Boston police detective whose 24-year-old daughter Emma is shot dead in a drive-by shooting right in front of him on his doorstep, just when she had come home to visit dear ol' dad.

Since cops are often targeted by vengeful criminals, it was Tom the shooter was after, right? Or was it Emma? It couldn't have been Emma. She was just a sweet, hard-working young woman. But, sweet, hard-working Emma worked at a nuclear facility. And, nuclear facilities have classified information which, if it were to leak out, would create all sorts of havoc. Why would Emma risk breaching the security of the very place which employs her and, more importantly, her life? Or, would she? Who was Emma exactly? Her own father didn't even know that much about her.

Warning! Spoilers Ahead!

Another day, another cop film. Yup. Here we go. Welcome to 'Edge of Darkness' (a re-make of a BBC miniseries thriller). Mel Gibson plays Tom Craven, a Boston police detective whose 24-year-old daughter Emma is shot dead in a drive-by shooting right in front of him on his doorstep, just when she had come home to visit dear ol' dad.

Since cops are often targeted by vengeful criminals, it was Tom the shooter was after, right? Or was it Emma? It couldn't have been Emma. She was just a sweet, hard-working young woman. But, sweet, hard-working Emma worked at a nuclear facility. And, nuclear facilities have classified information which, if it were to leak out, would create all sorts of havoc. Why would Emma risk breaching the security of the very place which employs her and, more importantly, her life? Or, would she? Who was Emma exactly? Her own father didn't even know that much about her.

Warning! Spoilers Ahead!

Enter the twistin', turnin' plot whereby a distraught father wants to avenge his daughter's death, while understanding the life his daughter had lived until its brutal and disastrously short end. In this case, distraught father also happens to be a police detective, so he is good at eliciting confessions from people and at breaking the law, but knowing how to cover that up if need be. Enter a nuclear facility that isn't all it's cracked up to be. Enter a senator whose campaign contributors are connected with the nuclear facility and you have one big cluster-screw of "Who is lying?" and "What, exactly, is being covered up?" Surely, the US government wouldn't be involved in a cover-up, would they? Certainly, the nuclear facility is just conducting research and collecting raw materials for weapons, as they claim, right? Of course, the senator, a politician for goodness' sake, isn't crooked, is he?

Innocent people, including Emma's boyfriend and her best friend, are being murdered as soon as they reveal information. Who is truly behind all of this and why? Is this a puzzle that can be solved or will it just turn out to be loose ends that can never be tied? Personally, I wondered why, when Emma's ghost occasionally speaks to her dad, she does not just tell him what is going on. Maybe the film needed a sub-plot involving Jennifer Love Hewitt ghost whispering. She can always crack the case.

Clearly, this film could have been thrilling, action-packed and suspenseful. But, the first half of the film just drags. Mel Gibson's Bostonian accent dips in and out of being believable and the story chugs along as if boredom is its goal. The film's second half picks up a bit, but only a bit. It goes from boring to not terribly engaging. I finally felt like I was truly involved with the film when it only had 30 minutes left. That's when it gets good. There is action. There is retribution. There is a half-dead Tom Craven going vigilante. There is a hell of a lot of blood.



The best thing about the film was actor Ray Winstone's performance as Jedbergh, a placid Brit whose job, being in the employ of the US government, is to make 'situations' disappear into being untraceable. But, he empathizes with Tom and, with Jedbergh's heart invested in his latest job, he just may be dismantling the mystery he is supposed to create. You can never quite read him or trust him, even when you want to. His ambiguity is superbly played. Sorry, Mr. Gibson.

But, Mr. Gibson, I will say that I admire your lack of vanity in the role. There are plenty of Mel Gibson close-ups where he looks really old. Clearly the role was more important to him than how he'd look, and I can respect that. After all, it has been over 20 years since 'Lethal Weapon' and 'Mad Max', so he has definitely earned the lines on his face.

I don't think the reaction the filmmakers wanted to this film was a "ho-hum", but that is how I felt after sitting through 'Edge Of Darkness' for almost 2 hours. I was on edge, but only because I couldn't wait for the film to be over. With its very slow beginning and then its rapidly moving through a complex plot, I felt like I'd have been more emotionally invested in a good ol' shoot-'em-up video game.