What the Hell Happened to Mel Gibson?

Mel Gibson

For a long time, I debated whether or not to write-up Mel Gibson.  On the one hand, the answer to the question “what the hell happened” is known by all.  Gibson’s personal life and bad behavior exploded very publicly.  I’m not sure if any celebrity has ever had such a public melt-down.

It’s easy to forget now, but not all that long ago Gibson was one of the undisputed kings of Hollywood.  He was so popular and so beloved that he could do no wrong.  Even if he made a cinematic turkey, his legion of fans practically guaranteed a hit.  And while the hits rolled in, his eccentric behavior was portrayed as charming in the media.

Gibson had a long history of courting controversy.  He had gotten in trouble with GLAAD for supposedly homophobic comments as well as some borderline offensive film roles (see Bird on a Wire – or better yet, don’t).  His 2004 blockbuster, The Passion of the Christ, was seen by many as anti-Semitic.  And Gibson was a drinker and a womanizer from way back.

Gibson’s mug shot

Eventually, that behavior caught up with Gibson.  In 2006, he was arrested for a DUI.  A drunken Gibson made matters worse with a series of anti-Semitic and sexist comments.

Amazingly, Gibson managed to recover from what many considered career suicide.  However, in 2010 he imploded again with domestic abuse charges and a series of phone messages that showed his dark side.  Every day, a new message was leaked to the press.  And each one made Gibson look more and more like a monster.

So, right up front, the answer to “What the hell happened to Mel Gibson?” is that his inner demons spilled out on the public stage for the better part of a decade.

To the point where many of his fans can’t look at the guy anymore without seeing a despicable human being.  But even though we know how the story ends (or do we?) it’s worth going back to the beginning and reviewing the fascinating career of Mel Gibson.

Gibson was actually born in Peekskill, New York.  He was the 6th of 11 children.  His family relocated to Australia when Gibson was 12.  He began his film career in Australia and in 1979 he had the good fortune to be cast in George Miller’s apocalyptic action film, Mad Max.

Mel Gibson - Mad Max - 1979

Mel Gibson – Mad Max – 1979

Even today, Mad Max is kind of crazy movie.  Most American audiences think of the post-apocalyptic sequel, The Road Warrior, when they think of Mad Max.  But the original film was about gang warfare on the open road as society comes crumbling down.

Gibson didn’t actually go to the audition for Mad Max hoping for a part.  He was there accompanying a friend who was reading.  Gibson had been in a bar fight the night before and described his head as looking like a “black and blue pumpkin”.  He was asked by the casting director to come back in three weeks to audition to play one of the movie’s post apocalyptic freaks.  Instead, with his face healed, Gibson was asked to audition for the lead.

Mad Max has a very loose structure which can be hard to watch.  The ending in which Max takes revenge on the gangsters is killer stuff.  But getting to that point can be pretty brutal.  When the film was released in America in 1980, all the dialogue (including Gibson’s) was redubbed.  While the film was not a hit in America, it was a big hit over seas.

Mel Gibson - Gallipoli - 1981

Mel Gibson – Gallipoli – 1981

Gibson was a rising star in Australia.  But in 1981, he had two films which crossed over to the US.  The first was Peter Weir’s World War I drama, Gallipoli.  Gibson played an Australian sprinter who signs up to join the ANZACs in World War I. They are sent to Gallipoli, where they must stand against the Tuskish army.

Weir described young Gibson as “full of beans and really with no grand career ambitions.”

Gallipoli was a huge hit in Australia.  It was less successful in other countries.  In the US, it grossed less than $6 million dollars.  But it was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film.

Mel Gibson in Mad Max 2.

Later that year, Gibson returned to the Mad Max franchise for George Miller’s sequel, The Road Warrior.

The Road Warrior is all out action on the street.  Gibson only had 16 lines of dialogue in the entire film, and two of them were: “I only came for the gasoline.”

Mad Max was not a hit in the US.  So when The Road Warrior was released, Warner Brothers decided to change the title to The Road Warrior.  The original marketing materials focused on the car crashes and mayhem rather than Gibson’s character.

The Road Warrior is one of those movies whose impact is bigger than the movie itself.  It redefined the look and feel of sci-fi movies going forward.  Almost every post-apocalyptic movie made since 1981 owes a debt to Miller’s Road Warrior.

Kevin Costner drove his career into the ground trying to make his own Road Warrior-esque post-apocalypse flick.  He failed twice.

What strikes me the most about Gibson’s Australian film career is that in the span of 1979-1981, Gibson managed to work with the two most successful directors in his country’s film industry.  Wier and Miller would both go on to have long, successful Hollywood careers.  That’s some pretty amazing luck to get to work with two immensely talented directors so early in your career.

Next: The Bounty and Beyond Thunderdome


Posted on January 6, 2012, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor, WTHH Director and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 501 Comments.

  1. We’re flip-flopping here LeBeau. You’ve mentioned before that you don’t get bothered by a celebrity’s personal life, politics, etc. Well, here’s one time where I’m able to forgive and move on. If Mel makes another great film, I will pay to see it at the theaters and I don’t think I’m alone.

    You left out the fact that he deserted his wife and children. I believe that this was a crucial moment in his downfall that should not be omitted. He was married to Robyn for 28 years, and they have 7 children together.

    The anti-Semitic rant gave credence to the case against The Passion of the Christ. I did not personally find the film to be anti-Semitic. I watched it twice. Once pre-rant, once post-rant…primarily looking for anti-Semitism which I did not find. The hero of the film, as I recall, is a Jew.

    I do remember celebs and religious leaders blasting him post-rant, and throwing in The Passion of the Christ at that point as well. What struck me at the time was the number of people who voiced opinions on this issue. When a very sober Michael Richards used “the n word”, none of these religious leaders (and few celebs) spoke up.

    Do I think Mel has problems? Yes, he’s an alcoholic with rage issues
    Do I think Mel is truly a racist or anti-Semite? No, he’s an alcoholic with rage issues
    Do I think Mel is a jerk? Yes

    Of all the celebs you’ve covered, here’s one who really doesn’t need to “get” the work. He’s already demonstrated that he can fully fund a movie on his own. He’s filthy disgusting rich, much of which came from The Passion, as you’ve mentioned. If he decides to produce, direct, and star in another film, he will.


    • Gibson’s story is a complex one. I figured we’d hash out some of the details here in the comments section. I think you’re right to point out that Gibson’s treatment of his wife and kids is perhaps the most shameful part of the whole ordeal. I didn’t highlight it because actors leaving their wives and kids is kind of old news in Hollywood. But few have been recorded spewing as much hate as Mel Gibson.

      The two recent examples that come to mind are Michael Richards and Tracy Morgan. Both presumably sober when they made their comments. But also, both on stage presumably trying to be funny/provocative. I find both Richards’ and Morgan’s comments reprehensible and I have a tough time looking at them too.

      I agree with you that audiences would forgive Gibson if he released a film they wanted to see. It already happened once with Acopalypto. I think it would help if Gibson released another violent epic in which he did not appear on screen. But I’m not sure he has it in him right now. He says doesn’t care if he never works again.

      And like you said, Gibson doesn’t need anyone to hire him. He could bankroll a movie right now. But (and this is where I put on my amateur psychology hat and brush off my BA in psych) I think the guy kind of likes being hated. He’s been adored. I think he’s kind of over that. He always casts himself as the martyr in his movies. I think he’s cast himself as the martyr in real life.

      Also (and this is possibly contradictory of my last theory) I think he’s afraid of rejection. It’s one thing to be hated. But it’s quite another for him to try to win audiences back and fail. The performance of The Beaver had to hurt. In the old days, Gibson + puppet = 100 million dollars easy. But The Beaver (despite okay reviews) failed to earn back it’s low production costs.

      I don’t think the studios are going to gamble big on Gibson. So something like Lethal Weapon 5 isn’t going to happen. But I could see a cameo along the lines of the Hangover eventually happening. There are rumors Gibson could show up in a Mad Max reboot. I could see something like that being a test balloon.

      I half suspect that Gibson doesn’t want to gamble on himself right now. Or maybe he’s burned out. Or he’s dealing with his personal demons (although he never seems to want to take ownership of his problems in interviews – which is a big part of his problem). I don’t know.


      • Great points, and I like your take on the whole thing overall.

        Forgot about Tracy Morgan when posting. Morgan’s rant is a lot like Richards but I think the difference is that his rant was considered to be a part of his act, where Richards lost his self control on stage. It doesn’t make it any less hateful. Michael Richards now has no career and Tracy Morgan continues to work.


        • Yeah, although in fairness Michael Richards’ carerr was pretty much ovewr by that point. And Mrogan was still working on a hit TV show (or a hit by NBC standards anyway.) I would make the argument that Morgan (who had years in comedy) should have known better. Richards was in over his head doing the stand-up thing. Not an excuse. Just pointing out another difference however slight.

          Morgan handled his flare up the way Gibson should have. Apologize profusely, make it go away and move on.


      • Tracy Morgan kind of doesn’t look as bad in comparison to his “30 Rock” cohort Alec Baldwin, when he got caught making angry voice mail messages to his “rude, thoughtless, little pig” of a daughter.


    • “The hero of the film, as I recall, is a Jew.”

      A fairly geeky friend of mine put it in a way I have never seen anybody top.

      All of the “good” Jews* in the film look like Jedi. All of the “bad” Jews in the film look like orcs.

      * = also note that the “good” Jews in the movie are those who follow, believe in, and/or are Jesus Christ. That is to say, they are Christians, it’s just that Christians didn’t exist yet historically.


  2. I mentioned in another post I thought he had ‘daddy issues’. I don’t have a lot to go on here as the family is extremely private. However I did watch one of those Hollywood exposes’ on the Biography channel once about Gibson and his father was covered a little bit. I think that relationship probably could shed a little light on Mel’s flame out. His dad is one of those Holocaust deniers and as such by definition an anti-semite. And hey, if you hate one group may as well hate them all right? I suspect Mel grew up with hatred spewing forth regularly. If we extrapolate from that there may well have been at a minimum mental abuse and possibly some physical stuff thrown in. Pure speculation on my part, but a safe bet I’m thinking. Rigid, disciplinarian, bigots aren’t known for their positive child rearing skills. I’m betting daddy played a big part in the roots of Mel’s troubles.


    • I think that’s a pretty safe bet. It was certainly my impression as well from what little is known about Papa Gibson.


    • Excellent point, and I’m mad that I omitted his dad who is an extremist to put it lightly. Certainly that plays a huge role in Mel’s problems.


  3. mel gibson is the greatest action actor of all time. nobody could do mad max like he could or lethal weapon. if they decide to reboot lethal weapon and mad max. i won’t see it at all. i just hate how everyone and i mean everyone jew or not treated him all these years. he is a good actor and i’ve always liked his action films as much as i liked anybody else’s action movies. zach galifankis is a scumbag and i’m glad i didn’t see hangover 2. the hangovers are so boring. galifankis should burn in hell, i mean it. gibson is one of the best actors i’ve seen that can do action movies and is not a pussy like all these idiots i see including tom hanks.


    • Gibson is a gifted actor and director. But he was never my favorite action star by a long shot. I was always much more partial to Harrison Ford and Bruce Willis.

      I understand you support Gibson even after all the scandals. But I have to side with those who think Gibson’s behavior is reprehensible. Sorry.


      • I agree with you LeBeau, but in support of the movieman 🙂 I will absolutely agree that Zach Galifianakis is someone who needn’t protest anything.


        • lol – I don’t really know a ton about Galifianakis. You sound like you have a good story.

          I do remember reading a story where he told off January Jones at a party. But it sounds like January Jones probably inspires that kind of behavior.


      • Well, I really hate to bash a fellow Greek-American, but unfortunately Zach is a comedian who simply isn’t funny at all 🙂 He’s basically a tubby little pothead who’s tagging along for the ride in several sophomoric comedies. Remember the attention-getting incident on Bill Maher where he smoked a joint on live television, hoping that his college student fans wouldn’t realize that he’s approaching his mid-forties?

        In other words, his “protest” doesn’t really belong in a world where truly big stars have very important political/social opinions that they like to force on all of us common folks 😉

        That said, I will mention that someone blessed us with Disney’s G-Force last Christmas, and now I’m forced to watch Zach (routinely) in probably his best role to date.


  4. mel gibson and harrison ford were and still are my two favorite irish american tough guy action actors. can tom hanks and george clooney be like those two? ohh, Pleease. i already boycotted zach galifankis and his movies now. i won’t pay money to see a fellow greek american to be a jerk off and a pussy. the comedy era now has gotten screwed up with this potty humor bullshit. i only see movies with tough guys, good actors not pussies like the ones i see now. zack galifankis is a pussy. if geo agrees with me on that good, if you don’t ,fine.


  5. when gibson did the first mad max, people said it was a futuristc dirty harry. when he did the second one it started a whole bunch of apocalyptic films including the terminator movies. the 80’s were the good days of action and comedy, now this year it is shit.


  6. gibson is still the best in my book. he hasn’t offended me or my religion for that matter. i don’t like galifankis either, geo.


  7. when gibson worked with kurt russell on tequila sunrise, i thought it was great to see 2 good action actors have played sci fi anti heroes in movies like mad max, escape from ny,etc. gibson is great when it came to good action movies for the 80s and 90s, while clooney was in the gayest worst batman movie of all time, gibson did conspiracy theory with julia roberts way before ocean’s eleven and larry crowne. conspiracy theory was the best. i didn’t enjoy pocahontas either lebeau.


  8. Watching Michelle Pfeiffer’s Jo Ann Valenari stoking up the rivalry between the Gibson and Russell characters is one of the main reasons Tequila Sunrise is one of my favourite films.
    It’s the closest you’ll come to seeing an on screen love triangle between Catwoman, Mad Max and Snake Plissken!
    I still enjoy watching Gibson in Mad Max 2 as well, the stunt work in that final chase is incredible!


    • I never thought about Tequilla Sunrise in quite that way before! I haven’t seen the film in at least 20 years I bet. I’m going to have to go back and rewatch it. I remember at the time thinking it was basically an update on Casablanca( as discussed in another thread, I was really into Casablanca at the time). I thought the scenery and the people were gorgeous. But nothing else really grabbed me. I almost certainly owe it a look with fresh eyes.

      Mad Max 2 is a classic of the genre. It’s impact can’t be overestimated. I feel like Miller is an under-rated talent.


  9. don’t ever see mad max 4 or a reboot of lethal weapon cause if you do you betray mel gibson and his performances he put in the mad max and lethal weapon franchises. cause there is only one martin riggs and one mad max and that is mel gibson.


    • If they can recast James Bond, Superman and Batman, I have no problem with another actor playing Mad Max or Martin Riggs.

      The new Total Recall will be more like the original source material than the movie anyway. So I see it as a completely different animal.

      Escape From NY, I would only see if Carpenter (or someone of equal talent) was involved.


  10. don’t ever see a remake of escape from ny either.


  11. or even the remake of total recall.


  12. Great post! An excellent overview of Gibson’s career. I know that when Gibson just embarked on the shooting of ‘The Year of Living Dangerously’ in 1981 he was already considered by many to be the most talented of young actors and was compared to Sean Connery and Cary Grant. It’s such a shame that it did not all work out as planned.


  13. total recall aint gonna be like the book it will be like the 1990 movie lebeau. same characters same plot. bunch of no talent hacks for the remake. shame on all those bastards. schwarzenegger still is the best doug quaid, terminator, dutch, john matrix, conan, etc. kurt russell was and still is the best snake plissken hands down. if someone remakes that without carpenter and russell, may they burn in hell.


    • I commend your obvious passion. But maybe you care too much? I mean Escape from New York is a fun movie and all. But a remake isn’t exactly worth eternal damnation.


      • …or maybe it is LeBeau…maybe it is.


        • Depends on the remake, I guess. Some are pretty criminal. I just ignore the vast majority of them.

