The Edge is a survival movie that is centered on three men who crash their plane in the wilderness with very little supplies. It stars Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, and Harold Perrineau. Hopkins plays a billionaire who has an amazing memory, Baldwin plays a photographer, and Perrineau is the assistant.
The beginning of the movie sets the tone. Hopkins is rich and has a young model wife, but she is having an affair with Baldwin. Baldwin plans to kill Hopkins in order to acquire his wealth, but his plans are unknown.
Betas are whiners
From the second the men crash, Baldwin complains and directs his frustration and anger on the other men as a result of his own fear. Hopkins is always cool, calm and logical. He accepts his current situation and determines what he can control, and what he cannot control. He then immediately searches for a solution to find their way home. The viewer can tell from the beginning that the other two men would be a burden, and Hopkins is aware of it – yet is still concentrated on the mission. Throughout the entire movie, Baldwin and Perrineau whine and always have something to complain about without contributing anything. If they do, it is because they were directed to by the alpha – Hopkins. Perrineau tries to make a spear, but cuts himself.
Betas take shortcuts
Aside from whining, Baldwin always tries to find the easy way out, and hates listening to Hopkins, even if he’s right. During the movie, the men are stalked by a grizzly bear. Hopkins doesn’t panic and makes preparations to deal with it. When Perrineau cuts himself, Baldwin carelessly dresses the wound so that the bear will attack the wounded one – allowing Baldwin to escape. That is exactly what happens. The bear attacks at night. Though Hopkins tries to fight it off, it is too strong and overpowers them, killing Perrineau. You can see the dichotomy in both of the men’s goals. Baldwin wants to find a rescue helicopter and supplies in a cabin, and Hopkins discerns that he must rely on his knowledge and instincts to get out alive – helicopter or no helicopter.
Betas can’t perform under stress
After being attacked by the bear at night and getting chased most of the next day, Hopkins realizes that the only solution is to kill the bear. He makes his decision in one of the best displays of manhood in cinema. He turns to Baldwin and coldly exclaims with a smirk on his face, “We’re gonna kill the motherfucker.” Confronted with this reality, Baldwin shrieks and flees in the other direction (figuratively). He shows that he is afraid and tries to rationalize fleeing some more as direct combat with the bear scares him too much. As he tries to make more excuses, Hopkins gets fed up and drills into his head that they are going to win by chanting “I’m gonna kill the bear!” During the fight, Hopkins does most of the fighting and only after confronted with certain death, Baldwin summons just enough courage to do what Hopkins told him to do, and kills the bear.
So what have we learned?
When they are out of their comfort zone and put to the test, betas act like women. When it comes down to embracing the situation and crushing the obstacles ahead of them, betas take shortcuts. When confronted with their rejection of what reality is, betas place blame in anything but themselves – even those that try to help them. The Edge perfectly shows beta behavior (betas take notes) and proves that when the chips are down, only the alphas will survive. One doesn’t have to find themselves stranded in the wilderness to see beta behavior, but if you are privy in situations that call for calculation, logic and discipline, you will see the betas show themselves in full force. Do yourself a favor and see the movie if you haven’t already. I highly recommend it.