Martin Campbell is pretty much the definition of the slick journeyman director.

I mean that as a compliment.  There are a lot of guys who are professional, competent, but unremarkable.  Campbell has proven throughout his career that he can turn in genuinely stylish work even when burdened with weak material, and when you give him a good script and a solid cast, he has a tendency to really let it rip.  There's a reason he's the guy that the Broccolis turned to not once, but twice, when they needed to reboot James Bond.

Mel Gibson hasn't made a movie star movie since his DUI arrest and he seems to be in the middle of some serious late career rehab at the moment, between this and "The Beaver," which is currently shooting.  I haven't seen the original BBC "Edge Of Darkness," and I'm glad.  I'll catch up to it after this, but I hate playing the comparison game, especially when I'm watching a thriller that looks to be dependent on a plot that twists and turns.  I'd like to see the film and judge it as a film, not as a remake.

I think it's telling that the film is set for release the exact time frame that "Taken" was released to great success this year.  There's always going to be an appetite for this type of revenge film done right, and the notion of losing a child and not knowing why or who is terrifying and maddening. 

Obviously, it would be easy to take a premise like this and turn it into pure exploitation, but that's why I'm reassured by Martin Campbell's involvement, and by the cast.  Ray Winstone and Danny Huston play major supporting roles, and you add Mel Gibson in full-on "Ransom" mode, and it might turn out to be a one heck of a ride.

Want to take a peek?  Here's the trailer that debuted on Yahoo! Movies today:

 

 

"I'm the guy with nothing to lose.  Fasten your seatbelts," indeed.

"Edge Of Darkness" opens January 29, 2010.

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