          Speaking of which, the new Conan just came in the mail. Word of mouth on this thing is toxic. Should make for an interesting write up if not a pleasant viewing experience.


      • Avoided that at RedBox, let me know if I made a mistake. I am a Conan fan, but this one scares me. I don’t want to taint Conan by watching a junk movie.


        • I’ll let you know about Conan. And I’ll be in touch about the Donner cut. I didn’t buy it as part of a boxed set, so it’s not like I risk breaking up a collection. Once I had kids, my collector days ended.


      • Yes, kids end that stuff, and really IMO for the better. I can still remember being concerned about things that just don’t matter anymore. For example, long ago, before DVD, I remember how important it was for me to have the Star Trek 6-movie VHS boxed set. Hilarious as this sounds, the box for Star Trek V was teethed on and torn apart by my older daughter when she was a baby 🙂 I’m actually glad that happened.

        No risk on the Donner cut at all. If it gets lost in the mail, I’ll pay you for a new one.


        • Yeah, my collection used to be alphabetized. I took some measure of pride in it, I’m embarassed to say. Now, I’m happy if my movies aren’t lying in a pile on the floor.

          Now I just have to sort through the pile for the Donner cut 😉


  14. i’m boycotting remakes of great movies from the 80s and 90’s. originals are better.


  15. the new total recall will flop at the box office.


  16. i already boycotted the new conan the barbarian. i like the old one better with arnold. even though now that arnold cheated on his wife, i can still get into a good movie from him. because he made a movie great in the 80s and 90s. my obvious passion lebeau? i’m a classic man. i like movies that have good actors that are tough and not pussies. i like movies that are good with great endings, than crummy endings. when you talk about how mel gibson screwed up his career who’s to say tom hanks hasn’t, huh? i was glad i didn’t see the hangover 2 after what zach galifankis said about mel gibson. i will never see a movie from zach galifankis again not even the first hangover. the hangover is so stupid. if you want to judge me on how hate tom hanks or zach galifankis or any other celebrity i hate, you go right ahead. i don’t care.


  17. you want to know the difference between me and you? i care about good movies, you care about crap movies.


    • I’m not sure if this comment is directed at me or someone else. Obviously, we have differing tastes on some things. And that’s cool. Differences of opinion keep things interesting. And I have got to give you credit for that. You always keep the conversation lively.


  18. good. i’m glad that’s something we can agree on.


  19. i will still go see a movie with mel gibson even if it has action in it.


  20. there is only one mad max and one martin riggs and that is mel gibson. end of story. i won’t see a remake or reboot of an old movie with a good actor i liked back in 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. i think i have made myself clear on this point. no remake of escape from new york, total recall, lethal weapon, mad max 4,etc.


  21. i didn’t have a problem with the sequel tron legacy, it stayed true to the 1982 film from disney.


  22. I would still, as always, (censored naughty things Jason would do to/for Mel Gibson)…


  23. mel gibson was and still is the best action, comedy and drama actor that i have seen in any movie. i think clooney, hanks, pitt and penn are pussies. they lack the talent that mel gibson has in any movie action or not. i’m a staunch supporter of mel since lethal weapon. i believe in him. end of story.


  24. if mel gibson did a good action movie i would go see it. i don’t care what any dickhead says about him.


  25. i don’t care what liberal idiots jew or not say about mel gibson. i think mel gibson is a good actor no matter what the critics say. they don’t judge tom hanks, alec baldwin, sean penn, roman polanski, george clooney, etc, but they judge mel gibson for what? he said anti semite remarks while drunk and threatened his russian girlfriend? come on! he was going through tough times, but then again so do we.


  26. if i had to choose between mel gibson and george clooney. i choose mel gibson.


  27. gibson was the greatest action actor i have seen besides stallone, schwarzenegger, willis, harrison ford, kurt russell, chuck norris, steven seagal, tommy lee jones, val kilmer, michael keaton, al pacino, robert de niro, tom cruise, etc. he’s still the best to me lebeau. can tom hanks do a action movie? i don’t think so. the point i ‘m trying to make here is that some people are bashing Mel’s behavior and now his movies, while others are trying to help him fight for his life and his place in hollywood. i plan to fight for his life and his career, lebeau. that’s one thing i plan to do. i hope mel gibson does a great film and when he does i will go see it. end of story.


    • It’s fine that you still like the guy. But he’s not fighting for his life and he doesn’t need your help or anyone else’s.

      If Mel wanted to make a movie, he’d make a movie. He’s in a power position. After The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson has the money and power to bankroll his own movie. The only thing keeping Mel Gibson from making another movie is Mel Gibson.

      I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t want to work with him. But Gibson doesn’t need them. He’s independent.

      He says he’s just not interested and I think that’s largely true. I think partly, that’s because he is afraid audiences will reject him as they did on The Beaver. But for whatever reason, Gibson doesn’t want to take a chance right now. And if Gibson doesn’t want to bet on himself, I can’t blame others for not wanting to roll the dice.


  28. good. point i’m trying to make here is he’s still talented and i know he doesn’t need my help. but give the guy a break lebeau. he’s had hard times but then so have we. screw what audiences think now about him. what matters to me is mel gibson can do a good movie if you believe it will be good to see, that what i think. Oliver Stone said that hollywood will eventually forgive him. i think so too. i don’t care what anyone else thinks about mel gibson as far as i’m concerned. i think he will do a great film and like i said it will be good.


    • Hollywood will forgive anyone who can make them money. And I have no doubt Mel Gibson could make money again. If he made the right kind of movie, he could make a killing at the box office right now. And then, the studios would be lining up to hire him again. But he’s going to need to finance that first movie himself. And for now, he doesn’t seem willing to do that. And I get that. He’s probably sick of the spotlight at this point. Why not just walk away and enjoy his rather large fortune?

      But essentially I agree. If Gibson decides he wants to make a comeback and he does it correctly, it is easily within his reach.


  29. i’ll tell you one thing lebeau. mel gibson was much more famous back in the day than that idiot george clooney. did clooney do mad max or lethal weapon? no he did that stupid medical show ER and the worst batman movie of all time Batman and Robin. gibson is more top notch than clooney. clooney is a poster boy idiot. that’s what ithink.


    • I will say I like George Clooney a lot as an actor. Also, he’s a local boy. I grew up watching his dad on the news.

      Having said that, I will agree that Clooney has never been as big of a star as Gibson. Few have. Gibson transcended just being a movie star. He was a legit mogul. After The Passion of the Christ, Gibson had power in Hollywood that few actors have ever known. Heck, after Braveheart Gibson became a member of a very select group.

      Clooney, on the other hand, has been content to make more ambitious films that don’t tend to perform as well at the box office. He has said he learned a lesson from Batman and Robin and that from then on he would never take a movie for the money. I think it’s a lesson that has served Clooney very well. He may never be as big a star as Gibson. But he has had a remarkable acting career.


  30. yeah, for being a poster boy. clooney is cocky, a pussy and a poster boy nothing more. same with tom hanks. that’s what i think about the morons of hollywood including clooney and hanks. 1. hollywood has changed because of slimy nutcases who think of stupid movies and shows that deal with political issues and in fact issues that relate to mel gibson.
    2. for example chevy chase when he did a episode of law and order that was a play on gibson’s anti semitic rant, i thought it was shameful. chevy chase was funny in the 80s, but now he’s a left wing pinhead and a has been. 3. that goes to show hollywood is slime because of the idiots that you say are good actors. 4. i never really liked clooney or his movies, i thought he was a loser and i still think he is. you know what i love about mel gibson? he never ever played a homosexual in a movie like hanks and penn did and made you have sympathy for his character because of his sexual orientation. i’m not saying this to be homophobic, i mean i respect gay rights and all but i think hollywood has gotten too crazy over gay issues and having straight actors portray homosexuals.


    • We’re going to have to agree to disagree on Clooney. He’s one of my favorite actors working today.

      I can’t really follow your reasoning on the gay thing. I don’t keep track of who has or hasn’t played a gay character. Makes no difference to me whatsoever. I’m not thrilled about Gibson’s “gay” act in Bird on a Wire though.

      I agree with you about Chevy Chase. He’s been a has-been for a long time. I remember watching The Chevy Chase show and realizing that Chevy Chase was done. Although he has had a pretty impressive resurgence in recent years. He’s on my list to write up eventually. So I won’t say too much more about him right now.


      • I’m wondering if you’ve seen “The Descendents” yet. I usually like Clooney perfectly fine, but while he is not bad in “The Descendents,” the critical raves he has received seem to me to be wholly undeserved. Several of Clooney’s castmates outperform him in their scenes together, and he mostly just hangs around looking beleaguered. He manages to hit the right emotional notes in a few key scenes, but his performance in the rest of the film does not support those scenes. Truly excellent film actors are skilled in showing the audience the character’s inner life throughout a performance, even when standing in the background. Clooney appears to be mailing it in when he feels like he’s not the focus of the camera/scene. This is not an unwarranted approach, but in this case, the stand-alone lead offers no continuity for his character’s experience.
        Robert Forrester, on the other hand, creates a wonderfully four-dimensional character with a rich emotinal life in only about five minutes onscreen.


        • I’m pretty far behind in my film viewing. So, no. No Descendents yet for me. I’m planning to check it out on video.

          Interesting to hear your appraisal of his performance. I usually really like Clooney and as you say, he is getting rave reviews. Can’t wait to see it and form my own opinion.


  31. hollywood is shameful. that’s all i’m saying lebeau.


  32. no it is shameful for a straight man to play a gay character and win an oscar for it and be a leftwing political nut later in life like hanks and penn.


  33. sean penn is a communist and i won’t waste my time on his new movies. i wanted mickey rourke to win an oscar for the wrestler but the idiots in hollywood picked the ratface sean penn for that stupid harvey milk role.


  34. leftwing describes people as liberal or progressive. that is what it describes. maybe is not an insult from people like you daffy. but it is an expression. i won’t listen to any jewish or not jewish slimy vermin actor or actress, pot head, comic, producer or director or politician who thinks he or she is funny by insulting mel gibson and his behavior, and his political idealogies. which is what the left wing hollywood is all about, blacklisting. shame on everyone even in hollywood. leave gibson alone. he may have said stupid things but then so have we. he has his opinions and reasons. everybody has their own opinions. gibson is far more talented than anti american idiots like clooney, pitt, hanks and penn. i would go see a movie from mel gibson any day of the week. mel gibson hasn’t insulted me or any of you. i want you to know that. that’s all i have to say. i’m done. if you agree fine. if you don’t, i really don’t care. i won’t break the peace that i have made when i first started. that’s all i’m saying. i respect you guys.


    • You know, there was an actual Hollywood blacklist once. They blacklisted anyone who was suspected of communism. So, it was actually the right that was blacklisting the left. You’d have a hard time convincing me the left EVER blacklisted the right.

      Gibson definitely isn’t blacklisted. If he wanted to work, he would. He created his current situation entirely on his own. He is in no way a victim. He’s not a victim of the left, of Jews, of women, of his ex. The only person Mel Gibson has to blame for anything is Mel Gibson.

      Like I said before, Hollywood will forgive just about anything. They will work with anyone regardless of politics as long as the money is there. If what you were saying about Hollywood was true, there wouldn’t be successful conservative actors like Schwarzenegger, Willis and Stallone.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is, this isn’t about politics.


      • While I agree with what you’re saying, there’s no question that Mel is being “blackballed” as an actor by certain producers.


        • It’s the use of the word “blacklist” that I disagree with. Yeah, Mel pissed off some studio guys and they don’t want to work with him. That’s their right. Happens all the time. But it’s not like Mel was blacklisted because he’s a conservative. Or even like he can’t find work. He acted like a fool in public, got a second chance, blew it and the end result is that he is less hireable than he used to be. That’s just how the world works. That’s not a blacklist. If you or me carried on the way Mel Gibson does, we’d be fired. Mel’s getting off easier than most people would in their jobs, in my humble opinion.

          “Blackballed?” Yeah, sure. I can agree with that. But, he’s got that coming.

          All he’s got to do is prove that he can still make money, and all will be forgotten.


      • Ok, yeah, that’s why I used “blackballed ” instead 😉

        I only disagree with the point you made about him proving that he can still make money. I think he’s done that. I realize that as a rule, what you’re saying is true, but look at Charlie Sheen. Hell, look at “Fatty” Arbuckle if you want to see one of the worst cases in cinematic history.

        Before you say “but those cases are different”, look at the similarities.


        • You kind of busted me. I wrote my initial response and then realized you used the word “blackballed” and went back and tweaked it. And yet, you still picked up on my poor reading comprehension! Curses!

          I think Charlie Sheen is a prime example of the point I’m trying to make. Sheen acted like an idiot. He got fired as he rightly should. If any of us behaved the way Sheen or Gibson behaved, there would be far more dire career consequences. But after a months-long public melt-down, Charlie gave a couple of somewhat lucid interviews and got another lucrative TV job!

          Gibson could do the same. The problem is, his only recent movie as a star is The Beaver which tanked. I suspect The Beaver would not have been a hit regardless of the scandal. But it’s there hanging over his head as evidence that people won’t pay to see a Mel Gibson movie.

          Unfair? Probably. But I can’t blame a studio for looking at Mel’s current situation and deciding they don’t want to gamble millions of dollars on the guy. He’s unstable.


      • My Charlie Sheen example is meant to show that even with his sitcom making money, he still got canned because he pissed off the producer. I realize that he’s set to start making $ again in a new show.


      • I think the Sheen example (rare as it is) actually shows that Hollywood wont forgive ANYTHING, but I get your point. It was very successful when they fired the star of the show.


        • Well, yeah, but if they hadn’t fired Sheen they would have lost everyone else associated with the show. You can’t publicly mock your boss and expect to keep your job. Even if you are a Warlock.

          Which I guess is your point as well. Hollywood does have limits. They will just overlook most of those for enough money.


      • Exactly, and now in typical Hollywood fashion, the show will just fizzle away. Maybe I expect too much, but wouldn’t it have been great if they had filmed a few episodes with Sheen and just ended it? I think it had pretty much run its course even before the Sheen meltdown (though still lucrative, I think it was winding down).


        • I have to admit, I have never sat through an entire episode of Two and a Half Men. So, I can’t really comment on the show’s quality. It does seem like they will need to change the title to 3 Men sometime soon. That kid is looking old to still be considered half a man. The show is still a hit without Sheen, so at least financially it looks like letting him go was the right decision. Creatively, maybe not. But as you say, I imagine the show was winding down creatively anyway.


      • Not sure what the exact ratings are right now, but I did read that the Kutcher season is on a steady decline after starting strong. I think the post-Sheen curiosity is wearing off.


        • The ratings have slid, but that’s too be expected. It’s still a huge hit. This week a Two and a Half Men repeat was the #1 show in its slot. Although the ratings are lower than they were at the premiere, they are still higher than they were last year when Sheen was on the show. Something that Kutcher, who makes less per episode than Sheen did, is pointing out. Guess who will most likely be getting a huge raise next year?


      • Yeah, but it has a lot do with the fact that Charlie was burned out and unprofessional beginning at that point even though his public meltdown was only just about to get started. People noticed his weaker performances, and the show was beginning a downfall, I believe. If you compare Kutcher’s ratings to the other seasons of the show, it’s not always so good (especially since the new format has already most likely seen its best ratings). In fairness, Kutcher took on a tough gig and you got to give him credit for that. I think he should drop the ratings argument though.


        • Yeah, he’s comparing his performance to Sheen at his low point. Which is sort of unfair. But then again, the show would be past its prime no matter who was in it.

          I don’t think Kutcher needs to argue for more money. CBS got him at a relative bargain rate. He took a huge paycut compared to what Sheen was making and the ratings didn’t dip. CBS will happily pay him more, I’d wager. But I suspect the show’s days are numbered. Kutcher will get a decent payday first though.

          Sheen handled the whole ordeal very poorly at first. But he came around and did exactly what Gibson should be doing.


