The Edge (1997)

Genres - Adventure, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Drama  |   Release Date - Sep 26, 1997 (USA)  |   Run Time - 117 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Lisa Kropiewnicki

This underrated adventure-thriller is intriguing, entertaining, and features gorgeous panoramic views of its wilderness locations. Combining a tight script by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated screenwriter David Mamet with the skillful direction of Lee Tamahori, the pacing is on target, the conflicts are provocatively foreshadowed, and the lead characters are realistically flawed, fully fleshed-out human beings. Anthony Hopkins brilliantly portrays an intellectual billionaire juxtaposed to Alec Baldwin's vulnerable performance as a shallow fashion photographer. Mamet's exploration of the moral psychology and mind games between the leads, as well as the sheer physiology of man versus nature, grows delightfully complicated when the men develop a love/hate relationship dependent upon their short-term needs for survival, their fight against a man-eating bear (ferociously played by Bart the Bear), and their desire for the same woman. The story line has its flaws - notably the confusing back story of Baldwin's affair with Hopkins' wife (a supermodel adequately played by Elle Macpherson), and the lack of a satisfying denouement. As photographed by veteran cinematographer Donald McAlpine, The Edge makes full use of the Alaskan setting (actually filmed in Canada) for its majestic and mountainous grandeur, but it's the action scenes and believable intensity between Hopkins and the bear that will put viewers on the edges of their seats.