Film: Mel Gibson Returns and Breaking Bad

Film:
Mel Gibson Returns and Breaking Bad

By Mark HadleyTuesday 2 Feb 2010

FILM: The Edge of Darkness
RATING:  MA
DISTRIBUTOR: Icon
RELEASE DATE: February 4

The Edge of Darkness is another opportunity to test whether scandal can permanently impair an actor’s career. Australian son Mel Gibson returns to the big screen for his first performance in seven years since several big falls from grace. Gibson plays homicide detective Thomas Craven whose investigation of his daughter’s murder uncovers a government conspiracy. Craven is a cookie-cutter character: a father enraged at the death of a child who will stop at nothing to bring the bureaucrats responsible to justice. The justice The Edge of Darkness has in mind though is that of the wild – nasty, brutish and short. The title reflects Craven’s slow slide into just the sort of behaviour he policed for so long. Craven manages to hang on to the high ground despite his dirty hands, but the film walks a fine line. Is revenge the prerogative of the grievously offended? Can we ever see clearly enough to require an eye for an eye? Conspiracy stories like this one gain credibility at the box office because we are suspicious of governments staffed by people with hearts as untrustworthy as our own.

 

TV: Breaking Bad
RATING:  MA 15+
DISTRIBUTOR: ABC2
DATE:  9:30 PM, Fridays

Breaking Bad is the newest in a long line of US television imports to hit Australian airwaves. The question is, will it experience the success of Lost or the ignominy of Life on Mars? Bryan Cranston plays Walter White, an intelligent but under-achieving middle-aged chemistry teacher who discovers he is dying of inoperable lung cancer. White launches into a life of crime, teaming up with a local drug dealer to cook amphetamines in the hope he can generate more money for his cash-strapped family. Breaking Bad may look like one of those series that suggests good things can come from bad deeds, so long as your motives are pure. White discovers new zeal when he begins to live it as though there were no tomorrow, rekindling his wife’s affection and his son’s admiration in the process. However the slow death of his conscience marks the death of the man they loved. Beaking Bad has earned four Emmys but viewers should be wary of sex scenes and frequent coarse language.

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