      • Yeah, it will be interesting to see how his new show does. It’s going to be on the FX network.


        • That will be interesting. I didn’t care for the movie it’s based on. I have a hard time imagining it being a hit. But then, expectations are lower for FX. So, who knows.


      • Maybe conservative, or in the case of some of these names we should more aptly say “Republican” actors can be successful working in Hollywood. But what about the films themselves? The endless stream of anti-war movies that came out during the Bush presidency and bombed time and time again but just kept coming shows Hollywood’s political bias in their product as much as anything. Let’s also not forget how Hollywood likes to replace Muslim villains in their movies with vague white “extremists” of some sort. Mainstream Hollywood is a secular, progressive, “politically correct” town. Their output is absolutely soaked and dripping with their political bias, in countless overt and subtle ways, both in the product they actually release and the product that is never allowed to see the light of day.


        • daffystardust

          Hollywood does “lean” left. It is the result of the fact that, for whatever reason, artists in general tend to be more liberal than most of mainstream America. One big reason for this continuing to be the case is that artistic communities are more accepting of a wider range of people than most of mainstream America is, and that creates a snowball effect. Call it “politically correct” if you like, but once you make friends with people you tend not to want to insult them. Unfortunately, too often conservative and Christian communities have either endorsed or turned a blind eye to those who would oppress, exclude, or insult some of the people artists work side-by-side with on a daily basis. Hollywood made consistent efforts (sometimes ill-conceived) to endorse harmony between the races way back into the 50s when racism was still pretty acceptable throughout large parts of mainstream America.
          If conservatives want to see more films reflecting their values, they need to become screenwriters, directors, make-up artists, costumers, cinematographers, set designers, and most importantly, producers. That last one requires only deep pockets and the wish to make films. There are certainly plenty of conservatives with deep pockets. Why aren’t they making the films they want to see instead of just complaining when somebody else doesn’t? It appears to me that it just isn’t all that important to them.


        • That would mean losing Hollywood as a scape goat. And they LOVE using Hollywood to scare people!


        • To some extent, you’re probably right. I think there are a lot more left-leaning film makers out there. But there’s plenty of conservatives and Republicans making movies. There are lots of movies that have a right-leaning agenda. Most action stars are Republicans. And some big budget actions films border on facism. (I’m exxagerating of course.)

          Bottom line, Hollywood will make a movie that runs contrary to their political opinions if they smell a buck in it. And there are also conservatives as well that are actively championing these kinds of films. Audiences vote with their feet. If conservative, Christian, red state films perform at the box office, more will be made.


    • Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I almost always ask who else is in a cast before I accept a role. Thankfully, I’ve never had to back out, but there are people who I don’t ever want to work with again. The same is true in my regular job life. It is anyone’s right to work with who they like if they can arrange it.

      The ACTUAL Hollywood blacklist was one enforced by thugs through strongarm tactics, and way too often its victims had done nothing more than attend a couple of meetings several years prior, or just for having a couple of the wrong friends. Were there actual subversives unearthed by McCarthy and HUAC? Yes there were. But the number was in the single digits, while they ruined dozens and dozens of lives based sometimes on absolutely zero evidence.


      • daffystardust

        Update on this: I have just recently made the decison not to pursue a role because I know there is a person who will be involved who I don’t want to work with again. This is more a loss to me than to this other person, and thankfully I was not in a position in which I had to decline an offer.


  35. I haven’t said anything bad about Mel Gibson. He’s a talented actor. He made some mistakes. We’ll see what he decides to do in the future.


  36. ok then.


  37. . this blog is a good read . . give him a break I say . . Mel Gibson’s personal life is his own business . . personally he is one of my favourite actors and I love his movies . . looking for images of Mel in his younger days on google search . for photographs to pin of the Mel Gibson we all know and love . . I discovered this blog . a review on the story of his life . . and while it is interesting with many fascinating facts about his movie career . the bias against him is unjustified . . people can be so unfair . although . as I said . it is a good read and I enjoy the comments posted as well . . You never know . he may see this post . as if he does . I simply would like to say I love his films and I wish him well . .


    • Glad you found us and thanks for taking the time to post.

      You never know. Sean Young dropped by and read the article I wrote about her. Maybe Mr. Gibson will Goggle himself and find us some day. If so, Mel, make a movie! Take a chance on your own career. Audiences will forgive you if the movie is a good one. (Oh, and maybe stop drinking while you’re at it.) You’ve still got fans like Sharon and Movie Man who will come out to support you.

      I agree with you that Gibson’s personal life is his own buisness. But I can’t really write about the rise and fall of Mel Gibson without at least referencing the DUI, the sexist and racist comments and the brutal, vicious tapes that were released to the public. Whether or not those should be public is debatable. But they are part of the Gibson story.

      I do my best to concentrate on the career. I only focus on the personal stuff when it has a direct impact on the subject’s career trajectory.

      Do I have an anti-Gibson bias? I guess I’m not really in a position to judge my own objectivity. But I think I gave Gibson the same treatment I gave anyone else in the series. I crack jokes about all my subjects. It’s meant in good fun. And if they don’t like it, they can drop in and call me a “psycho” like the always-level-headed Ms. Young did.

      Anyway, thanks again for reading!


  38. gibson is still one of my favorite actors besides harrison ford, sylvester stallone, arnold schwarzenegger, bruce willis, kurt russell, tommy lee jones, jeff bridges, nick nolte, mickey rourke, gary oldman, al pacino, robert de niro, dustin hoffman, jack nicholson, sean connery, gene hackman, clint eastwood, val kilmer and michael keaton. to me those are all good actors. real men. real tough guys. gibson had a great career then and he could still do it again if we all believe in him like we believe in a lot of our favorite actors.


  39. travolta and cage are also my favorites.


  40. I can’t look at Gibby without hearing the hate, either, which is terribly sad. He is a very talented actor.

    After the past two years, I also have a hard time seeing Zach G. as anything but the whiny, priss-miss he plays to such comical results on screen. I can’t help but think he’s lashing out for being picked on as a kid when he kicks fallen individuals at a time when they need compassion.


    • Those recordings are hard to unhear. And it colors your perception of him making it hard to buy him as a likable guy on-screen.

      I guess I need to pay more attention to Zach G so I can hop on the backlash bandwagon. I honestly don’t know enough about him to like or dislike him. Maybe that’s for the best.


  41. zach galifankis is a pussy. that’s all he is.


  42. mel gibson had good times and bad times, but then so have we. there were times when i couldn’t get enough of his action movies in the 80s and 90s. people loved lethal weapon and mad max and even braveheart. they thought he would be the next clint eastwood when he did the first mad max which was a futuristic dirty harry. they were wrong. i don’t have a problem with you lebeau. i respect you you know that. if i get carried away sometimes, you know that i miss certain actors who need to be back in the limelight like keaton, kurt russell and mel gibson. all i can say is that if jim jones wants to ask me questions and debate what certain actors i like or hate i won’t argue with him. i want you and jim to know that.


  43. you know something? edge of darkness gets better everytime i see it. second best conspiracy movie from mel gibson besides conspiracy theory. i only wish mel did more movies like that. even if he’s is getting old, he’s still the best.


  44. i heard get the gringo seems interesting, maybe i will see it.


  45. edge of darkness is a lot more interesting than syriana. at least mel gibson has been tortured a lot more than clooney. clooney didn’t escape torture like gibson did.


  46. any character mel gibson played martin riggs, thomas craven and jerry fletcher, porter etc. got tortured and escaped and usually killed people. clooney only got tortured in syriana. that goes to show a lot of reasons why mel gibson is better than george clooney. i’ve never seen tom hanks get tortured in a movie. have you, daffy or you lebeau?


    • I have not. Although I don’t really keep track of such things. Gibson does seem to have torture as a theme in his movies. So if that appeals to you, I can see why Gibson would be a favorite.


    • A) I seem to remember Gibson’s character William Wallace in “Braveheart” being tortured and not escaping.

      B) We really have to separate what a character does in a movie from how good we think the actor playing the character is.


  47. any action star who is tortured in a movie is bound to escape and kill the bad guys, terrorists,etc. and survive but if he has to sacrifice himself to save others then that is a good movie. if you have a good movie with good characters, a good plot and a good ending, that is how a good movie is made. some movies about terrorism like arlington road and syriana you have good guys like jeff bridges and george clooney getting killed by terrorists or government officals and that is how the movie ends? that is just propaganda nonsense from hollywood. make the villians win and heroes lose. bunch of crap. the only good jeff bridges on terrorism i liked was blown away and it had a great ending. bridges fought tommy lee jones, escaped from a burning boat, defused a bomb in his wife’s car and saved his family. now that’s a great ending. it was better than arlington road. check out blown away and arlington road lebeau. and tell me the difference between those movies. and then i’ll get back to you on that.


  48. the only thing i hope is that gibson could bring back his characters from mad max and lethal weapon to the big screen again like stallone did with rocky and rambo.


  49. you know what gibson needs to do is another lethal weapon again with joel silver and richard donner and danny glover to get his career back on track again.


    • I would honestly prefer never to see another Lethal Weapon movie again. They should have stopped after the second one. The third one was forgivable. The fourth one was pushing things. I don’t want to see a fifth movie. Murtaugh was “too old for this shit” decades ago. I’d rather see Gibson do something new.


      • The first two “Lethal Weapon” movies for better or for worse, had a dark, kind of scuzzy edge about them. I think maybe, the latter two movies (especially the fourth one) became too broadly comedic and goofy (they felt awfully family friendly despite being R-rated movies). Also, Richard Donner, the director seemed to become less and less subtle in each sequel w/ the social/political commentary as if he was there to shoehorn some sort personal agenda of his.


        • As the series went on, it became a way for these actors who were all friendly to cash a big, easy paycheck while hanging out. The laziness really started to show.


        • I think among the sequels, the second one was probably the best in that it had the right amount of humor and violence. The third “Lethal Weapon” was arguably saddled w/ a weak, ineffectual villain played by Stuart Wilson, some rather heavy-handed and down-right preachy social commentary (i.e. Danny Glover’s character shooting his son’s gang-banging friend) , and way too much comedy that really distracts from the overall action and tension (perhaps it wasn’t until Rene Russo’s character shows up that the plot begins to get back on track). It seemed like by this point in time, Gibson and Glover (and to a lesser extent, Joe Pesci’s character, who was introduced in the second movie) were getting way too comfortable and had to spend at least the first half hour or so goofing around and wisecracking.

          It’s been a while since I’ve seen the fourth movie, but from what I can recall, it had even more goofy sitcom type situations. Plus, you can make the argument that the story-line was a bit incoherent (which would make sense since principal shooting literally began in January ’98 while the movie itself was to be released that summer) and rushed. It’s also seemingly one of those “wants to have its cake and eat it too” sort of movies w/ its casual racism towards Chinese people while at the same time having Danny Glover take Chinese immigrants into his home as a sign of minority slavery solidarity (Richard Donner again had to go w/ the heavy-handed social commentary).


        • The Lethal Weapon movies turned into an excuse for Gibson, Glover, Donner and friends to hang out and collect fat paychecks. No one was really trying very hard and it showed. I haven’t watched 3 or 4 since they were in theaters. I can barely remember anything about them.


  50. like what? gibson needs to do what he does best and that is an action film. if stallone can bring back rocky and rambo to get his career back same with bruce willis with john mcclane and arnold schwarzenegger with the terminator. then, so can mel and so can kurt russell another great actor who is under rated. when you said about not seeing a movie sequel to a succesful film i would have to say lebeau. the same can be said with toy story. they shouldn’t have made a third one because they payed more attention to hanks than to keaton. and they shouldn’t have made another sequel to beverly hills cop after the second film, in my opinion 2 was the last good beverly hills cop.


    • If I had to see a sequel to a Mel Gibson action movie, it would be Mad Max. I’d be interested to see that character late in life. Riggs should either be retired or dead by now. I would find another Lethal Weapon to be kind of sad. Don’t get me wrong. If they made a great LW movie that lived up to the first two films, I’d go see it. But I just don’t think that’s possible at this stage of the game.

      I have similar qualms about Stallone doing more Rocky and Rambo movies. Or Willis doing more Die Hards. Or Ford doing Indiana Jones again. These movies never live up to the originals. They amount to faded glory. Okay for a nostalgia fix, but I’d rather see these actors do something new. (Although I’m no Stallone fan – so maybe he should just stick to sequels.)

      So far, the Toy Story movies have all been good. But I hope they don’t make a 4th one. No point pushing their luck.

      I didn’t really like any of the Beverly Hills Cop sequels. I would have been happy if they had just made one great movie and left it alone. I understand why they made more. Money. But creatively, I wish they hadn’t.

      I’m pretty jaded when it comes to sequels. Especially sequels to long dormant franchises. What are the odds Men in Black 3 will be any good?


      • I think the problem w/ doing a fifth “Lethal Weapon” movie (even w/o Mel’s personal problems of late) is that there arguably, really isn’t a lot more that you could do w/ the Martin Riggs character development-wise. I mean, in the first movie, he’s this suicidal, loose cannon who is partnered w/ the more caustic, by-the-book Danny Glover character, Murtaugh. In the second movie, we found out what really happened to Riggs’ dead wife (which was why he was suicidal in the first place). By the third movie, we see that Riggs has accepted/acknowledges the Murtaughs as his surrogate family and he’s given a new love interest (Rene Russo’s Sgt. Cole), who is pretty much is female counterpart. And by the fourth movie, Riggs becomes a father and learns that it’s okay to love and marry somebody other than his late wife. Riggs even cuts off his iconic mullet by the time fourth movie rolled around, perhaps in part indicating, his maturity.


        • Mother Brain’s Top 10 Unproduced Movie Sequels: THE SEQUEL:

          1. Lethal Weapon 5

          After the mixed reception of Lethal Weapon 4, Richard Donner and screenwriter Channing Gibson crafted a classified story-line that would have involved Riggs and Murtaugh out in the country in a motor-home when they stumble on a troubled village; however, a fallout between Donner and producer Joel Silver caused the latter to form his own 5th movie with Lethal 1 screenwriter, Shane Black, returning not only for the script but also to direct. Black developed a script in which Riggs falls into hard times while Murtaugh retires and the Shadow Company from Lethal 1 comes back to life with more hidden bad guys out for revenge for the death of the General from the first film. Warner Bros. would only agree to make Lethal 5 if Mel Gibson agreed to reprising Riggs. Once he learned that Donner would not be involved, Gibson passed all together. As of this writing, Warner Bros. is looking to reboot the series all together.


  51. probably it will. stallone’s done with rocky. he’s thinking about a sequel to rambo. i would see a sequel to mad max if mel gibson was in it. if he’s not, i won’t see it. kurt russell needs to do another sequel to escape from ny and la.


  52. mel gibson is an action star who should do what he does best, more good action films. if imbeciles like chevy chase or zach galifankis or any hollywood idiot criticize mel or mock mel, there is no point in seeing any new movie from any potheads, egotistical pricks, hasbeens, nutcases, nest of vipers of hollywood. mel gibson is the best. i would see another good film from gibson again. my advice? don’t waste your time on a zach galifankis film, or a new chevy chase film or any other movie or tv show from some cocky actor of hollywood that you would call a top notch actor. if you are tired of people making a mockery of mel gibson who is a great top notch actor. then don’t see a new movie with pothead pussies like zach galifankis or has been like chevy chase. don’t buy their new movies.


    • Personally, I have no problem with anyone being critical of Gibson. He deserves it. His behavior has been reprehensible. and he remains unrepentant. I don’t share your passion for defending the guy.


  53. fine. i understand. i still think gibson is the best so i don’t care what anyone thinks. he’ll make a good film again. eventually, hollywood will forgive him. zach galifankis is a pussy, end of story.i don’t care about his new films or the hangovers. they sucked in my opinion.


  54. mel needs to forget about making judah maccabee into a movie and do what he does best which is action films.


