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The Edge is pretty grizzly
The first story lifts, the second one cuts, the third one bites
by Robert Tarry
directed by Lee Tamahori
starring Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Elle MacPherson
Opens Friday, September 26
Brace yourself for a flurry of movie title puns not seen since those heady days of Scent of a Woman. This edge needs sharpening. The Edge fails to cut through. You won't need your seat's edge. Mamet's script over the edge. Or, more to the point, Dull Edge.
This verbal tragedy could have been avoided if only The Edge had decided what it wanted to be. Am I Reader's-Digest trapped-on-a-ledge-with-a-mountain-lion page turner? Am I a psychological study of two men battling for the same woman? Am I an ad for the Leatherman multi-tool?
As it is, it's all three - and more - and it does none of them justice.
The Edge takes its sweet time getting up to speed (padding the storyline), and just when you're getting in to this whole Alec Baldwin vs. Anthony Hopkins battle royale in the woods for the supermodel trophy wife (Elle MacPherson), the movie takes a 40-minute detour (padding the storyline) for a perfectly thrilling and perfectly ridiculous chase through the woods by a vindictive man-hating grizzly bear.
"It knows what we're thinking!" screams a stubbly Baldwin.
(Yeah, "I gotta get me a new agent before I'm starring in Paws II, The Revenge.")
Writer David Mamet (Oleanna, American Buffalo) lends his unusual flair for two-man dialogue to a few engaging scenes (Baldwin is surprisingly likable this time around), and many of the lines have a realistic, oddball twist to them as they hike and hike (and hike) through beautiful Canmore, Alberta, discussing everything from the world of fashion photography to adultery. So far, pretty good. But then they wrastle themselves a bear, trap squirrels and (hysterically) wrap themselves in furs like some Ewok movie gone horribly wrong.
Then it's back to our regularly scheduled plot.
Which by now, it turns out, is a lot less interesting than a snarling trained bear smacking some stunt double upside the head and down Mr. McKinley.
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