In the Dark

A Mortal Blivet

The Edge of Darkness
Produced by GK Films, Icon Productions, and BBC Films
Directed by Martin Campbell
Screenplay by William Monahan and Andrew Bovell from the original television script by Troy Kennedy Martin
Distributed by Warner Brothers Pictures


In The Edge of Darkness, director Martin Campbell has tried to compress the six hour-long episodes of the television drama he made for the BBC in 1985 into a two-hour film.  The result is a blivet: ten pounds of baloney in a five-pound casing.  No, baloney’s not the word.  A genuine blivet is stuffed with what baloney fragrantly becomes after it enters the mouth and takes its winding passage through the alimentary canal.  I have used the wrong word not merely to be decorous but because of baloney’s connotation—a thoughtless conglomeration of doubtful meat products devoid of any nutritional sustenance.  This comes much nearer to expressing the essential silliness of Campbell’s film.  Campbell is, after all, the director of two James Bond films, well-made works to be sure, but high on the baloney index.

In both versions, The Edge of Darkness combines a febrile conspiracy thriller with a blood-soaked revenge drama.  The narrative concerns the dark, tangled doings of government officials, nuclear-industry honchos, and environmental terrorists blasting—literally—into...

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