This generically titled, David Mamet-scripted wilderness thriller has no right to be as exciting and involving as it is—it is, after all, a generically titled, David Mamet-scripted wilderness thriller. Stranding Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin in the middle of the Canadian wilderness could have marked Mamet's descent into Robert Bly territory, and, during the moments when it tries to preach spiritual redemption through reviving the inner mountain man, it sometimes seems like it is. Fortunately, it's fairly easy to tune out the subtext and concentrate on the smartly crafted, expertly paced, and beautifully filmed suspense film to which it belongs. A brilliant billionaire (Hopkins) with a beautiful token bride (Elle Macpherson) finds himself stuck in a forest with a friend (Baldwin) who may or may not be plotting to kill him. When a hungry bear (Bart The Bear) begins to pursue them, they put their differences aside for the sake of survival. Much of The Edge's success can be credited to Baldwin and Hopkins, who know just how far to push a performance without crossing too far into ham territory. Their well-sculpted performances complement the film's equally thoughtful creation of a setting that actually seems dangerous. If The Edge's ultimate message is that other people, especially women, can't be trusted—and that bears are scary—that doesn't get in the way of a generally exhilarating piece of filmmaking.

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