A billionaire and his two friends are stranded in the Canadian
wilderness after a plane crash and are hunted by a vicious grizzly bear.
The Edge (1997)
Directed by Lee Tamahori
Written by David Mamet
Starring Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Harold Perrineau,
Elle Macpherson, L.Q. Jones, Bart the Bear
To me at least, it seemed odd that playwright and screenwriter David Mamet, writer of Glengarry Glen Ross, The Verdict, and The Untouchables among others, cranked out a survivalist action flick in the mid 90's. You throw Die Another Day director Lee Tamahori onto that, and suddenly the film's failure makes more sense. Mamet's dialogue and Tamahori's action-oriented, multi-cut filmmaking style just don't mesh all that well, but that doesn't stop The Edge from being pretty good almost out of spite. Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin trapped in the Canadian wilderness fighting a bear and then each other? What could possibly go wrong?
Hopkins is intellectual billionaire Charles Morse, who actually happens to be a really nice person and good husband, yet is condemned from the start as just another "holier than thou" one percenter who doesn't know shit. Turns out, he's damn good in a crisis, unlike his friend Robert Green (Baldwin), a photographer who is sleeping with Charles's wife Mickey (Macpherson) and directs all his guilt and anger about his life towards Charles, who is just trying to get everyone out of the wilderness alive when their plane crashes. Stephen (Perrineau), Bob's assistant, gets eaten by a bear almost immediately. The rest of the film consists of Charles and Bob butting heads and avoiding said bear, only to end up facing the real monster: Themselves.
Despite some super cheesy moments, like Hopkins saying "I'm a-gonna kill the motherfucker," The Edge is a decent character study and an action-packed romp through the Canadian wilderness, where anything can happen. I wish Charles's wife had gotten some sort of comeuppance in the end, but I guess the knowing was punishment enough. Mamet is way more versatile with his scripts than I had ever realized, that's for sure.