    • Sorry I’ve been absent lately, gang. Everyone in the house is sick! Hopefully we’ll all be healthy soon.

      Andy, rumor is Mel is in talks for Machete 2. What do you think?


  55. i think it will be cool to see mel in that if he is a hero or villian. it wouldn’t matter to me. rodriguez always casts good actors in his movies like mickey rourke, don johnson, bruce willis, antonio banderas,etc.


    • It seems like a good fit to me.

      On the downside, apparently Get the Gringo won’t be released in theaters. That’s gotta sting. But Machete 2 could be the start of a late-career come-back.


  56. I’d love to see Mel come back in Mad Max 4!
    There are a lot of loose ends that need to be tied up with that character.


    • Only if George Miller is calling the shots. I’d watch a Miller Mad Max no matter who was playing the role. Without Miller, I’m not very interested even if Mel comes back.


  57. amen to that. if mel comes back for mad max and lethal weapon as well, i think it will be good too.


  58. if mel gibson and harrison ford worked together in a movie doesn’t matter what kind, what do you think, lebeau?


  59. andymovieman

    really? that’s a good answer.




  61. andymovieman

    mel may have screwed up but he has a chance to redeem himself for machete 2. i can’t wait to see it. he’ll be back on top again. i promise you. i would never boycott mel’s films. he is just as interesting as any action star i see, he is better than the poster boy pussies like richard gere, etc.


  62. i have reasons to see a mel gibson film because the man can do great action movies like harrison ford, kurt russell, schwarzenegger, stallone, willis, chuck norris, mickey rourke, jean claude van damme, dolph lundgren, etc. he’s not like tom hanks and richard gere and george clooney. if machete 2 is as good as the first, please no lindsay lohan. she nearly ruined the film. she sucks period. i hope they have kurt russell in this film because the man hasn’t done a good action movie in 5 years and he’s doing crap movies now. that’s what i think about the best underrated action stars of all time lebeau.


  63. I think that Mel is so very gifted and doesn’t realize how much more he could do. I believe that it was God Almighty who moved him to do the Passion of the Christ. It changed many peoples lives as far as what they believe concerning salvation. I like Mel Gibson. Just think he’s searching still for that peace that he just can’t seem to find. Hope he does someday cause I really think so very much of him and his God given abilities. And no one on the face of this earth should be passing judgement on Antibes life. What did Christ say? ” he who has no sin cast the first stone.” we need to always remember that. What one person struggles with, someone struggles with something else.


  64. Good article, haven’t read all the comments (you guys are a little too PC liberal for me). Mel was always known as a great guy and supportive friend. He’s done a lot of charity giving. While his psych state may have changed (brain trauma from alcoholism?), he took a lot of bigoted s— for The Passion. Everyone knows Hwood is run by leftist Jews, many of whom are HUGE Christhaters. I lived in LA 20 years ago, and got to know a number of local Jews affiliated with the movies. Many were VERY disrespectful of Christians. It seems like Mel’s deterioration started after Passion. Link?

    Also, we don’t know what his situation was with the wife. Mel was loyal longer than many stars. Maybe she stopped doing it with him (like the wife of a friend of mine, leading to his infidelity)?

    Finally, I can’t recall many of those early pics (except ROAD WARRIOR – yeaaaah, baby!), but I’m not sure Mel was ever a great actor. Competent, yes, but with a bit of an inability really to lose his “Mel” persona in a role. What he truly is is an excellent popular director.

    I think he’s basically a good man (full disclosure: I haven’t heard any tapes, but I did date a Russian girl for a few years – they can be really nasty!). His incredible good looks are totally shot (what’s the age diff with Clooney, who looks great?). He’s only 56! Looks 65. I hope he dedicates the rest of his life to directing. He could still have a great career (as if he needs it).


    • I am glad to have your counter-point here in defense of Gibson. Although I don’t buy for one second that Mel Gibson or anyone else was the victim of a left-wing Jewish conspiracy. Hollywood respects money above all else. As long as Gibson shows he is still a force to be reconned with at the box office, the studios will work with him.

      Was Gibson ever a great actor? This gets to a question I wrestle with quite a bit. I put Gibson in the same camp as Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts. They are movie stars. Exceptionally charismatic and attractive individuals who work with talented directors who bring out the best in them. They can give good (even great) performances, but they never quite disappear into a role.

      That’s not meant as a slight. Very few people are cut out to be mega-watt movie stars.

      I won’t judge whether or not Gibson is a good man because I don’t know him. I have listened to some of the tapes out of morbid curiousity and they turned my stomach. He may be a good man. But he is definitely very, very flawed. Everyone is to some extent. But clearly, Gibson has some pretty serious issues!


      • I guess I’d like to think Hollywood respects money above else, but they seem to have a huge blind spot when it comes to films like The Passion of the Christ that might appeal to devout Christians. I simply can’t believe that all the studios in Hollywood failed to see the easy profit potential of the film, not of course needing to anticipate it being a top 10 film of the year. The spurning of this film by Hollywood studios was an example of nothing more than religious bigotry against Christians. To have the single most important story behind the Christian faith spat upon the way it was by big Hollywood was a tremendous insult to believers everywhere. Hollywood is overpopulated with people who follow secular, progressive and/or “politically correct” theologies who are simply and unequivocally bigoted against those who follow the Christian faith. It was simply classic political jujitsu to have them spin their objections to the movie around by accusing Mel Gibson of being the bigot, when that term was in fact exactly the right word to describe the studio executives who refused to release this picture.


        • daffystardust

          of course, ol’ Mel just went ahead and proved them right, didn’t he? I really don’t buy the apologist idea that he was “going through a tough time,” and that was why he got off all those blasts against Jewish people. I’ve read about some situations in which public figures made big mistakes in how they expressed themselves and it made them out to be something they were not. I just don’t think that’s what happened here. His personal history suggests that alcohol was a truth serum in this case.


        • Not to mention, years later he has yet to express an ounce of regret. In fact, he’s still carrying on.


        • I’m going to disagree with most of what you said here, but I’ll concede that there may have been more than money at work.

          First, you have to acknowledge that Hollywood had a lousy track record with religious films. Biblical epics were a big deal back in the Ben Hur/10 Commandments days. But those films died off. Relatively recent efforts like Richard Gere’s King David were costly bombs. And when Martin Scorsese told the same story in The Last Temptation of Christ, the same people who flocked to see Gibson’s Passion picketed Temptation. Hollywood was understandably reluctant to make these kinds of films.

          But Passion in particular was a high stakes gamble. One I would not have bet on frankly. It was a bloody hard-R. Who would have guessed the church groups would flock to something this grusome? (Well, in retrospect that shouldn’t have been so surprising.) All the dialogue was in a dead language! If Gibson had agreed to a PG rating and no subtitles, the studios probably would have played ball.

          You are right in that the studios were leery of filming a passion play. There’s a history of passion plays being used to rally up anti-semetic sentiment. So, I can understand it. But I think this is where the profit motive took a detour.

          The thing is, after Passion, the studios saw the green. Thjey attempted to make their own bible movies. They failed. They worked with gibson again. He imploded.

          I really see no conspiracy here. And no bigotry against Christians whatsoever.


      • It takes a seriously deficient brain-stem to parrot anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Hollywood while accusing those in Hollywood (or anyone else) of being the bigots for failing to show interest in Gibson’s awful and–yes–RABIDLY anti-Semitic picture. Gibson comes from an old-school Catholic fascist culture. His father is a hardcore anti-Semite and Holocaust denier who regularly engages in exactly the sort of anti-Semitic conspiracism evidenced in this thread.

        Since some apparently still haven’t gotten it, THE PASSION isn’t made from the New Testament texts. It’s a film adaptation of “The Dolorous Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ,” a book purportedly documenting the ravings of a 19th century German nun, who claimed these were “visions.” She also claimed to talk with Jesus himself. She was, in short, batshit crazy, and the book, which may or may not accurately reflect anything she said, is rabidly anti-Semitic. Gibson, who carries a piece of what is alleged to be Emmerich’s habit in his wallet, followed the book fairly rigorously in making the film (and lied about it later when it became known this was his source).


      • No, daffy, Mel didn’t prove them right. The people who bought $600 million worth of tickets to see The Passion of the Christ are not all anti-Semites. I know growing up as a Catholic we went through the Passion Play every Easter and anti-Semitism was never part of the equation nor even on the radar screen. Jesus dying for our sins simply happens to be the core tenet of Christianity. It shows great ignorance and bigotry against the Christian faith to be able to dismiss the telling of this story as something which is somehow inappropriate. It would be like telling black people they can’t talk about the killing of Martin Luther King, Jr. because it’s inappropriate or might offend white people.

        As I understand it, Spielberg is now going to direct a film about Moses, and Ridley Scott has also expressed interest in a Moses film (let’s hope he doesn’t repeat the dueling Columbus movies scenario of 1992). It will definitely be interesting to see another big-budget biblical epic come out of Hollywood. I believe there is a big audience for biblical-based films that have real action and spectacle.


      • daffystardust

        Wow, you have seriously misunderstood what I wrote. In going back over my comment, I have a hard time understanding how you made this mistake. Let me try to make myself more clear. What Gibson proved right was that he himself is a bigot. This was in response to your comment: “…accusing Mel Gibson of being the bigot…” At no point do I suggest that all Christians are anti-semites or bigots of any kind. Some are, most are not.
        If there is someone else who has said the things that you think I said, please take it up with them.


      • A little history lesson is badly in order here.

        To JediJones, the passion plays you saw as a younger Catholic were of the much-toned-down, post-Holocaust variety. Right up until the mid-20th century, passion plays had generally been written as profoundly anti-Semitic, and were used to stir up atrocities against Jews, or, as the Christians dubbed them, “the Christ-killers.” The longest-running passion play, performed in Oberammergau, Bavaria, has been performed every 10 years since 1634, and was praised by Adolph Hitler himself because of its anti-Semitism (the Nazi regime heavily promoted the performance when it rolled around). This was the same play that, over a century earlier, Emmerich, the insane nun, had taken in before she started having her “visions” of the crucifixion. Her ravings about this were, in turn, taken down by a writer to form the book on which Gibson based his film. Those who stage the Oberammergau play have, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, made a game effort of toning down this element, a trend that was followed through much of Christendom, both Catholic and Protestant. A most magnanimous gesture after the ideology had murdered 6 million people, wouldn’t you say? Vatican II would eventually denounce the traditional view of the Jews as Christ-killers and proper Catholic school-boys could go to passion plays cleansed of much of this sentiment (and where, apparently, this history wasn’t taught). Gibson, of course, comes, like Pat Buchanan and a few other public figures, from a Catholic fascist culture that vehemently rejects this (his father, who denies the Holocaust even happened, has openly described Vatican II as a Jewish-backed plot).

        The real problem, of course, lies in the four gospels themselves, which, as they’re written for different audiences over time, become progressively stronger in their anti-Jewish sentiment. In the text, Jews, rather than the Romans, are increasingly the villains in the murder of Jesus, they, as a people, enthusiastically accept collective guilt for his death, Jesus calls Jews the children of the devil, and so on. Written in the midst of a factional dispute between Judaism proper and the increasingly gentile Jesus cult, this gave birth to ideological anti-Semitism in the first place, and led to two millenia of atrocities, of which the Holocaust is only the most dramatic example. No way to fix that, I’m afraid. Dealing with it in the modern world requires Christians to be decent human beings, rather than reactionary literalists, and when it comes to this particular issue, it must be said that they’ve come a long way. But there are still the Gibsons out there who haven’t figured it out, and we’ve learned much about his character in recent years.


    • True but I think Gibson has done a great many things the Catholic church frowns upon.


  65. Gibson is not at all the bad guy the so-called “Jews” make him out to be. The info in his film “Passion of the Christ” is totally factual and to the point, we can’t do anything about you feeling like the scumbags that you are.


    • Really, Mike? Really?

      Look, if you think the Passion of the Christ is the equivalent of a documentary, there’s no point having a conversation. Enjoy your so-called “life”.

      What is a so-called Jew anyway?


    • daffystardust

      Mike, “The Passion of the Christ” has ZERO to do with Mr Gibson’s problems. He was riding high after that film’s release. The problems he has had are the result of his DOCUMENTED anti-semitism and rage issues. Sell crazy to somebody else.


  66. Gibson was always a wooden actor, and films like “Braveheart”, “Gallipoli” and “The Patriot” are just made up, racist rubbish.

    Of course it doesn’t help that Gibson is bald and wears a wig, and looks more like 66 than 56.


  67. It’s worth analyzing more just how big a success Lethal Weapon 2 was. Just 2 years after the original, it opened 3 times as big and ended up grossing over twice as much domestically (overseas it only grossed a little bit more). It very well could mark the dawn of The Era of the Sequel. As you’ve alluded to in other articles, up until then sequels were almost never considered slam dunks and were almost always expected to gross less than the originals. James Bond and George Lucas were the only major exceptions to the rule. That’s why sequels were often given cut-rate budgets and the original directors and sometimes stars were not paid to come back. Other than Lethal Weapon 2, 1989 followed that pattern, with the new Ghostbusters, Star Trek, Karate Kid, Back to the Future, The Fly and even James Bond performing quite badly in comparison to their previous installments.

    But Lethal Weapon 2 broke the mold. Die Hard 2 would follow up with its own success and then Terminator 2 would completely obliterate the mold and shatter it into a million fragments. Many sequels would continue underperforming during the early ’90s just as they did in 1989 but they would steadily gain success, popularity and respect with each passing year. 1999 seemed to be the year where the huge success of Phantom Menace, Toy Story 2 and Austin Powers 2 finally convinced Hollywood that sequels needed to be an intrinsic part of their movies’ business plans. Two years later, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter were launched with the express purpose that they were serving merely as the first chapters in an ongoing franchise. Hollywood has never looked back since. Starting a franchise is now considered the goal of almost every mainstream, big-budget Hollywood movie. And sequels are given the budgets to back it up (with G.I. Joe 2 being one of the odd few that was made following the old model of cutting the budget and ditching the original cast and crew in the hopes of making a quick buck on the cheap).

    I’m not entirely sure why Lethal Weapon 2 was such a success right out of the gate. I have to assume the original became very popular on home video, a new trend in the age of VHS that no doubt fueled the rise of the sequel industry in general (and certainly helped the Austin Powers sequel perform much better than the original). Gibson and Glover hadn’t done anything of note in between the original Lethal Weapon and this one. Joe Pesci was just an unknown who this movie made into an unlikely star. Yet it didn’t just build through word-of-mouth, it opened big and dethroned Batman by a nose in Batman’s 3rd week (Lethal Weapon 2 would be #1 for 3 weeks). The competition from newer movies was certainly weak, with only Weekend at Bernie’s opening against it and the previous week’s mainstream openers Karate Kid 3 and Great Balls of Fire! being flops from the outset. License to Kill opened the week after Lethal Weapon 2 in a disastrous 4th place position. I do seem to recall Lethal Weapon 2 having very well-liked trailers, so maybe that played a part in its success as well, bolstered by the fact that so many people showed up at theaters to see Batman and also ended up seeing the Lethal Weapon 2 trailer.


    • Great analysis. Spot on. I think you are right that LW1 was a big hit on video that set up the sequel for greater success. Which was a very surprising development in the summer of 89. It’s commonplace today. But LW2 was among the first times this happened.

      Your comments could be articles in and of themselves. Let me know if you are ever interested in posting here. It’s a shame to have this stuff buried in the comments section.


