"Edge of Darkness" Movie Synopsis

by Noel Shankel

Mel Gibson took an eight-year break from acting before starring in Martin Campbell's 2010 action-thriller "Edge of Darkness." The film revolves around the murder of a detective's daughter and the conspiracy behind her killing. Critics felt so-so about the film, which eventually turned a profit at the box office. Featuring strong, graphic violence and harsh language, the film is intended for adult audiences.

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The Set-Up

"Edge of Darkness" stars Mel Gibson as Thomas Craven, a Boston detective and single father of his daughter, Emma (Bojana Novakovic). Emma flies into town and meets up with her father on a cold and rainy night; they are venturing back to Thomas's home when tragedy strikes: gunshots ring out and kill Emma on the front doorstep of Thomas's house. At first, Thomas assumes the shots were meant for him, but he soon discovers that Emma was the target all along. From this moment forward, Thomas will stop at nothing to figure out the truth behind his daughter's murder.

The Truth Revealed

Emma Craven worked for a research and development company, called Northmoor, that was secretly making nuclear weapons that would be traced back to foreign countries if they were ever used. Emma -- and her fellow activists -- had figured out this plot; this led to their deaths at the hands of the Northmoor Company. Thomas Craven, with the help of a shadowy figure known as Jedburgh (Ray Winstone), set out to stop Northmoor and find Emma's killer. However, Northmoor is prepared, sending trained agents to kill Thomas and recover all evidence linking the company to illegal weapons manufacturing.

The Conclusion (Spoiler Alert)

Thomas Craven discovers that the head of the Northmoor Company, Jack Bennett, ordered Emma's death. Thomas is kidnapped and poisoned by Bennett's goons, but he quickly escapes and makes his way to Bennett's home, where he meets and kills the person who shot his daughter. Bennett shoots Thomas, but Thomas fights back, shoving the same poison that is in him down Bennett's throat and shooting him dead. Jedburg, who initially was hired to kill Thomas, turns the table on the people who hired him -- including a senator -- and kills them before being shot and killed himself. Thomas Craven dies at a hospital towards the end of the film from poison and a gunshot wound. He sees his daughter in spirit form as he dies, and the two walk off into a white light.

Reaction to the Film

"Edge of Darkness" garnered lukewarm reactions from critics, earning a 55 percent fresh rating on Rottentomatoes.com. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times gave the film two and a half stars out of four, stating that the film "has no ambition to be taken seriously." However, Ebert does state that Gibson's "personal baggage doesn't upstage his performance" within the film. The film had an estimated budget of $60,000,000 and an overall worldwide gross of $81,124,129.

About the Author

Based in California, Noel Shankel has been writing and directing since 2002. His work has been published in "Law of Inertia Magazine." Shankel has a Bachelor of Arts in film and writing from San Francisco State University.

Photo Credits

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