Of course, there are alpha males to spare in director Martin Campbell's Edge of Darkness, based on a miniseries he apparently directed 25 years earlier. Well, nuclear was more of a rage back then, as it seemed we'd never be rid of it. Now it seems it will never stop diversifying. I will say off the top that this shortened, theatrical remake is surprisingly restrained compared to, say, Campbell's Bond pics and Zorro pics. But there does seem to be a nod to Bond when the main guy finds himself handcuffed to a gurney, and there does seem to be a nod to the ending of Braveheart before Braveheart gets killed on the chopping block. But I'll try not to give too much away, in plot terms.
While Mel Gibson's public persona is still in the crapper, his on-screen persona's doing pretty good, and here he plays a good guy with a strong moral compass, but he doesn't get to do his trademark Lethal Weapon running. It kinda got old after Ransom, but maybe that's just me. Maybe for his next movie he can do a road pic with Lindsay Lohan and call it a day. Two wrongs make a right?
Mel at least surrounds himself with top-notch actor types, with Danny Huston as the smarmy CEO of a shady company, and Ray Winstone as the token British guy with a high-ranking low-profile job in the American NSA... how'd that happen, egg-zactly? Don't think about it too much. Come to think of it, there's a lot here not to think about too much. For one, Mel plays a single dad with a twenty-something daughter. Where's her momma at? I told you this film was full of alpha males. Also, there's this girl that Mel talks to about the evil Halliburton-type corporation in the movie, and she ends up getting hurt when she steps out of his car... Was I the only one that thought the timing on that was a little too neat? Probably. I will say that I was surprised by Ray Winstone's end in the film. Doesn't happen often enough as far as I'm concerned, but I guess we don't have a lot of senators involved in the real shady stuff. But every film now is apparently going to be obsessed with death, and the need for a short list of rules to live your life by. I go with Monty Python's list at the end of "The Meaning of Life:" Try to be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book now and then, get some walking in, and try and live in peace and harmony with all peoples and nations... something like that. Of course, no matter how old the likes of Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford get, they can still kick any young person's ass. Must be all that yoga they're doing.
Good double bill with: State of Play, another film based on a British mini-series, and starring a hunky Aussie leading man
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan