Written by David Mamet, The Edge is a 1997 survival film directed by Lee Tamahori and starring a famous celebrity Kodiak bear named Bart the Bear who appeared in survival films throughout his lifespan.
Billionaire Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) is taken by his supermodel wife Mickey (Elle Macpherson) to a remote vacation lodge in Canada. They arrive with Mickey’s photographer Bob (Alec Baldwin), his assistant Stephen (Harold Perrineau), and a few others from Charles’ company where they surprise him for his birthday. His wife gives him a pocket watch with an engraving and Bob gives him a pocket knife.
When a model who was supposed to pose with Mickey calls in sick, the lodge’s proprietor Styles (L.Q. Jones), who earlier tried to convince Charles to invest him in the lodge, tells them about a friend of his who is a Native American hunter. On the plane ride, Charles asks Bob how he was going to kill him and implies he knows that his wife is having an affair with his wife. Bob convinces Charles and Stephen to go to this man’s home, but they find him absent. They follow a note further North, but after geese impacts their plane, they crash in the Canadian wilderness. They try to walk out, but a bear causes them to go in a circle and it soon mauls James to death. Forced to go out on their own and relying on Charles’ wilderness knowledge from a book, the two make the daring climb down the mountain.
My only problem with the movie does not seem to allow enough time to get to know some of the side characters. That being said, this movie is really good, especially in the acting department. With the bad Trump-impression Alec Baldwin does on SNL, it is easy to forget that he is actually a good actor. Baldwin portrays his character with excellence right alongside Anthony Hopkins. Their on-screen chemistry was unmatched as they traveled down the mountains.
I also want to praise the soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith, who also did the music by The Wind And The Lion plus numerous other films. The Edge is one of the best I have ever heard. It matches the film’s plot and vibe, complimenting scenes to perfection.
Mamet writes the film with all of the excellent skills you would expect from him. Most films portray a wealthy businessman as either uncaring, cold, or unrelatable, but Morse is portrayed as someone who feels the burden of having employees to pay, a wife to keep happy, and acquaintances who are not interested in a friendship, but a handout. It is one of the few flicks that have this nuance and it was a relief to see. It made Morse less of a caricature and the plot more personal.
Bottom line, The Edge is a true gem from the nineties. It relies on acting, an excellent plot, and some genuine thrills to make for an exciting time.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong Foul Language, Violence, Brief Gruesome Content
FAVORITE QUOTE: We’re all put to the test… but it never comes in the form or at the point we would prefer, does it?
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of Between Two Ferns: The Movie and “FBI Lovebirds.” Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.