A good mystery and startling bouts of action and suspense makes On the Edge an unexpected surprise. Writer / director Giordano Gederlini uses his excellent actors to the best of their abilities, and while the film has a palpable sense of sadness to it, there’s still a redeeming quality to the film that makes it suitable as cathartic escapism.
A subway train operator’s life is turned upside down when he begins trailing the criminals who are responsible for his son’s death.
Humble and quiet subway train operator – and Spanish immigrant to Belgium – Leo Castaneda (Antonio de la Torre) is on the job one evening when a man jumps in front of his train and is killed. As it sadly turns out, the man was his son. Police detectives, including edgy Virginie (Marine Vacth), suspect that Leo’s son, who was already mortally wounded before jumping on the tracks, was a radicalized Islamic criminal working with a well-known Muslim gang in Belgium that recently robbed a bank. Virginie, whose father is the police commissioner, sees Leo as her ticket to cracking a tough case her department has tried and failed for a long time to solve, but Leo surprises everyone by being a slippery cat that has survival skills and a formidable ability to elude detection and being followed. Leo – who has a secret past that has been covered up by Interpol – very quickly pieces together his son’s recent dealings with the Muslim gang, using some key evidence his son passed to him before dying on the tracks, and when he finds a dead dirty cop and all the cash the gang stole but his son made off with and stored in a place only his father would know about, he begins planning a way to get revenge. With cops circling and his son’s criminal associates desperate to reclaim the cash, Leo collects his rage and stores it until he’s ready to unleash on everyone.
A good mystery and startling bouts of action and suspense makes On the Edge an unexpected surprise. Writer / director Giordano Gederlini uses his excellent actors to the best of their abilities, and while the film has a palpable sense of sadness to it, there’s still a redeeming quality to the film that makes it suitable as cathartic escapism. I could imagine this movie being remade with Sharlto Copley playing the lead role as a South African immigrant to New York, and I bet it would rock the house if they did it right. Solid marks all the way around.
Kino Lorber’s new Blu-ray release of On the Edge looks and sounds up to Kino’s high standards, and comes in French and Spanish, with English subtitles. No dubbing track is available.