      • LW2 was definitely NOT the dawn of the Era of the Sequels. It didn’t even appear until the end of the ’80s, a decade that had been sequel-crazy from the beginning (the slasher sequels alone probably account for a big chunk of that decade’s total output). Nor was LW2’s outperforming of the original anything new. Gibson himself opened the decade with the sequel to MAD MAX. The original had brought in just under $9 million; THE ROAD WARRIOR did $23.7 million; THUNDERDOME, shamefully, was the most successful, at a hair over $36 million. STAR TREK ran all through that decade. ST2 and 3 nearly matched the original’s box office; the 4th outperformed all of them. We were just talking about ALIENS a few days ago; it made a bit more than the original had. All of the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET sequels except #5 outgrossed the previous installments. Several franchises also continued to repeat to diminishing returns, of course (that was the standard expectation, and is just as true today), but they were still making enough to warrant sequel after sequel, and the volume of sequels in that decade is like nothing we’d seen, or have seen since. Many of them STILL get a new installments or rehashes or remakes.


      • I definitely doubt that the volume of sequels in the ’80s rivals what we’ve gotten in the last 10 years. No question that by the end of the ’80s, sequels were being produced for a lot of different movies, and 1989 seemed to set a record. But the big differences that started taking place in the ’90s are the caliber and types of movies that get sequels, the positive impression that audiences and even critics have of sequels, and the fact that sequels are now A-list productions that get bigger budgets than the originals in many cases. Not to mention most movies are now made with plans for sequels firmly in place. ’90s success rates for sequels were mixed and not particularly great, but by 1999 and beyond they had achieved a new degree of popularity and respectability. Almost all your examples from the ’80s are horror flicks, which emphasizes how sequels were seen as cheapie productions then, not A-list output. There’s a big difference between the business plan that produces Critters 4: They’re Invading Your Space and the one that produces the latest Harry Potter or Twilight sequel. I was just watching an old ’80s Siskel & Ebert where they agreed that if there’s a “number 2” after the movie, you should almost always avoid it. No critic would get away with saying that today.


      • LW2 can’t be “the dawn of the Era of the Sequel” if the sequel craze was born in the decade the preceded it (and it was). The ’80s even made sequels to movies that were decades old (2001 got a sequel; PSYCHO not only got a sequel, it became a franchise and got three). Those who read my post before reading your assertion that “almost all your examples from the ’80s are horror flicks” are no doubt scratching their heads, as I mentioned four franchises by name, only one of which is straight horror, while a second is sci-fi/horror/action.

        There’s nothing to your assertion that “sequels were seen as cheapie productions then, not A-list output,” either. The Mad Max flicks, the Rambo movies, Back to the Future, Star Trek, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, the Superman movies (except for the 4th one), the Rockys, 2 Dirty Harrys, the Bond pictures, the Alien sequels, the Karate Kids–these and more others than can be easily listed, were all A-list productions. Your dismissal of b-pictures doesn’t really hold much weight, either–VHS made them incredibly popular, and they went through a sequel craze along with all the rest. This wasn’t the case before. Sequels, prior to the ’80s, were, indeed, relatively rare, and generally frowned upon by the old Hollywood system, which was on its last legs. When the studios shed the last remnants of mogulism and went hardcore corporate, sequels and “nothing succeeds like success” became the rule of the day, and have remained so to this day (it has expanded to remakes and “reimaginings”–same premise).


  68. sequels are not all bad. i think they should have stopped after terminator 3 and made a better ending .


    • I would have stopped after T2. T3 wasn’t horrible, but it was unnecessary. My favorite thing about it was the unhappy ending.


      • A competent T3–not to be confused with the T3 that was actually made–was in order. If they’d been successful in destroying the bleak future, as they purportedly did in T2, John Connor would have ceased to exist. The story, by the end of T2, was unfinished. This was, in fact, the hook on which the tv show was built.


        • Agreed. But T3 is one of those movies I prefer to pretend never happened. If it’s a choice between the T3 that got made and no T3, I would have prefered the series end ambiguously. I didn’t hate the TV show. It was flawed, but kind of fun.


  69. true, terminator 2 and 1 were the best. 3 was ok but it could’ve had a better ending like t2. terminator 4 sucked big time. so if they make a terminator 5 they should have a good story for it and have arnold in that as a hero and have a good villian .if they don’t i won’t watch it. i didn’t even watch terminator 4 and i’m glad. the rambo movies were good. the die hards except they could have made the fourth one rated r and the lethal weapons


  70. Could Gibson be viewed as the anti-Orson Welles? Both were known for their brilliance (as artists) and their huge egos.
    The difference is that Welles became a Hollywood outcast, in part, because he thought black people should be treated equally. Whereas Gibson is an outcast, in large part, because he himself is racist.
    In other words, unlike Welles, I doubt Gibson will get that AFI award.


    • lol – I never would have thought of that in a million years. But, sure.

      I agree. I think Gibson’s chances of an AFI award are slim.


    • daffystardust

      Also, Welles’ inflated ego was, at least in part, warranted. His work on “Citizen Kane” changed the language and execution of filmmaking as an art form. While Gibson’s status as a charismatic leading man and a risk-taking director is nothing to sneeze at, his influence on how films are made is so far very limited.


      • In fairness, not many film-makers have Citizen Kane on their resume.


      • I don’t see any merit at all in Gibson as a filmmaker, and certainly no basis AT ALL for any comparison with Welles. Orson was one of the greatest directors ever to sit behind a camera; Gibson’s directorial efforts are, without exception, embarrassingly bad.


        • I’m not exactly a Gibson fan, but I think he’s a talented director. All of his films as a director have been well-reviewed and have done decent box office. I am not one to defend the guy, but I can’t agree that his work as a director is embarassingly bad. I think you have to concede that he is at least confident.

          Obviously, he’s no Orson Welles in terms of talent. But I don’t think anyone was suggesting that he is. It’s an unfair comparisson that few would measure up to.


  71. i hope he does get the afi award. gibson deserves it even if he is a racist. they gave elia kazan an honorary oscar in 1999 even thjough there was such backlash.


  72. The Great Humungous

    Mel Gibson won’t be reprising the role of Rockatansky but George Miller is working on not one but TWO new Mad Max films to be shot back to back.
    The first title already known to the public is “Mad Max: Fury Road” and word is that Fury Road will be followed immediately by “Mad Max: Furiosa.” The two films will reportedly be shot back to back for rapid release. Filming in Namibia is imminent.

    Tom Hardy will be the new Max. Charlize Theron plays Furiosa and has had her hair buzz cut especially for the role.


  73. yeah i know but it is still not fun without mel gibson as mad max. that is like remaking rambo or rocky without stallone or terminator without arnold.


  74. i’ve been a big fan of mel’s since lethal weapon. and i hate what has happened to him. he needs to do a good action film again to get his fans to like him and forgive him again.


  75. The problem here as well in all of America and the church and the so called American Christian leadership and my life too, is the lack of a fear of God. We are religious and devout but lack the fear of God. We do want to keep his ways. We do not stand in awe of the great and awesome God that He is.


  76. What about this?
    Gibson is doing just fine if you ask me.


    • You know Get the Gringo couldn’t even get a theatrical release, right? That’s not my definition of “just fine” for an A-list movie star. In fact, I struggle to think of any way other than financial in which the words “just fine” apply to present day Mel Gibson.


  77. get the gringo is sidequel to payback. in some way. it seems good, a little better than edge of darkness. i’m not a fan of straight to video bullshit which is what some of the action stars have been doing. i would like to see mel do a good action film that isn’t straight to video in anyway. machete 2 i can’t wait for. i would also like to see mel gibson go up against harrison ford in an action movie or tommy lee jones, etc.


    • I haven’t seen Gringo yet, but it was not intended to be direct-to-video. It was supposed to get a theatrical release, but no one would release it. It has gotten some pretty decent reviews. I plan to check it out eventually.


  78. it is good to see mel gibson do what he does best and that is action movies. i also hope they get him for expendables 3 as well same with harrison ford, kurt russell, tommy lee jones, al pacino, christopher walken, ray liotta, mickey rourke, michael keaton, carl weathers, etc. i would never boycott any of mel’s movies. ever. he hasn’t offended me in any way shape of form, he still the best in my book. top notch actor all the way better than the cocky political poster boy idiots in hollywood i see that think they are better than mel.


  79. get the gringo was the best. i haven’t seen a good movie like that since payback and the lethal weapons and mad max 1 and 2. gibson is the best and he’s not like the liberal imbeciles in hollywood. get the gringo was better than edge of darkness in my opinion. i would love to gibson do more action movies and forget these religious dramas. he’s done enough of those. he’s got to do more action. who here agrees with me?


  80. Mel Gibson’s career choices are very unusual.

    I re-watched Bird on a Wire recently, hadn’t seen it since I was like 12. What really surprised me was that Mel Gibson did an action movie with Goldie Hawn. She’s eleven years older than him. Can you imagine Clint, Sly, or Arnold getting it on with a woman that much older than them at any point in their careers? By 1990 Gibson was established as can be and had a say in his co-stars–he went against the stereotype. This was about the same time Michael Douglas was gaining notoriety for hand-picking younger women to implausibly play his girlfriend.

    I’m also going to say that Gibson is a fool. He had one of his biggest hits with Signs in 2002, then he walked away from his career for 8 years. I suppose that with all his wealth, he didn’t care if his career continued, even though he was still young (for an actor).


    • Interesting point about Bird on a Wire. I never thought about it from that perspective. Although, I try not to think about Bird on a Wire very often or for very long. No one involved in making it put much thought into it. (rim shot)

      I think after Signs, Gibson wanted to focus on directing. Oh, also, crazy.


  81. gibson is still the best in my books. he’s not like these idiotic cocky actors i see nowadays.


  82. This article is completely biased.


  83. i think mel gibson should be in expendables 3 same with harrison ford. they never did a movie together like arnold and sly did with expendables films. they did good action in the 80s and 90s both worked with ray winstone. they worked with peter weir on 2 films in the 80s so you do the math. they both were considered to play jim garrison in jfk, eliot ness in the untouchables, billy tyne in perfect storm, john mclaughlin in wtc, jack stanton in primary colors, and john mcclane in die hard, etc. ford was also considered for gibson’s roles in the patriot and tequila sunrise. i just hope they cast gibson and ford together in a movie. i saw it with stallone and schwarzenegger, stallone and rourke, schwarzenegger and willis, pacino and deniro, hoffman and deniro,etc.


  84. First of all, I really like your pieces with WTHH. Clearly the case with Mel Gibson is a man with Issues (capital ‘I’ there). I read somewhere a long time ago when Gibson was still married that his wife helped him through a problem with alcohol abuse – something about only being casted for his good looks (I wonder how many female actors have that problem). Throw in the facts about his father and his problems with anger mangement and you get a bomb that will go off eventually.
    But even though he is now hated by many (and from the stories in the media I’m not too fond of him either) I would most likely see his next movie. I saw “Get the Gringo” and I liked it. Gibson may be a troubled person to say the least, but in my opinion he is a great actor. And just for that I would love to see his career take a turn for the better. It is probably too late for that, he will not have a new influx of films like Schwarzenegger is currently doing (wonder how that will go), because he will be too old once the media and the fans have forgotten about his outbursts. Still a part of me would like to see what could have been, if his troubled past hadn’t caught up with him. If for nothing else, then because he was my favorite actor growing up. So I would like to see him turn out new movies as long as it’s not Lethal Weapon 5.


    • I agree. I wouldn’t want to spend 5 seconds with Mel Gibson. He is at best severely messed up. At worst, a scumbag. But he is a talented individual and it’s a shame he doesn’t make more movies. I haven’t seen Get the Gringo yet. But I did sit through The Beaver and Gibson was incredible in it. The movie is a mess, but Gibson’s performance is really powerful.

      I’d like to see him direct again. But ideally, I’d like him to show some repentence for his bad behavior first.


  85. he’ll be absolved soon enough. as long as he makes a good action film similar to what he did in get the gringo. i would also like him to act and direct a movie and have music from james horner make it set in nj or ny, etc.


  86. What do you thing about hulk on The Avengers? More green, more rage and more dialogue…? Man watch the movie and keep going! I dont care if Mel Gibson prefers cooffe or tea, black or withe… if u dont like dont watch…


    • Um, I liked Hulk in Avengers. I liked The Avengers in general. Cap’s my favorite though.

      I’m not sure what this has to do with Mel Gibson though. I hear he drinks neither coffee nor tea. He prefers his drinks a lot stronger.


  87. did you guys watch the golden globes last night on jodie foster’s speech for the cecil b demille award? i heard she thanked mel gibson and everyone else and i heard she came out. what do you guys think about the speech? i was surprised but i figured she would let her feelings out about certain things including her sexual orientation. to tell you truth it doesn’t matter if jodie foster is gay or straight, single or not single, the only thing that matters is that she is a great actress and her talent in acting spans a long time in hollywood. at least most of you agree with me on that.


    • Have I ever told you my Jodie Foster story? 😉 I kid because I know I have told it in the comments section before. I’m always reluctant to retell it because I don’t want to be the guy who keeps telling the same old story over and over again. I’ll have to include it in WTHH the Jodie Foster.

      I used to watch all of the Hollywood awards shows. I never put all that much stock in the awards themselves, but I had seen all the movies and enjoyed watching the shows. But these days, I have never seen any of the movies until months later on video. Being a dad will do that to you, I guess. So I stopped watching awards shows. Or if I do, I don’t follow them very closely anymore.

      I did catch up with Foster’s speech after the fact. The biggest surprise to me was that she still needed to come out. I thought everyone knew Foster was gay. Oh well. No big surprise there.

      I sure hope Mel Gibson appreciates what a devoted friend he has in Foster. She really gambled on him big time with The Beaver and the timing of his latest scandal sank her movie. Of course, I don’t think it would have been a hit either way. It was deeply flawed. I wondered how that might have effected their friendship, but it must be pretty strong for her to voice her support to a room full of people who likely hate Gibson.

      Good for her for sticking by Gibson if she believes in him that strongly. Hopefully they will work together again on something better than The Beaver.


      • I hope there won’t be a WTHHT Jodie Foster for a loooong time. She’s still A-list, was nominated for a Golden Globe last year. Just because she’s been stuck in a few limited releases lately means nothing. Halle Berry has survived 2 movies that never made it to theaters, and now she’s headlining another wide release. Foster just had a self-imposed slump, she has Elysium coming out this year and it’s expected to be a blockbuster.


        • At this point, I’m taking a pretty broad aproach to who I’ll write up for WTHH. Foster’s last hit was in 2002. Yes, her exile is self-imposed. And she has received some awards recognition since that time. But 10 years out of the mainstream spotlight has people asking “What the hell happened to Jodie Foster?” When I was reading comments sections on articles about Foster’s acceptance speech, I kept seeing her described as “irrelevant”. There were a lot of “who cares” types of comments. I think Foster’s a great actress, but I don’t think she’s anywhere near the A-list anymore. Most people think she’s retired if they think at her at all.


      • Flightplan (2005) was a hit ($89M domestic, $223M worldwide) and she carried that film. Inside Man (2006) was also a big hit, but she didn’t carry it. The Brave One (2007) and Nim’s Island (2008) were moderate mainstream successes (both were leading roles and the latter made over $100M worldwide). The failure of The Beaver (2011) is completely due to Mel Gibson, as it was shot before his Oksana drama and released at the peak of his unpopularity. Carnage (2011) was an arthouse film where she co-starred with two Oscar winners (Winslet and Waltz). She certainly has not been out of the mainstream spotlight for a decade.


        • I forgot about Flightplan. That’s a big one worldwide. No doubt she carried that.

          Inside Man is Denzel. But she does deserve some credit.

          You’re right. She’s been more in the spotlight than I gave her credit for.


      • I really want Elysium to be a hit so she can keep her staying power. If it bombs, she will keep going downhill.

        The only thing that’s sad about Foster’s career is that she would have a much greater career if she had been willing to play the Hollywod game. She virtually never accepts romantic roles, even though she’s been offered a ton of them over the years. A few superflous exceptions aside, her entire adult career has been built on strong female characters with nonexistant sexuality. This has contributed to her being regarded as a lesbian icon, which is fine, but I feel it’s also restricted her as an actress. With her clout and talent she could have done much more.


