Mel Gibson has made a career out of playing the man on the edge. He has done it in action comedies (Lethal Weapon), he has done it in post-apocalypse sci-fi (Mad Max), he has done it in action thrillers (Ransom), and some would say he's even done it in real life (his legal troubles from a few years ago). It is somewhat comforting therefore to see him return to the motif in his latest film which has just hit Blu-ray, Edge of Darkness.
Directed by Martin Campbell (GoldenEye, Casino Royale), Edge of Darkness is based on a British television miniseries of the same name (also directed by Campbell). In the film, Gibson plays Thomas Craven, a Boston Police detective. Craven raised his now adult daughter, Emma (Bojana Novakovic), alone, and although we are led to believe via home video footage that he did a great job, the two have ended up semi-estranged. Or, at the very least, they don't discuss personal matters with one another. At the start of the film, Craven picks up his daughter who is coming for a short visit. She is clearly ill and has some horrible secret she wants to tell him but can't seem to find the words for. It is at that moment when the audience instantly knows exactly where the film is headed.
Emma's illness rapidly progresses that first evening back at home, and as they two head out to find a doctor, she is brutally gunned down. The police, of course, think that the gunman meant to kill Craven, not his daughter (he is, after all, a police detective who has put away many an evildoer). Only Craven knows the truth… well, only Craven and the audience. In rifling through his daughter's effects, he comes across her work ID badge which identifies her as a "nuclear engineer" for a company called Northmoor.
Yes, it is essentially as easy as that – she was horribly ill before being shot and worked as a nuclear engineer. Lest you feel as though this reviewer is spoiling something, the discovery of the ID badge is made awfully early on in the film and it is shocking that it takes Craven as long to put together the pieces as he does.