Too many subplots spoil Edge of Darkness

Most of the problems with Edge of Darkness, a remake of a 1985 British TV show of the same name are the byproduct of trying to turn a six-hour miniseries into a feature film that also has to function as a star vehicle for Mel Gibson. It makes sense to focus on Gibson’s grieving police officer as he investigates the shooting death of his daughter. This is the kind of edgy hero Gibson plays well, and most of his scenes work. But there are just too many subplots and characters for a two-hour movie, especially one with such a convoluted central mystery. As a result, the film never picks up any momentum or manages to build much suspense. It’s too busy trying to cram necessary exposition into the mouths of its characters to ever get into any kind of flow. Ray Winstone is fun in a supporting role, but his character really doesn’t do anything for most of the movie, ultimately acting as a deus ex machina in the film’s coda. This either needed to be about a half hour longer so it could take its time and flesh out the details or else pared down to its essentials as a lean 90-minute revenge flick. As it stands, it’s just not very gripping. **

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