        • No doubt Foster could be a bigger star. She has largely kept herself out of the spotlight. And even when she was a big, A-lister she was careful about the projects she picked. I’m not sure she could have pulled off Meg Ryan rom coms, but she certainly limited her mainstream appeal by avoiding romantic roles to the degree that she did. Although I do think to a certain degree that was a wise decision. She rarely had romantic chemistry with her leading men wven when she delved into those types of roles.

          No matter what happens in the future, Foster has been extremely successful any way you look at it. She’s got an amazing career that lasted for decades and for the most part she did it on her own terms. I don’t think she’ll ever be an A-list leading actress again and I don’t think she’s especially interested in that. But she will be an icon for the work she has done in the past. And she will continue making movies that interest her both as an actress and a director.


  88. I haven’t kept abreast of the Mel Gibson comments for some time, but just caught up on a few of them. Gotta say I gave Get the Gringo a chance on Netflix a few weeks back and it was a pretty good movie. Had it been made in another universe where Gibson isn’t so crazy I think it would have been released and done fairly well. Not a blockbuster by any means, but good acting, a different kind of story, plenty of action and humor. I enjoyed it.


    • I have heard decent things and plan to check it out someday when I can do so without exerting any resources (effort or money) other than my time.

      I was actually surprised it didn’t get a theatrical release.


  89. you should check it out lebeau. it is just as good as payback and mad max and lethal weapon.


    • I plan to. I just have a long backlog of movies to watch and limited time. I figure eventually it will be on cable and I’ll watch it then. Once I do, I’ll give you my thoughts on it. Everything I have heard is pretty positive.


  90. Mel Gibson is in a way, at this point, perhaps similar to John Travolta in the sense that because of their looming controversies and their age, it would be awfully hard to take them seriously as A-list leading men anymore. Part of Mel’s problem I feel is that he was known mainly as a matinee idol/action hero type. Unfortunately, Mel’s looks have taken their toll because (in a large part) of his alcoholism and smoking. And you can make the argument that it isn’t like Mel could easily reinvent himself as a character actor.

    It’s especially hard to take Mel Gibson seriously anymore if you take for account that “South Park” episode “The Passion of the Jew” (which ironically was first broadcast before the initial DUI/anti-Semitism incident). Mel Gibson is basically portrayed as a psychotic loon w/ S&M fetish (a take on how Mel seems to always be physically tortured one way or another in his movies).


    • You have to wonder if the South Park guys knew something back then. Because they were proven right.

      I agree about Gibson and Travolta’s chances of coming back as A-listers. Not going to happen. I do think they will both be able to continue working if they want. But not as A-list leading men.


    • The Passion of the Jew | Commentary (South Park):

      Season 8 : Episode 4


    • 5 Beloved Celebrities Everyone Forgets Did Terrible Things:

      Jul 17, 2013 at 12:38pm

      SOR Avatar
      Jul 17, 2013 at 8:59am SOR said:
      No Mel Gibson? I’m a massive fan and forgive him for his wrongs but it’s always seemed odd to me that Hollywood and his worldwide fan-base has forgiven him over and over again for being a racist alcoholic sexist.
      He’s been forgiven? I missed that memo.

      He’s only done 1 or 2 indy/direct-to-DVD movies in the last several years, and MACHETE KILLS is his first appearance in a major movie since he directed APOCALYPTO. And I half expect that movie to be protested for his involvement in it.

      His career was killed by those voice-mails (more-so than the drunk driving/racial yelling). He might be coming out of it now, but I’d be surprised if he ever achieved the kind of leading man role he had in the past again.

      He did The Beaver which although a flop wasn’t direct to DVD it did only gross 958,000 USD total but I think the bad story is what cost them not the leading actors. He did Get The Gringo which had a limited release and lost a lot of money also.

      Machete kills will be an interesting one for him but with so many stars in that film there’s less pressure for him to be a big box office draw. I don’t think he’ll ever regain his popularity due to losing his looks but he’s still generally forgiven from what I’ve seen and heard.


  91. 25 A-List Hollywood Actors Who Fell the F Off:

    Mel Gibson
    Best Known For: Lethal Weapon (1987), Braveheart (1995),
    Most Recent Project: Get the Gringo (2012)

    Will the world remember Mel Gibson as one of the most prolific movie stars of the ’80s and ’90s, or will he be remembered him as an angry bigot who’s demons finally beat him? Gibson’s passion for racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks has haunted him since the early ’90s. His history of alcohol abuse has been hurting his personal and public life for decades. Though he was able to keep his demons in check for first part of his career, gaining a good reputation on set despite drinking “five pints of beer with breakfast,” he’s now known as little more than a media laughing stock.


  92. kurt russel,l you should write about lebeau.


  93. 7 Excellent But Morally Problematic Movies:

    2: The Passion of the Christ

    This movie is probably the first one that really made me come to terms with the idea that horribly offensive images and philosophies can still be made into great art. It may not have been clear to me at first—I lived a, shall we say, sheltered adolescence and so I didn’t find anything wrong with Mel Gibson’s Passion when it came out—but since learning that he’s a raging anti-Semite with violent tendencies and revenge fantasies far less cartoonish than you’d get from someone like Tarantino, I’ve concluded that this film is awful.

    The hints of portraying Jewish children as demons and absolving Pontius Pilate and having the Jewish leaders declare the blood of the messiah shall forever be on their children somehow seemed innocent until the news of Gibson’s racist tirades came to light, then it was like ok, maybe there’s something to the overwhelming amount of racial issues people have noticed in his movie.

    That’s nothing to say of the theology of the movie, which basically says the worse Christian imagines Jesus’ suffering to be, the more meaningful it is. That’s pretty extreme, though more widely held than those outside the community may realize. So that’s problematic too. But I imagine if I agreed with this theology, and found it meaningful, well this is probably as beautiful a depiction of this suffering and the emotion carried by that suffering that perhaps there could ever be.

    Gibson’s personally a mess, but his knack for visual storytelling speaks for itself, as it does from the gorgeous opening shots of The Passion of the Christ, right through the tactile realism of the brutal torture scenes, all the way to the ending (spoiler: resurrection!). Seriously though, the empty tomb scene is kind of beautifully handled. Such expert filmmaking put to such twisted ends is saddening.


  94. The Label Maker: The Top Five Hollywood Celebrity Incidents from Which There is No Recovery:

    2. Mel Gibson

    Incident: Alleged domestic violence against then-partner Oksana Grigorieva, various racial and homophobic tirades. Throughout the 90s and into 2010, Gibson’s disgusting diatribes against homosexuals and anyone not of his own race or religion have become world renowned. In what appears to be involuntary career suicide, Mel just keeps sputtering along like nothing has happened each time another ignorant rant is documented. The “man of faith” must believe he’s above it all because he keeps on letting loose with his foul, incoherent ramblings and making his films—however, all is not forgiven among the Hollywood community. And while his early career was marked my memorable acting and direction turns, nowadays Mel is known for his personal misbehavior.


  95. 12 Great Actors Who Seem Like They Might Be Terrible People:

    7) Mel Gibson

    I’m not sure if there’s anyone in Hollywood right now more reviled than Mel Gibson. He’s pretty much universally regarded as an anti-Semite, a homophobe, a racist, someone badly in need of anger management training and just an absolute nutjob in general. The only press he seems to get these days are when a new recording emerges of him screaming at someone for seemingly no good reason, usually featuring some racial slurs and a lot of unintelligible gibberish. He’d be sympathetic if he wasn’t kind of really despicable.

    He presents one of these conundrums though, in that his work is so good. He has wisely, unlike Ben Affleck, recognized how much ire his face induces in audiences and so removes himself from his most recent directorial projects. While primarily an actor these days, one who may see a comeback with the Machete sequel, his direction is where I find him most interesting, almost essential.

    For all its issues with violence, anti-Semitism and problematic theological attestations, The Passion of the Christ is an amazing piece of filmmaking. It epitomizes Gibson himself, detestable in its ideas and themes perhaps, but so good at doing what it does. It presents a real problem from a philosophy of art perspective, as does Apocalypto. How can someone so vile create such beautiful work? It’s a contradiction I enjoy pondering and discussing with people, but is it worth it if Mel Gibson continues to spread hatred and perhaps actually hurt people? Selfishly I want to say yes, embarrassed as I am to admit it. I am horrible.


    • They Believed The Hype (And It Blew Up In Their Face): 15 Celebrities Whose Careers Were Hurt By Hubris:

      From 2005 to 2010, Mel Gibson went out of his way to let everyone know he espoused racist views. The most shocking part was that he was seemed to be under the impression it was okay with his fanbase. The director’s Passion of the Christ made huge box office thanks to its Christian appeal though many Hollywood insiders called its depiction of persons of the Jewish faith discriminatory What seemed like overreaching liberal politics to some turned out to be true in 2006. Audio records of the actor’s 2006 DUI had Gibson unleash a barrage of sexist and racist epithets toward a female police officer. Though many of his Hollywood contemporaries (including Robert Downey Jr., Jodie Foster, and Danny Glover) stood up for the troubled star, a leaked phone message to estranged girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva would virtually repeat the offense in 2010. Gibson’s career has never recovered, though he continues to make films and promote them as if nothing ever happened and everybody’s cool with these offenses (and for the record, most are not).


    • 10 Actors Who Are Certifiably Insane:

      2. Mel Gibson

      Mel Gibson is one of those people who is clearly an extraordinarily talented actor and director, yet can’t seem to keep his head straight outside of the game.

      Not only did he make remarks in a 1991 interview that were perceived as homophobic, but his alcoholism gave way to his infamous anti-Semitic rant in 2006 that pretty much derailed his career for good, and the final nail in the coffin was his belligerent series of rants on the phone to his girlfriend Oksana, resulting in several racist and misogynist comments. It seems like every time he opens his mouth, he gets himself in trouble.

      Though he gave an excellent performance in 2011′s The Beaver, Gibson’s career in mainstream Hollywood has flopped; his talent agency dropped him following the publication of the aforementioned phone calls, he was replaced for his cameo in The Hangover Part II because at least one cast member (rumored to be Zach Galafianakis) didn’t want to work with him, and his planned film about Vikings has completely stalled. Short of his upcoming cameo in Mad Max: Fury Road, it looks like his career might be dead and buried for good.



    Gibson needs to face the facts: He’s no longer what women (or anyone else) want. He’s the man without a face and far from forever young. Blame it on a conspiracy theory, but the signs say his years of living dangerously are over. He may consider himself a patriot and a maverick, but he’s more like a bird on a wire. He doesn’t command a bounty or a king’s ransom anymore. He’s no longer a lethal weapon at the box office; he is, in fact, getting too old for this shit. And yes, payback’s a bitch.


  97. 10 Actors Who Are Nowhere Near As Great As They Used To Be:

    6. Mel Gibson

    Mel Gibson was a force to be reckoned with in the ’80s and ’90s. Bursting out of Australia with the Mad Max trilogy and the highly successful Lethal Weapon series, he was the inaugural People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. He rose to the top with the Game of Thrones-lite Braveheart, where he won best director and best picture. He was such a great actor that Hollywood picked him to be the epitome of Americana by casting him and fellow Australian Heath Ledger as the heart of the father-son combo in The Patriot. He went from Road Warrior to Maverick to Braveheart without missing a beat. He was the Swiss Army Knife of Acting.

    So what happened?

    Basically M. Night Shyamalan and Signs. This is the apex of his career; where America stopped relating to Mel and his wacky American Dad ways. Follow this by his own drunken real-life conspiracy rant, the soft-core torture porn of Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto, his last dent in the acting world was him taking 2nd billing to a talking beaver.


  98. 15 Hollywood Comebacks That Didn’t Take (Maybe These Celebrities Find A Side Gig):

    Mel Gibson found out the hard way that being a superstar actor doesn’t necessarily erase the public’s memory of scandal. Edge of Darkness (2010) and The Beaver (2011) both followed on the heels of Gibson’s drunken, sexist, racist ranting Los Angeles police (in a 2006 DUI arrest) and his former wife (recorded in a series of voice mails that leaked in 2010). In a move that eerily follows that of Lindsay Lohan, Gibson will be teaming with Robert Rodriguez to star in Machete Kills.


  99. mel gibson for directing and acting in expendables 3 anyone? let me know the answer.


  100. 10 Misguided Career Moves Made By Talented Actors:

    6. Mel Gibson’s Rants

    Oh, Mel. The man is such a talented actor and director, yet seems physically incapable of not screwing things up. In July of 2006, Gibson was arrested for driving under the influence, and to make matters worse, drunkenly shouted that Jewish people were responsible for all the wars in the world, and called the female police officer “Sugar t**s”. Gibson eventually went through all the necessary mea culpas and it seemed like, with the release of his 2010 film Edge of Darkness, Mel Gibson was finally back.

    Only 5 months later, however, phone recordings surfaced of him berating his girlfriend (and the mother of one of his children), Oksana Grigorieva, using countless racist and sexist remarks, and basically coming across as a complete psychopath. William Morris dropped him from their agency the next day, his next film The Beaver had a super-limited release (despite good reviews), and his planned Viking film with Leonardo DiCaprio was put on ice after DiCaprio dropped out.

    Today, he’s starring in straight-to-VOD flicks like Get the Gringo, and has taken a role in Machete Kills, but it seems like his best days are well behind him now.


  101. that’s what everyone else thinks, i don’t. i think he will get his pride and dignity back as well as his talent. i think he will do great movies. like you say he’s misunderstood but i understand him. this is still a good actor and director. if he directs and acts in expendables 3 i think it will be good despite all the criticism he got for years and recently but he’s still loved in hollywood by jodie foster, robert downey jr, etc.


    • His movies really aren’t that good actually. That’s not a subjective opinion, it’s the content in his movies. Waaaaaay to much of a religious freak for me to ever enjoy his art. He does a good job of making millions of people uncomfortable so this comment, for their sake, is justified.



    Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh, after escaping death from the previous movies are put on a hit list by The Triads. When blood thirsty mercenaries are on their tail they team up again with Leo Getz and Lorna Cole, a newcomer (Chris Rock) to finally put an end to the Triads for good.

    Watching this film is like watching film that has been made by a paint by numbers kit. All of the plot and elements seem to be there to second guess what audiences will like. ”Hey they like comedy?”

    “ more scenes of that with Chris Rock and Joe Pesci”

    “You like Action?”

    “How about Mel Gibson fighting one of the best Martial Arts superstar in the world Jet Li as the villain”

    “Danny Glover is a political activist so how about a storyline that involves immigrants and indentured Slavery.”

    This film is a shadow of itself and it’s origins. It’s almost like it belongs in a different franchise.

    I didn’t mind the Pesci influence or inclusion in part 2 as he was a fun comedic distraction, by part three his presence while fun only added to the ridiculous nature of the films and where the films really became too cartoonish over the action. With this film it became more of a comedy that had action sequences in them.

    This film is a pale comparison considering how innovative and thrilling the first film was. This is more of an embarassment to how the series started. Mel Gibson’s dangerous character is more comedic now with an edge. He doesn’t even sport his iconic mullet. Which of course updates the character, but also signals the end of the classic quality of the character.

    The end of this film has themes of aging and family. Which really comes out of nowhere, but is a good sendoff for the characters and the franchise. Which was showing it’s age even in the last film. Now it plays more like a cop sitcom. While the stunts in the film are impressive. They also seem more over the top. Which for the lethal weapon saga is very big. Take the being dragged on a table scene which then goes through a whole building.

    Eight actors have played the same characters in all four Lethal Weapon films. Aside from Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as Riggs and Murtaugh, respectively, Darlene Love plays Murtaugh’s wife, Traci Wolfe, Damon Hines, and Ebonie Smith are Murtaugh’s kids, Steve Kahan is Captain Murphy, and Mary Ellen Trainor plays Dr. Woods, the police psychiatrist. In a way, Riggs’ dog, Sam is the ninth regular character. He appears in Lethal Weapons 1, 2 and 4, and a deleted scene featuring him was reinstated for the director’s cut of Lethal Weapon 3.

