THE EDGE

Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Elle Macpherson, Harold Perrineau, L.Q. Jones. Written by David Mamet. Directed by Lee Tamahori. Rated R for violence, profanity, adult themes.

Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) is an aging billionaire whose encyclopedic knowledge is garnered almost entirely from books, rather than life experience. He accompanies his pretty, young wife Mickey (Elle Macpherson) on a photo shoot in Alaska, unaware of the hard turn his life is about to take. He, photographer Robert Green (Alec Baldwin), Robertís assistant Stephen (Harold Perrineau) and a pilot set out in a small plane to find a grizzled, old Eskimo who is out bear hunting several miles north of their lodge, and who will make an excellent subject for a photo essay. En route, the plane runs afoul of a flock of birds and crashes into icy waters.

The pilot, who dies in the crash, turns out to be the lucky one of the party. The others are stranded out in the middle of the harsh wilderness, facing the elements as well as a man-eating bear, all the while entertaining little hope of rescue. But the bear, who stalks the men continuously, isnít necessarily Charlesí greatest threat. He fears that Robert has set his sights on the older manís fortune and wife and may find an opportunity to dispatch him out here in no manís land.

"The Edge" isnít a particularly exciting film, nor does its theme sustain oneís interest throughout. Alec Baldwin has gone on record to say that the filmís trained bear, Bart, wasnít a very convincing foe until post-production was able to amplify his presence. Iíd like to go on record as saying that Bart was a heck of a lot more entertaining than Baldwin himself. Anthony Hopkins, in yet another flawless performance, is the filmís only real asset. But even he canít save this morality tale from the dullness which pervades its every frame.


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