Don’t look into the Death Star, or you will die.

(This was supposed to go up on Saturday, but my hard drive crashed and I had to deal with THAT for a while, anyway, here you go)

Don’t know why I’ve been sleeping early for the past couple nights; I pass out around 10 and wake up around 6. What the fuck. It’s not like I have a job to go to, so why the sudden change in my body clock? On the plus side, the early bird gets the sugar & dough concocted worm; shortly after rising up with the sun, I had a sudden craving for donuts and actually exclaimed to the empty room surrounding me, “Let’s go get some donuts!” like some fuckin’ asshole. I even drove to the donut joint with a smile on my face thinking about that shit, about how awesome it feels to be on route for some fuckin’ donuts. Again, what an asshole. If I had a wife and she was with me, she’d notice my goofy grin and say “Wipe that fuckin’ smile off your face. It’s not like I said I’d blow you, we’re just getting donuts” and I’d say “Why do you talk to me like that, Scarlett Johansson?” and she’ll say “Because you’ve been holding me hostage for two days now and you keep referring to me as your wife”. Scarlett is in serious denial. 

Anyway, I went Friday afternoon to catch the Jew Hatin’ Drunk’s new flick Edge of Darkness. I’m a firm believer in separating the art from the artist, and so far, it’s been pretty fuckin’ easy to go that way. Most of them are dead anyway but in the case of guys like Roman Polanski, all I ask is that they don’t flaunt that shit in their work (Of the Polanski movies I’ve seen post-underage-girl-banging, I don’t remember any scenes of motherfuckers looking at pre-teens the way a stray dog looks at a steak), like the fat creep who directed those Jeepers Creepers movies. Besides, the way I see it, most Hollywood people are probably evil secret scumbags anyway, so for me it seems like the only real crime they can be guilty of is not keeping that shit on the down low. And if I decide to ever get all moral about the people in front or behind the camera, I might as well just stop watching any kind of moving image.

Whatever. When you get down to it, I’m all about forgiving people — unless I’m the one who has to do the forgiving, of course. But then I saw a couple of Mel’s recent appearances/interviews and it’s clear this motherfucker is permanently off his goddamn hinges, and he’s gonna die with those fucked-up beliefs. But goddammit, when it comes to his movies, if he’s on, he’s fuckin’ ON and I don’t want to deny myself some possible awesome ownage the way that asshole denies the Holocaust. My solution? I bought a ticket for Leap Year, once again happily supporting The Adorable Amy Adams and walked into the Gibson joint. From now on, I’ll give the motherfucker my time (I’ve got plenty of that to spare), but not my money. I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking “What if Amy Adams is in a Mel Gibson movie?” In that case, I’d surely pay for the ticket, for the same reason I’d buy a ticket to a Gibson classic like Mad Max 2 at a revival house like the New Beverly — because Goodness cancels out Douchebaggery. Always, motherfucker.

The movie. Yeah. Mel plays a Boston detective and I think it’s not the best move for him to try a pahk-the-cah accent for this role. I mean, it’s been like 8 years or so since he’s starred in a movie and he already has the age thing working against him (motherfucker’s looking old and his hair is thinning — and not in the cool Ed Harris sort-of-way either), so it doesn’t help that he sounds fuckin’ weird too. He welcomes his visiting daughter home and damn near immediately she’s getting nosebleeds and puking her guts out. To make things worse, two masked men show up at Mel’s house and give his little girl a double shotgun blast to the stomach. So she’s not getting better any time soon. Gibson does the whole howling-while-cradling-the-dead-body-in-his-arms thing and the movie fades to black and gives us a moment to all look at each other and go “Holy shit, it’s fuckin’ on”.

And, uh, that’s where you’d be wrong. The poster for Edge of Darkness seems to be going for a Taken kind of vibe, and even the trailers are kinda selling it like Taken meets Payback (Tayback?). But the truth is that this movie is more of a detective story; Mel goes from place to place, asking questions, dealing with shady people who obviously know more than they’re letting out, putting shit together. The movie is based on an acclaimed BBC miniseries, and something tells me they may have changed some shit for the American version, I don’t know, call it a hunch. Supposedly they did some reshoots on this flick, adding some ass-kicking to satisfy the audience, and even then, it’s not that much. Kind of a shame, really, because the few moments of Mel being Mel are genuinely awesome Grade-A moments of ownage.

Now, all this wouldn’t be a problem if the story was involving, but it isn’t. It has a frustrating pace/flow to it, where Mel will talk to someone and something intriguing comes out of it, and then it’ll cool its heels a little too long with some bullshit, and once I found out the big mystery as to why Gibson’s daughter was murdered, (like 20 minutes into the fuckin’ thing) I honestly didn’t give a fuck. I think I was supposed to be all OMG about it, but I just wanted to see Mel kill the motherfuckers responsible. The plot itself became a McGuffin, just a way to get Mel to shoot some asshole in the throat, but if that’s the case, then why is the bullshit-to-awesome ratio reversed?

