Director: Lee Tamahori
Summary: A billionaire and two other men are stranded, unequipped, by a plane crash in a dangerous wilderness. How many will survive to be rescued?
Times Watched: 3
My Experience: I’m a sucker for David Mamet’s dialogue but not for his directing. Thankfully, someone else took this script and created a brutal, intense movie. I love it more than most so I’ll explain that.
For starters, Hopkins and Baldwin are at the top of their games and have exceptional chemistry. I believe they both hate and admire each other at the same time, and the dialogue–fraught with double meaning–is delivered with perfect pitch.
There is a weird dichotomy in the movie, which simultaneously presents itself as a suspense thriller and a satire of the genre at the same time. Mamet is smart enough that I assume it was intentional. The bear is ridiculously one-dimensional like a slasher villain. The brother dies first. A fairly contrived Mcguffin jump starts the plot.
I find all that fun, and when tempers flare (or the bear flares), I get chills. It helps that Jerry Goldsmith’s musical score hits all the right notes. If that name rings a bell, he composed most of the music for most of the Star Trek series.
Beyond that, I feel The Edge has the perfect ending. It’s perfect because we anticipate an intense moment between two characters, and it occurs, but without a single line of dialogue. Mamet, whose known for his verbosity, reels it back at just the right time.