    Not only was this Jet Li’s first American-produced movie, it was also the first time he’d ever played a villain.

    Richard Donner asked Jet Li to slow down during action sequences because he was moving faster then the camera shutter speed, and it wasn’t registering on film.

    Now I am all for political incorrectness, but even the jokes aimed at Asian Americans after awhile get cruel and mean spirited. Just because they are just aimed at the villains doesn’t take the bite out of them.

    The film also leave Rene Russo the Action wildfire of the last film with nothing to do. She’s virtually grounded in this film. Like she did something wrong and is being punished. This is just a sequel that did not need to be made

    Originally, Mel Gibson insisted his character be killed off in the movie as he felt this should be the last Lethal Weapon movie. After filming was completed he retracted his statements, saying he had such fun making the movie he’d be happy to do another one. The film teased fans with his original statements by hinting he was going to die by drowning after the concrete slab fell on him while Murtaugh was still unconscious.

    The ending was still being written while the movie was in production.

    Kim Chan also played a crime lord nicknamed Uncle Benny in The Corrupter.

    Wait For Cable

    GRADE: D+


    • Dude those movie stereotypes you’re bagging on him and his movies for, he invented in those movies. It’s like saying Hitchcock is to obvious and stereotypical. It’s like watching “They Live ” and saying “I’m here to kick ass and chew bubble gum” is cheesy and tacky, they are what made the cheesy tackiness (my ex girlfreind said that. Pisses me off to this day). Are you gunna bag on buhdda for his peace and love mentality saying it’s too John Lennon?


    • Ranking the Lethal Weapon Movies:

      We take a look at this classic Mel Gibson franchise… Eenie, Meenie, Miney… Hey Moe!

      Well what do you wanna hear, man? Do you wanna hear that sometimes I think about writing a Lethal Weapon retrospective? Well I do! I’ve even got a special notebook for the occasion, filled with hollow points… do the job right! Every single day I wake up and I think of a reason not to do it, every… single… day. And you know why I don’t do it? This is gonna make you laugh… The job. Doing the job. (No really, I have a full time job at the moment – it takes up the majority of my time.)

      So. The Lethal Weapon franchise. Martin Riggs, Roger Murtaugh, and a lot of dead bad guys. Given the body count these chaps tallied, I’m amazed they got through four films without someone looking into their particular brand of police detective work. I mean you have to go through a review or something when you shoot just one suspect, don’t you? I can only imagine that the periods between films were filled with lengthy court proceedings and internal inquiries. No wonder they stayed sergeants for so long.

      The franchise at least deserves kudos for refusing to feature an English baddie in any of the four movies. At a time when the majority of action films were using our clear and pleasant enunciation as shorthand for villainy, I always respected it for that. Gibson, of course, redressed the balance by kicking the shit out of the English in Braveheart and then The Patriot. Thanks Mel.

      But back to Lethal Weapon. Which one’s the best and which one, in this writer’s humble opinion, is the worst? Eeeny, meeny, miney… hey Moe!

      Lethal Weapon 3

      The third in the franchise is the one I’ve probably watched the most, mainly due to its certification (the first to get a 15 rating in the UK and thus the first I was able to see at the cinema and subsequently buy on video). Perhaps familiarity has bred contempt, because it’s also my least favourite.

      Poor writing is the chief complaint. Shane Black had long abandoned/been pushed out of the franchise and his absence is painfully evident. The dialogue by new chief wordsmith the late Jeffrey Boam attempts to reproduce Black’s trademark rapid-fire banter, but speed of delivery can’t hide inanity and the actors’ doubtless chemistry is a poor substitute for wit. Indeed, some of Riggs and Murtaugh’s exchanges border on the irritating – and that’s without Joe Pesci making his unwelcome reappearances.

      Leo Getz was always meant to be an annoying prick, but in Lethal Weapon 2 he was forced upon our heroes and we sympathised with Riggs and Murtaugh as they tried to keep this asshole safe while resisting the urge to kill him themselves. By Lethal Weapon 3 they’ve willingly invited him into their lives, so every annoyance and irritation he causes is self-inflicted. If your feelings for a guy are such that you’d surreptitiously arrange for him to receive an unneeded rectal exam, then hey… don’t return his calls!

      But of course the reason for Leo’s continued presence isn’t due to character development or story considerations, it’s down to the writers and producers falling into a classic franchise trap: an acute case of ‘the gang’s all back’ syndrome. (Note to franchise overlords: repeating gags and relentlessly referencing previous films is not the same as continuity; it’s the movie equivalent of a sitcom character arriving onto the set and the audience clapping and whooping while the actor smugly stands there.)

      Lethal Weapon 3 is constantly nudging you to remember characters and highlights from previous adventures when it would have been better off creating a more memorable chapter in its own right. I don’t need a character reminding me about the bomb under the toilet or the drug dealer shooting up the house or “that nail-gun incident” or Leo going on a “they fuck you at the hospital” rant because he did a similar thing in the second one. All it succeeds in doing is calling to mind unfavourable comparisons instead of progressing the story with which we’re currently supposed to be engaged.

      Ah yes, the ‘story’. People always seem to recall that Roger was on the brink of collecting his pension in all the Lethal Weapon films – indeed it’s become something of a cliché – but it’s actually only Lethal Weapon 3 where his retirement is anything approaching imminent, although it does form one of the film’s main plot strands. I say ‘one of’, as Lethal Weapon 3 has enough plot strands to weave into a plot rope – although this rope would be a terrible rope, as the constituent strands are short and weak and don’t go anywhere. We have a mangled mess of a narrative that features Roger’s countdown to retirement, armour-piercing bullets, Riggs falling for a kung fu lady cop (Rene Russo), Roger shooting the teenage friend of his son, an evil ex-cop property developer, our heroes blowing up a building and getting demoted… It’s less a story, more a random sequence of contrivances.

      The characterisation is all over the place too. In the first film, Riggs had a grief-induced death wish, which explained his erratic behaviour. Here he’s just a bit of a reckless git, endangering more people than he saves and all with a goofy ‘I’m mad, me’ look of self-satisfaction on his face. His response to Roger tragically killing his son’s friend is so out of character that it’s particularly jarring: he basically ignores him for a few days while going on an adventure with (and then bedding) Russo’s Sergeant Cole. He only goes to check up on him when Roger’s daughter asks him to, and then halfway through Roger’s anguished outpouring of emotion over the shooting has the gall to yell at his partner that he’s being selfish for retiring. You, Martin Riggs, are an arsehole.

      I’ve hardly even mentioned the main bad guy yet and that’s probably because despite having seen it a billion times I keep forgetting that Stuart Wilson is in it. He’s a great actor, and he’s got a brilliant rat-weasel laugh, but a memorable villain he is not.

      Perhaps its greatest sin, however, is that Lethal Weapon 3 seems to forget that Riggs is essentially a superhero with a gun, able to dispatch henchmen with an almost Hawkeye level of accuracy. In all the other films his marksmanship is given the chance to shine, but in this film he empties dozens and dozens of clips without seemingly hitting anything. The action set pieces in general are rather flat and uninspired – Riggs turning a leaky gas tanker into a mobile bomb being the only thing approaching ‘memorable’.

      Can I think of some nice things to say? Well it’s got Rene Russo in it, and Rene Russo automatically makes anything 14.5% better. And the villain’s second-in-command looks a lot like darts legend Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams (it’s not him – I checked the cast list). But I’m reaching here.

      It’s a real shame, because the notion of how a twitchy copper like Riggs would cope knowing he was about to lose the stability of a partner like Murtaugh is a great hook for a third story, and a natural progression of all that had gone before. But that potential was squandered. All we got was that one great line – “I’ve got three beautiful kids, I love ‘em, and they’re yours” – which had the misfortune to appear during Riggs’ aforementioned guilt-trip tirade.

      At least this is the only Lethal Weapon film where Roger’s house isn’t seriously damaged or destroyed by bombs, fire, cars or multiple home-invaders.

      Seriously Rodge, invest in a burglar alarm.

      Lethal Weapon 4

      For a long while it looked as if the last time we would see Mel Gibson and Danny Glover exchange meaningful looks to the strains of Eric Clapton’s guitar was an in-joke in Maverick. But then they went and made Lethal Weapon 4.

      By the time the final instalment had arrived everyone involved seemed to have embraced the fact that the series had essentially turned into a feature-length sitcom with guns, casual violence and guest appearances from Richard Donner’s extended family.

      Like the previous film, there was a seed of a good idea here: could Riggs move past the death of his first wife and stop acting like a reckless jerk long enough to settle down and start a quieter life with a woman still able to karate kick whilst nine months pregnant? Alas, like the previous film, this thought was given short shrift to make way for more Joe Pesci, more misfiring gags, and a bit of “razy lacism” (Riggs loves making fun of villains’ silly accents).

      There’s the execrable ‘will me’ stuff that probably sounded great in the screenwriter’s head but sounds unnatural and forced when spoken out loud; each scene featuring Chris Rock descends into half arsed stand-up (he makes for the least convincing cop since Heather Locklear); and there’s that wince-inducing scene near the end when Leo tells a nonsensical story about a pet frog that I think is meant to be touching but comes off as creepy and weird.

      I won’t talk about the hair. We never talk about the hair. Although we do mourn it.

      So why isn’t it at the bottom of the list?

      Well the action sequences are arguably better; cars in this film have a worrying propensity to explode into a giant fireball when exposed to the slightest trauma, but it makes for some visually exciting set pieces.

      Riggs gets his superpowers back, shooting gas valves, sailors and Triads with trademark precision (although the reasoning behind one of the finest marksmen on the force wanting a laser sight on his new gun is never adequately addressed).

      But the best thing the film has going for it, and the thing that narrowly gets it ahead of the third chapter, is a truly formidable villain. Played by Jet Li in his American movie debut, he oozes stoic menace and shows off enough deadly martial arts magic to make him Lethal Weapon’s second most fearsome adversary (sorry Jet, but no one out-Buseys Busey). It felt like a long time since anyone in the series had embodied the title – clearly Riggs with his short back ‘n’ sides and impending fatherhood was long past it – but Li was very much a lethal weapon.

      Also, the scene where Riggs is friendly and charming to the Rabbi proves Mel Gibson really is a great actor.

      Lethal Weapon 2

      Considering the success of the original, a sequel was a no-brainer for Warner Bros. However, the first film ended with Riggs admitting he wasn’t crazy and apparently starting to come to terms with the loss of his wife. If there’s no longer a crazy chalk to Murtaugh’s careful cheese, how do you recreate the winning formula of the first film?

      The answer was to retain Riggs’ inclination for reckless behaviour, but this time put it down to a character trait rather than something as deep and meaningful as grief and loss. As a result, he became more of an archetypical ‘loose cannon’ rather than the wounded, more interesting character of the original. Yet the nudge from suicidal to reckless was far more successful here than in subsequent chapters, in part because the film gave him an excuse to revert to ‘deathwish mode’ in the final act, but mainly because the interplay between our two heroes remained a joy.

      The tag line for Lethal Weapon 2 was ‘The magic is back’, which shorn of context seems an absurd way to describe an action thriller about two cops. But ‘magic’ was a term often repeated in reviews of the first film when describing the chemistry our leads had, and the sequel wisely leveraged this. Nothing highlights this more than the opening car chase, which contains little in the way of memorable stunts but an abundance of mirth-inducing bickering and banter.

      Shane Black’s original screenplay was bastardised, but the remnants of his cracking dialogue remain; Lethal Weapon 2 is hands-down the funniest of the four films. Black knew how to write the exchanges between Riggs and Murtaugh in a way that his successors could never quite grasp, and while his original vision for the sequel (including Riggs’ ultimate demise) never made it to screen, his realisation of a cantankerous relationship built on genuine affection and dependency survived.

      The sequel also had some cracking boo-hiss villains: drug-selling, wife-murdering, cop-killing, diplomatically immune, apartheid-era racist South Africans. Tying their odious dealings with the murder of Riggs’ wife seemed a bit of a stretch (and what kind of terrible hit man fails to check who’s driving the car he’s running off the road?) but there can’t be many bad guys more deserving of being “de-kaffir-nated” (I see what you were trying there, Rog, but it still doesn’t make any sense).

      The cop-killing, with hindsight, is particularly galling given that Riggs and Murtaugh’s team of detectives is made up of some notable genre icons: Vasquez from Aliens; Hank from Breaking Bad, Agent Johnson (no relation) from Die Hard… A couple of sequels featuring these guys instead of Chris bloody Rock would have been a much more appealing prospect.

      For some, Lethal Weapon 2 is a superior film to the original, and I can understand why. The sequel ups the action quotient, with Riggs’ penchant for clambering over vehicles (both stationary and moving) given continued prominence. The bomb under the toilet sequence is great, even if it did set a precedent for set pieces that diminished in quality as the series progressed. It’s occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, but gets its yuks without trying too hard. And I challenge any fan of the original not to feel warm and fuzzy at seeing Riggs fully assimilated into the Murtaugh brood. Even Leo isn’t half as annoying here, mainly because he’s supposed to be an irritant – a fly in the ointment hindering our heroes from doing their duty. The fact that he’s kidnapped, tied to a chair and beaten to within an inch of his life near the end of the film makes his eagerness to get involved in Riggs and Murtaugh’s subsequent adventures all the more baffling.

      For me, though, the joy of the original was seeing a trained killer with nothing to lose transform into a hero with something to fight for. Starved of a good reason to be so blasé about his self-preservation until the final act, Riggs became just another snarky maverick cop with a long-suffering partner.

      But what a great partnership it was. Lethal Weapon 2 gets it right in so many ways that it’s rightly regarded as one of the 80s’ very best cop thrillers – and that’s despite it featuring Patsy Kensit, who does not give her finest performance here.

      Lethal Weapon

      There had always been buddy cop films of course, just as there had been slasher films before Halloween and claustrophobic action films before Die Hard. But like those seminal movies, Lethal Weapon both distilled what had worked for its forebears whilst tweaking the formula in a way that other cop-based actioners would slavishly try to imitate. You can hardly accuse Lethal Weapon of being clichéd when it established most of the oft-repeated conventions itself.

      What gives the film an edge over movies of a similar ilk – and its eventual sequels – is the focus on an unpredictable and wounded protagonist. Martin Riggs would eventually become ‘crazy’ in the safe, slightly insulting movie sense: reckless and carefree… the kind of crazy where you’d shake your head with a chuckle over his ‘antics’. However, in the original film Riggs was genuinely dangerous because you absolutely believed he had nothing to live for and therefore nothing to lose. The scene where he contemplates eating a bullet in his trailer remains powerful stuff to this day.

      It’s also utterly essential in letting the audience see that for all his colleagues’ dismissive labels and complete lack of empathy or understanding, this is a man suffering from profound loss, trying desperately to find a reason to stay on the planet. That this man is also a special forces-trained killing machine does not bode well for those around him, and the film expertly plays on this tension by pairing him up with a likeable family man. As much as we want to see Riggs let loose, we also want to see Murtaugh get through the film unscathed.

      The obvious solution was to set up some despicable bad guys for Riggs to rail against in the final act. General McAllister isn’t the most memorable of villains, but was there a better 80s henchman than Mr Joshua? It’s actually a remarkably restrained performance from Gary Busey, which considering all the car-shooting, forearm burning, electro-torture shenanigans he gets up to, says quite a bit about his future performances.

      Lethal Weapon wisely keeps its powder dry for the majority of its running time; for the first two acts it’s very much a procedural thriller with some witty dialogue. Sure, Riggs gets to jump off a building and shoot a few perps, but the kind of high-octane action many people associate with the franchise doesn’t really kick in until the home stretch, at which point the film gives us exactly what we want: a rabid and shirtless Riggs going medieval on the bad guys and clambering over traffic with a machine gun. But vitally, it’s with a purpose – something that Riggs spends the majority of the film desperately lacking and that we, the audience, are rooting for him to find.

