Say what you will about Mel Gibson. He sure knows how to make a movie.
I haven’t seen The Passion of The Christ, nor do I plan to in a hurry, but I have heard extreme comments either way for it. Mel’s portrayal of Jesus and the and the violence that consumed the movie seem to be one theme of what the movie was about. An accurate, convincing and moving epic is another view I have heard. Either way, it stirred enough anxiousness and contention when it was released that Mel Gibson’s career seems to have permanently been tarnished.
Of course, his racist comments, drink-driving and seemingly anti-semite views could be another reason that his reputation has taken such a huge blow in the last few years. Hollywood has a long memory and somehow I think it will take a lot of time before people come back around to welcoming Mel back into the fold.
Having said that, Mel has starred in some great movies and directed one of my favourite of all time (Braveheart).
I was excited about Apocalypto when I first saw the shorts a long time before it was released, but I too got caught up in the anti-Mel wave that flooded across the US when I was there. It seemed that people just wouldn’t see it because it was “Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto” (The actual US title) and no-one seemed to take time to actually look at what this movie was about and whether it could be any good.
Quick rundown without spoilers.
It’s set in an ancient Mayan Civilisation that suddenly has its world turned upside down by tribes of men ravaging villages looking for captives. There is hardly any letup in this move from start to finish. Just non-stop action. There is a hero. There is a villain. There is a crazy psycho, and there is love.
What I really like is the persistence of the hero, and the feeling that through any obstacle he is going to make it through as if it were destined to be.
I like destiny (aka density ;)). I like the idea that there are certain things in life that will happen. No matter which direction you turn.
Is there a message in this movie? Maybe. But ultimately, I think Mel just wanted to entertain. It is fast-paced, exciting, moving and cringe-worthy. Some of the scenes just make your stomach churn. It’s the old Mel Gibson blood and gore that he seems to be getting famous for ever since that torture scene in Braveheart.
Give this movie a shot. I’m glad that I actually decided to sit down and watch it tonight (Thanks for the wrap Stevie). Bear in mind that it is not an overly long movie either. It’s 2 hours 20 minutes, but I think it’s just the right length.
Oh, and in the teaser trailer for this movie there is this small scene of Mel being a weirdo. Try and catch it here.
Mick’s Rating: 4 Poisoned Dart Frogs