The Edge (1997)

The Edge Movie
They were fighting over a woman when the plane went down. Now, their only chance for survival is each other.

The Edge (1997)

Being that this is my first review, I’ll talk a bit about why I decided to review it:

This is a movie I’ve seen dozens of times over the course of 15 years. I’ve liked it since the first time I saw it as a 13 year-old. Granted, at that age, I was very much into survival stories and adventures – I had just finished reading “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen, which, by the way, is a life changing book for any red-blooded American boy that’s coming of age.

But just last night, my wife and I were deciding on what to watch – we had a few hours to kill before we were going to hit the sack, so we figured let’s explore the vast (and sometimes downright terrible) choices of Netflix. After running out of luck of finding anything worthwhile (not an uncommon occurence), we fell upon The Edge. Now granted, both my wife and I have already seen this movie, but she hasn’t seen it nearly as many times as myself. It’s also been years since she’s seen it, and from her memory of that last viewing session, she recalled that she didn’t like it much.

Appalled and taken aback by this news, I quickly went into a verbal frenzy of the greatest traits of this movie – the quality acting by both Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins, the spectacular scenery, the age-old tale of men vs. nature and their whits – and not to mention the appearance of Elle Macpherson :). These convincing points aside, she decided to give it another chance – which I was thrilled about.

Halfway into the movie, my wife did two things, only one of which surprised me.

1) she told me she likes the movie more than she remembered and/or thought she would, and

2) she fell asleep in the chair

I’ll let you figure out which of these two occurences surprised me (hint: it was only 8:30pm – but that isn’t anything unusual for anyone who knows my wife.)

Something else happened though – I began to analyze and nit pick every little scene and detail from the movie after my wife had fallen asleep, since that gave me more time to focus on the movie itself rather than trying to win over her approval by gleefully looking over at her at each pivotal scene with a grin with hopes that she would confirm my admiration of the wonderment that was taking place on the TV.

Usually with movies that I “grew up with,” I rarely over-analyze and critique those as an adult because I am somewhat sentimental and enjoy reminiscing of times earlier in my life when I enjoyed those movies for sometimes completely different reasons than why I enjoy them now. So this was somewhat of a strange occurrence for me, because I don’t nit pick these types of movies that I grew up with. But I find that the older I get, the more my choices change in what I look for in a movie.

As a young adolescent, I admired this movie because of the action, the thrill of being lost in the woods, and the shared thrill agony with the characters of running for their lives from a Kodiak bear. Now, as I looked at this movie with “new eyes,” I thought to myself, ‘the dialogue in this movie is way too corny at times and campy to really be taken seriously.’ Granted this is a 1990’s action/adventure flick, so I give movie makers some leeway there because most from that time period and genre had to have their own share of “corny dialogue.” However, any filmmaker that is supposed to fool me into thinking that these lines are comic gold (and are supposed to genuinely think this is a laugh riot, because everybody else in the scene is dying of laughter, needs to rewrite some of the script),

Robert – “Ya, dual times zones (his watch), tells time in two places”
Ginny – “What For”
Robert – “So if I’m in L.A. and want to know the time in New York I don’t have to go through the anguish of adding three.”

Corny dialogue aside, I could count out three specific scenes that added nothing to the story or character development at all and were completely a waste of time. What was happening to me? Suddenly this childhood treasure was being seen in a whole new light – an older, wiser, and more cynical light perhaps, but it was enlightening nonetheless.

Recommendation

Overall, from a 13 year-old’s point of view – this movie is awesome!

From a man who is closer to 30 than 20 – this movie is ok.

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One thought on “The Edge (1997)

  1. Umm, okay. In my own blog (“unirealist.com,” he added shamelessly) I explored the distinction between a “favorite” movie and a “near-perfect” movie. That’s often the difference between a 3 star and a 5 star film. I think it’s an important distinction to make; while there’s no accounting for taste, there are such things as great movies independent of whether you (or anyone else) likes them or not. Which is to say that I don’t put much credence in the idea that artistic quality is subjectively determined. By the way, I personally greatly enjoyed The Edge–precisely for the reasons you articulated, and I’d enjoy it a second time, I think. I don’t know about many times!

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