It was oddly amusing that the movie straight out identifies the evildoers behind this madness as Republicans, they don’t even try to allude to it, they might as well have had Mel say some cold-blooded shit like “This is for Hope and Change, motherfucker!” before shooting some fool’s face off. They even have a scene where we see framed photos of the guy you just-fucking-know is the villain shaking hands with Reagan and Dubya. Isn’t Mel Gibson a Republican? Maybe this was his way to win people’s hearts and minds over again, like “Hey guys, I don’t hate the Jews and I’m not a right-wing nut either. Please, take me back in as the lovable asshole who can’t stop pulling pranks on the set! Lethal Weapon 5, everybody!” But then he’s fucking over his Republican fans, not to mention fans of the idea of not ruining the Lethal Weapon franchise. See this mess you’re in, Mel? You should’ve just hired a driver that night.

Every once in a while, the movie cuts to home video footage of Gibson’s daughter when she was a kid, which was a nice touch. The filmmakers were probably like “Since you didn’t get much time to know the girl, and watching half her midsection explode wasn’t enough to feel bad for both her and Give Me Back My Son, here you go with some footage of her doing the Hi Daddy! thing while frolicking on the beach like a fuckin’ cute puppy that doesn’t know it’s about to get fuckin’ shotgunned”. The loss of this young woman is both tragic to her loving father and to the stork that dropped her off on the porch because apparently Moms doesn’t figure into this story. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t remember a single mention. I don’t know.

I guess they’re trying to visually show you how up against the odds Mel’s character is, or they’re trying to make him look more vulnerable, or maybe they just didn’t give a fuck, but Mel looks awfully short compared to the other actors in this movie. It seems like every other character with a penis has a good few inches on him (by height, I mean), or in the case of Ray Winstone, an extra hundred pounds. Winstone is some fat British dude who I’m always confusing with Brendan Gleeson, and he plays this shadowy secret-y guy who was hired by the Man to keep an eye on Gibson and have shady conversations with the motherfucker. Robert DeNiro was supposed to play this part but then he walked out after the first day, probably after listening to Mad Mel go off on the Jews once again (Oh, that prankster Mel!), but I’m cool with that for two reasons.

One, the last time having Robert DeNiro in your movie meant something, it was 1998 (Ronin, muthafucka). Two, the character Winstone is playing was played by Joe Don Baker in the BBC version. That’s right, Joe Don Motherfuckin’ Baker — Buford Pusser AND Mitchell himself. It left me wanting to see a movie where Winstone and Baker just go around owning people in some small town, they could call it Fat Vengeance or something and you just fuckin’ know that shit would be a hundred different varieties of awesome and fifty different varieties of sweaty.

Danny Huston is also in this movie playing someone who may or may not be up to no good, a question that will leave many a viewer wondering, unless they’ve seen at least one other movie in their lifetime. Otherwise, you know what his fuckin’ deal is. I’ll give props to Huston because he’s good in this, he was great in ivansxtc, and if it wasn’t for his father, we wouldn’t have Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The African Queen or Daniel Day-Lewis’ voice for There Will Be Blood. No one else stands out except maybe the chick who played Gibson’s daughter, and that might be because they killed the shit out of her and she died with her eyes rolled back into her head which creeped me out. On a related note, most blind people creep me out.

Going back to the Taken comparison; nope, there ain’t no comparison, they shouldn’t have even tried pulling that shit with the poster and the trailer because they’re not similar at all. One’s an action movie and the other is a mystery. One is about a man’s single-minded trek through the streets of Paris to save his daughter, and the other is about a dude wanting to know why his daughter got a buckshot belly piercing. Mel Gibson in Edge of Darkness is a relatively mild-mannered dude who was probably a fair cop (by Boston standards, anyway) who I’m guessing never had to fire a single shot on the job, and it’s not until he has to identify his little girl in the morgue that he starts looking into kidney punching a motherfucker or two to get some answers. Liam Neeson in Taken, on the other hand, is a bad motherfucker masquerading as a mild-mannered dad, and once his Ownage switch was turned on, this guy went around punching Frenchies in the throat and shooting innocent people in the leg just to make a point — and he was doing all this assuming she was still alive. Shit, that’s what they should do in the sequel; kill the daughter off and then give us 90 minutes of Neeson just killing and torturing everyone, only it’s more hardcore. It would be like The Passion of the Christ, except Liam Neeson is the Romans and everyone else he meets becomes Jesus Christ.

Both the flick and the BBC miniseries it was based on were directed by the same dude; Martin Campbell’s his name and his output falls into two categories: Fuck, This Movie’s Awesome (Casino Royale, No Escape, The Mask of Zorro) and Eh, Who Gives A Flying Fuck (Vertical Limit, Beyond Borders, The Legend of Zorro). Unfortunately, Edge of Darkness falls under the latter category. It sucks when a movie leaves you feeling kind of ehhh about it, because it leaves you with very little to write about it. Evidently it also causes  you to write in the 2nd person as well. So you decide to wrap it up here and go back to sleep.

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