Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Great Film Moments #3: Edge of Darkness (2010)


Edge of Darkness is very much an underrated thriller. Mel Gibson's big screen return was a compelling and often shocking thriller about corruption in the highest offices of the United States. Perhaps held back by the strong anti-Gibson air around (and still here), the film was only a modest success at best and the film got unsurprisingly middling and mixed reviews. The remake of a 1985 BBC drama, Edge of Darkness will be remembered for several reasons; the aforementioned return of Gibson to the big screen, the brutal shotgun scene, the jaw-dropping car attack scene and the scene that I have chosen, Jedburgh's (Ray Winstone) final scene with the shameless politicians he protects after Gibson's Craven has been neutralised. 

Ray Winstone is a great screen presence. His ability ranges from playing quietly menacing characters to in-your-face madmen has been perfected over the years. Even his portrayal of Ray in Nil By Mouth, he exerted a likeability despite his callous and abusive behaviour. In Edge of Darkness, he is the primary antagonist, but becomes as much of a tragic figure as crusading Craven. The scene itself seems to be closing out without trouble, until they make an unfortunate joke out of Craven's terminal state (something Jedburgh relates to, as stated earlier in his own health woes). We see the best of Winstone here, the calm and collected consultant in a rare moment of emotion, snaps and viciously kills all two cronies in the room instantly. The Senator pleads for his life, stating he is 'An United States senator', to which Jedburgh replies; 'By what standard', before dispensing of the true villain of the conspiracy. It's brutal and shocking, but just what everyone watching want to see, given the corrupt behaviour and treatment of not only Craven, but Jedburgh too. It's a highly satisfying scene, but also a rather bittersweet one, as rather than shoot his way out of the building, he goes down without a fight, surrendering to an amateur guard who promptly shoots him dead.

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