ABC Film Challenge – Crime – E – Edge of Darkness (2010)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: William Monahan, Andrew Bovell (Screenplay) Troy Kennedy-Martin (Original Television show)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic, Shawn Roberts, David Aaron Baker, Jay O Sanders

 

Plot: 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.


Tagline – Few escape justice. None escape vengeance.

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Crime Thriller

 

Story: Edge of Darkness starts when Craven (Gibson) get to spend his daughter Emma (Novakovic) only for an unknown gunman killing her on his doorstep, Craven being a homicide detective isn’t allowed to investigate the case for legal reasons, so he decides to go against the law in his search for the murderer.

The early signs make it looks like Craven himself was the target, but it soon comes to light that it might be Emma’s work for a government company run by Jack Bennett (Huston) that might have made her the target and the deeper he digs the more he learns about his daughter.

 

Thoughts on Edge of Darkness

 

Characters – Craven is a respect homicide detective, everyone in the force knows just how capable of solving a murder he can be, but when his own daughter is murdered, he starts to go against the law to figure out who and why she was murdered. He will not stop at anything to locate the truth and take out the people that murdered his daughter. Jedburgh is an English man that will help Craven fill in the gaps, while trying to keep him away from the answers, he has been hired to make sure the investment stays safe, without building up a body count. Jack Bennett runs the company that Emma works for, he knows how to answer questions to keep the press happy, while keeping the shady operations under wraps. Emma is the daughter that Craven is delighted to spend time with once again, only she gets murdered and it is her life before this meeting that we get to see her in.

PerformancesMel Gibson might well have had his problems in Hollywood, but when it comes to crime thrillers, he is in his element always shining in these roles without ever looking out of place, and demanding the screen whenever he steps on screen. Ray Winstone is great in his role, which only seems to be around for the calmer or criminal sides of the film. Danny Huston is an actor that can play a villain in his sleep and this is no different, he brings the smug figure to life here. Bojana Novakovic is great in her smaller role which doesn’t need to get much more screen time to add to the story.

StoryThe story here follows a homicide detective that starts to investigate the murder of his daughter only to find himself in the middle of a much bigger conspiracy that puts his own life in danger. This story starts off looking like it is going to be a revenge like movie because of how the first murder happens only to become a big conspiracy movie that offers up plenty of miss-direction as we lead to the truth. Any story that can keep you guessing and let try to figure out the ending yourself is an entertaining watch, with the outcome not even needing to be spoon fed to us either. This might well be a remake of a television show, but it plays into the modern ideas and works with how the conspiracy could be relevant for today’s climate.

Crime/MysteryThe crime side of the film starts by just looking like a murder, it soon dives into cover ups, conspiracy and secret groups which shows how the government might go about trying to cover up a secret. The mystery in the film comes from just how the conspiracy keeps managing to unfold to expose more truth about what Emma was involved in.

SettingsThe film uses the Boston setting to show how many crimes have been committed in this stricter state which does show us just how big of a conspiracy needs covering up.


Scene of the Movie –
Riverside meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It would have been nice to see more of Jedburgh.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderfully intense crime thriller that does keep you guessing throughout the film, we get strong performance throughout and a story that has been modernized without looking out of place.

 

Overall: Hugely entertaining crime thriller.

Rating

 

 

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Daylight (1996)

dayligthDirector: Rob Cohen

Writer: Leslie Bohem (Screenplay)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Amy Brenneman, Viggo Mortensen, Dan Hedaya, Jay O Sanders, Karen Young, Claire Bloom, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Renoly Santiago, Danielle Harris

 

Plot: Disaster in a New York tunnel as explosions collapse both ends of it. One hero tries to help the people inside find their way to safety.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic 90s

 

Story: Daylight starts as we see a busy New York evening filled with rush hour traffic piling into the tunnel which connects Manhattan and New Jersey. The normal night turns into a nightmare when illegal toxic waste is being transported and ends up exploding causing both sides of the bridge to become blocked.

When taxi driver and former emergency response analysist Kit Latura (Stallone) brings all his experience to the situation enters the tunnel to find a way to rescue the survivors before their air runs out or the people making the decisions make the wrong ones.

Daylight gives us what we saw a plenty during the 90s, a good enjoyable disaster film. This time we find our survivors trapped in a tunnel after an explosion blocking both ends. When it comes to disaster films you really don’t need the deepest stories going on and this doesn’t give us too much to think of either. The hero is a fallen hero looking for redemption, the leading lady is struggling with her own life and the string of genetic supporting character could go on for a while. The thing that makes this good that we don’t see many bad decisions being made only panicking ones which work for the character designs so by the end of the film you do root for all of the survivors to make it. This film sums up the 90s action disaster craze nearly perfectly.

 

Actor Review

 

Sylvester Stallone: Kit Latura is now a taxi driver but used to work with the emergency services finding as many possible mistakes or correct decisions when dealing with disaster like situations. When he sees the tunnel get closed he jumps into action as he has studied this tunnel for years. Kit must lead the survivors to safety against all the odds. Sylvester does a good job in this leading role which you would expect from Stallone in the 90s.

Amy Brenneman: Madelyne is a struggling theatre writer who finds herself stuck inside the tunnel when cover a friend’s work shift. She can analysis a problem which comes into great help during the struggle within the tunnel. Amy is good as this leading lady in the action film.

Viggo Mortensen: Roy is a rich businessman about to make a deal of his career and he has never back away from a challenge in his life. Roy is quickly thrust into the human villain in this story but unlike most we don’t have him hanging around long. Viggo is good but doesn’t get enough time for this character’s purpose.

Dan Hedaya: Frank Kraft is the former friend and partner of Kit who has to make the right decisions from the outside but can his former friendship cloud his judgement. Dan is a solid supporting performance in this role.

Support Cast: Daylight has a supporting cast that do all have the genetic stories to make you care for the good characters against the ones who are outside the tunnel who we are not meant to like as much. This all helps when the battle for survival continues.

Director Review: Rob CohenRob gives us an action disaster we saw plenty of during the 90s and this is one that gets everything correct.

 

Action: Daylight has plenty of action with the actual explosion being the highlight of the action side of the film.

Adventure: Daylight puts us into a story where the adventure is survival against the odds after a disaster.

Settings: Daylight has most of the film set inside the tunnel as we see how the survivors will make it through the disaster.
Special Effects
: Daylight has great effects for the time it was made that haven’t really dated with the only negative being able to see the dolls in the cars during the explosions.

Suggestion: Daylight is one for all the action fans out there to enjoy and if you like a disaster film you will also love this one. (Action Disaster Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Explosion.

Worst Part: While I could see it being a good thing but the Roy character isn’t involved enough.

Favourite Quote: Chief Dennis Wilson ‘The person who says it can’t be done is always interrupted by the one who just did it!’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 1 Oscar

Budget: $80 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: On December 6th, Universal Pictures dares you to take on the tunnel

Trivia: One reason Sylvester Stallone agreed to act in this movie was to help him overcome his fear of confined spaces. He’d agreed to appear in Cliffhanger (1993) to help him overcome his fear of heights.

 

Overall: Classic 90s action disaster movie.

Ratingcard