      That’s why the relationship between Riggs and Murtaugh is so special: as much as Roger needed Martin’s particular set of skills to rescue him and his daughter, Martin needed Roger even more. It’s the trust his partner places in him and the welcoming bosom of Roger’s family that gives Riggs a reason to move on and embrace life. When Martin turns up at the Murtaugh’s home in the film’s final moments to deliver his gift-wrapped hollow-point bullet, he might as well be getting down on one knee and offering an engagement ring. They saved each other – they’re partners for life. It’s the best possible ending for the best film in the series.

      However, an appraisal of Lethal Weapon wouldn’t be complete without bringing attention to what is quite possibly one of the worst conceived plans ever committed to celluloid. Senses perhaps dulled by the inhalation of too much heroin following McAllister’s explosive death, Roger realises that Mr Joshua knows where he lives! How do our heroes concoct to trap this maniacal killing machine using this knowledge? Well, they get to Roger’s house first, stick a snarky ‘no one here but us cops’ message to the Christmas tree, then lie in wait – no doubt snickering like schoolboys – until Mr Joshua arrives and casually offs two poor patrol guys. Oops! They then wait for him to enter the Murtaugh homestead, let him shoot up the place with a machine gun, and decide that the best way to apprehend him is by SENDING AN UNMANNED COP CAR INTO THE LIVING ROOM!

      Couldn’t they have just snuck up behind him as he entered the front door?


  103. Among the WTHHT subjects thus far, Mel Gibson is probably the entree whom I feel the least amount of sympathy for. Mel is pretty much the poster child of a Hollywood actor self-sabotaging one’s own career by purely going out of his/her way to be an unlikable, unstable a-hole. I honestly would find it hard to believe that Mel is remotely sorry or remorseful of his actions other than he got caught.

    At this point, why would anybody w/ common sense (in particular gays, women, Jewish people, and blacks since Mel was caught using the n-word) want or would feel comfortable paying money to see one of Mel’s movies!?


    • Agreed. Gibson’s actions were reprehensible. He has shown no sign of remorse and is still behaving like a jackass. I won’t deny his talent. And I have watched his last couple of movies on cable mostly out of a sense of obligation. But I have a hard time looking at him anymore.


      • I too agree, he has not apologized for anything and therefore does not take responsibility for anything he does. He IS very talented, but his lifestyle and the hatred he consistently promotes overpowers his art, and yeah, it’s really hard to look at the guy with any sympathy whatsoever.


  104. Gibson was always a wooden actor, and he just churned out racist, fictional rubbish like “Braveheart” and “The Patriot”.


    • I never found Gibson wooden. Even now. I thought he was overly volatile in The Beaver for example. And in Get the Gringo, I found him charming me against my better instincts. But I agree that The Patriot was rubbish. I left that movie angry. And I was paid to watch it.


      • Danielle Charney

        I have not liked his obvious mad hatred of Jews and his politics in general or several of his movies- but the man can act and has a magnetism few have had – the original Mad Max movies ( I remember the entire audience of women gasping when the camera scanned him for toes to to head top in all leathers ) and many other movies- he has shown a wide range of being able to do many roles- and well- he is also known for not hiring Jews to work on his movies- he is a mess of a human – and one of the wealthiest- he is like a talented Koch Bros- combo- I like what Robin Williams said when asked whether or not he believed in God- “well – there has to be something going on out there when the only Jew cop stops Mel Gibson for drunk driving” – such a great line


      • Never saw the Patriot(and never will), but of the Gibson-directed/produced movies I’ve seen what really impresses me is his fearlessness. At least he is trying something and making something new. That’s better than most of hollywoods trite rubbish.
        The dude is a train wreck though. In some ways I think he’ll have a better time behind camera and keeping a bit low-key than trying to star in stuff himself, even though he is a brilliant actor.


        • I will give him props as a director. I’m not sure that he reinvented cinema or anything like that. But he is skilled and he has something to say. That counts for something.


  105. Gibson was a talentless wooden actor who could only play deranged characters in made up, racist movies like Braveheart.


    • I share your low opinion of the man. But I am not sure you’re being objective with regards to his talents as an actor/movie star. I don’t think there is any denying the guy had star power. But I would also argue that he was and still is a talented actor. I am not sure there’s much point in arguing the details since you keep repeating the same point about Braveheart. This leads me to believe you’re stuck on that point of view and won’t see others. I don’t have a strong opinion on that movie either way. In fact, I don’t think I have ever watched the whole thing. But Gibson has had a long career with several well-regarded performances. I don’t think you can dismiss that with complaints about Braveheart and Gibson’s personality flaws.


  106. The problem for Mel is that he’s put himself in a corner where it’s politically difficult to speak well of him. Jodie Foster has some cojones. I’m sure lots of performers I admire have views that would make me hate them but most people don’t air them in public. You can call him a racist alcoholic and I won’t defend him, but i can’t agree that he isn’t a good actor. take a look at “What Women Want.” He does such a good job of selling the fantasy that it’s easy to forget for the moment that he’s not someone you would want to be involved with in real life. That’s what actors do…


    • When Mel made “The Passion of the Christ”, there really wasn’t any turning back. Mel of course made the situation worst when he pretty much confirmed what many people were speculating in regards to the anti-Semitic subtext. Even then, we in the slightest, could’ve given him the benefit of the doubt since he was intoxicated, but then those voice mails came out.


      • “The Passion of the Christ” arguably didn’t do Jim Caveziel’s career a whole lot of favors in the long run either (and yes, I know that he’s now on that TV show on CBS called “Person of Interest”).

        As for Mel Gibson, the whole controversy in hindsight (once Mel got in trouble making anti-Semitic remarks while driving drunk in Malibu) really felt like a reflection of his apparent bigotry. It really was the start of Mel’s downfall if you will because he was being seriously viewed under the microscope (the huge box office success actually added to the problems) from that point forward.


        • In Hollywood, there has always been talk that playing Jesus is career suicide. Very few actors have gone on to success after playing Jesus. Willem Dafoe is probably the most successful actor to play Jesus in a major motion picture.


        • Well, Caviezel is a good actor, but Dafoe plays in another league.


        • This is true. Dafoe is amazing. Although I have seen it argued that Last Temptation hurt his chances at a career as a leading man. I think he was always more suited to supporting roles.


    • “What Women Want” was awful and the ugly bald wig-wearing racist looked 55, not 44.

      “Braveheart”, “Gallipoli” and “The Patriot” should be banned as they are akin to Nazi propaganda.


  107. I hope Americans are aware that if this Scottish “independence” referendum was held in England it would pass by an absolutely overwhelming landslide majority.


    • I doubt many Americans care one way or another. I know I don’t. But it’s clearly important to you, so good luck with that.


    • daffystardust

      As with any boutique business, sometimes smaller is better.


      • At least Scotland will no longer be imposing left-wing governments on England any more.

        And England won’t be in the failed EU.


        • 1. Why do your comments always have a “thumbs up” right after you post them?

          2. I don’t think this is really the right place for a discussion of EU politics.

          Let’s stick to discussing Mel Gibson. mkay?


  108. uh… it’s abundantly clear that you don’t like him, Clark, but isn’t this going a tad bit overboard?


  109. Mel Gibson is a talentless Nazi.


  110. Perhaps Gibson should direct and star in a biopic of Kaiser Wilhelm II, as he has the exact same views as the last German Emperor.


  111. 10 Incredibly Talented Actors Who Should Really Call It A Day:

    7. Mel Gibson

    The public still hasn’t forgiven Mel Gibson for his many racist, anti-Semitic remarks. As if the subtle references in The Passion of the Christ wasn’t enough, Mel completely lost it after his infamous drunken outburst a few years ago. And he hasn’t really tried too hard to win us back. More recently, the actor Charlie Sheen had his own outburst, but he dealt with it the right way: he apologized for his behavior, engaged in his own self-abuse in a very funny Comedy Central Roast, and went off on a nationwide tour, all of which actually boosted his career even further. Mel should have done the same.

    Mel Gibson’s career really started way back in 1979 with the dystopian sci-fi Mad Max, and he soon became one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, with movies like Gallipoli, Maverick, Payback, the Lethal Weapon series and, of course, the Best Picture winner Braveheart. Come on, who could forget the scene where a thousand blue-striped Scots flash their pearly-white hineys at the British army?

    Personally, I try to forgive the personal lives of actors, and pay more attention to the work they do instead. It’s probably the only reason I can tolerate Tom Cruise. And beneath all that hatred, there still lies some great talent in Mel.

    In the last few years, though, the only movie Mel has really done is The Beaver, directed by Jodie Foster. Honestly, did anyone even see this movie? More recently, he was also in the film Get the Gringo, which went directly to Blu-Ray after only one theatrical viewing. I think this is further proof that people still have not forgiven him.

    If I were Mel, I would just spend my time laying out on the beach next to my huge mansion; counting up my millions of dollars, drinking ice cold mai-tais, and enjoying the easy comforts of life. Just give it up already.


    • Can these Hollywood careers be saved?

      Mel Gibson

      Career high points (as an actor): “Lethal Weapon”, “Braveheart”, “What Women Want”

      Career low point: “The Beaver”

      How to fix it: Some would say that Gibson’s career is irreparable at this point, and based on his past history of racist, sexist, homophobic and – most especially – anti-Semitic comments (not to mention those domestic violence charges), it’s certainly an easy argument to make. It’s one that’s also, of course, bolstered by the unimpressive box-office performance of his two post-DUI starring vehicles – “The Edge of Darkness” and, especially, “The Beaver” – and yet Gibson’s performances in both films were generally praised by critics. Like/pity him or loathe him, it strains credulity to claim that Gibson is a bad actor, and if he has any hope of career redemption, his talent is the thing that will carry him through. Give the guy a gritty role in a serious drama that in some fashion parallels his real-life tribulations (a la Nick Nolte, say), and he may just be able to garner some awards-season buzz/career traction.

      – Chris Eggertsen

      Easy cure: play villains.


  112. Mel Gibson made child star cry:

    We can now add “makes children cry” to the long list of character faults that dog Mel Gibson.

    Gaby Hoffmann, the former child star of such classics as Uncle Buck, Field of Dreams and Sleepless in Seattle, told the Huffington Post that Gibson had yelled at her while they were making the 1993 film Man Without a Face.

    She opened up about the awkward experience when asked about the difference between male and female directors.

    Hoffmann, who is now 31, said: “I think I happened to work with a bunch of slightly difficult male directors when I was a kid.”

    The actor was 11 when she starred in Gibson’s directorial debut, a Dead Poets society-type film in which Gibson played a disfigured and reclusive teacher.

    Hoffmann said that Gibson’s temper made filming difficult.

    “I think we can all agree that (working with Gibson) is going to be tough for anyone,” she said.

    “He screamed at me. Oh God, he really screamed at me. He started cursing and screaming at me.

    “I think I was acting like a kid instead of a professional actor. It happens once in a while when you’re a kid actor.”

    Asked if he made her cry, she said: “Yeah. Oh yeah. I think otherwise he was fine.”

    Hoffmann said that director John Hughes, who launched the career of Macaulay Culkin, was also a difficult man. She played Culkin’s sister in the 1989 comedy Uncle Buck.

    “I don’t think John Hughes liked me. I don’t know why.”

    Hoffmann said that the late Nora Ephron, who directed her in the 1993 rom-com Sleepless in Seattle, managed to restore her faith in acting.

    She added that she had since worked with lots of male directors “that I love”.

    “You’re either in it together or you’re not, and if you’re not it sucks.”


  113. HOT GALLERY: 10 Stars Who Fell Victim to the Oscar Curse:

    Mel Gibson, Best Director in 1996 for Braveheart

    As iconic Scottish hero William Wallace, Gibson directed himself to Oscar gold in 1996 with his win for Best Director for Braveheart. But the Oscar-winning film was not without its detractors. Historians were horrified at the historical inaccuracies of the film, while gay rights groups called it homophobic for its negative portrayal of the effeminate Prince Edward. It was also accused of being Anglophobic and xenophobic. Whatever would give critics the idea that a Mel Gibson film could be channeling any kind of hate?

    Mel Gibson—Today

    Mel, Mel, Mel—where do we start? While Gibson turned in some solid post-Braveheart performances in Ransom, The Patriot, What Women Want, and We Were Soldiers, it was his epic 2010 personal meltdown that put the “heck” in “what the heck was he thinking?” Racist, sexist, anti-Semitic—Gibson seemed determined to hit every offensive stereotype in the Hollywood playboy when he threatened ex-girlfriend and baby mama Oksana Grigorieva, as well as the Malibu police. He reappeared in 2011’s Jodie Foster-helmed flick The Beaver as a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown. And, not surprisingly, shined in the role.


  114. All Gibson’s films were crap and he never could act at all. I don’t know how the talentless Nazi ever became famous.


  115. 3 Films Mel Gibson Will Never Get To Make:

    It goes without saying that Mel Gibson was once one of the biggest movie stars and directors in the world. He was the man that somehow turned The Passion of the Christ into an enormous box office success.

    In fact, the man was well on his way to moving from being an A list actor to an A list director when the public outbursts started to haunt him. He had directed hits like Braveheart and Apocalypto (which survived through the first outburst- the DUI) and he was always dropping details on the exciting projects he had in store for people. He was a good director with a fresh take and still a leading man, so most of the films he dropped details about sounded quite good.

    But, as details emerged about the man’s personal life and one mental breakdown led to another Gibson dropped from being an exciting actor and director to being a shunned Hollywood talent that needed a comeback.

    Today, however, the man has had one too many public outbursts to make a real comeback. He may be personally disturbed, but the man knows how to make movies which makes it a shame then that he is probably forever condemned to occasional turns as villains in movies like Machete Kills and possibly The Expendables 3.

    Here’s three films the once A list Mel Gibson planned on making before or during one of his many meltdowns that just won’t be happening anytime soon.

    3. The Maccabees

    The Maccabees actually seemed really likely for awhile. Many thought it would double as both a comeback epic film from the Braveheart director and an apology to the Jewish community. However, things went very wrong and very fast.

    The film was meant to celebrate Judah Maccabee: a man celebrated as one of the greatest Jewish military figures. He led the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire. The holiday of Hanukkah is actually partly thanks to the man. The holiday celebrates the restoration of Jewish worship in Jerusalem. That restoration was thanks to Judah Maccabee and his revolt. The film was said to follow said revolt. It sounded like the perfect plot for the man that directed Braveheart and Apocalypto. You know, besides the whole Jewish aspect.

    After teaming up with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas on the screenplay, things went very badly. Gibson apparently didn’t like the script and Eszterhas didn’t like Gibson. Another tape was released and Eszterhas released a Kindle Single describing in disturbing detail Gibson’s true character and his experience with the man.

    Yet another public shaming solidified the fact that The Maccabees simply would not hit the big screen with Gibson behind the camera though he claims the film is still in development…

    2. Beserker

    When it was first announced, it seemed like a fantastic idea. Mel Gibson was going to direct a real viking movie. He was going to make a hardcore, bloody viking movie. He had the expertise thanks to Braveheart and Apacolypto, but once Gibson’s first tape got released (after the first DUI meldown), the movie fell apart just as quickly as Maccabees.

    Leonardo DiCaprio dropped the project immediately (he was going to lead the picture) and Gibson got left without a studio. The film still sounds like a great idea, but there’s no way Gibson will be able to get the artistic freedom or budgets he got before for historical epics like he did before. Despite this, however, Gibson still claims that Beserker remains in development as well…

    Even though Gibson perhaps thinks there is an alternate reality where this film will get made, there isn’t and it won’t. It’s actually a shame because Gibson was pitching the film as a ultra real and ultra violent take on Vikings. The film was going to be shot in a foreign language a la Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto and it was going to push the R rating like Gibson’s other directorial vehicles.

    Too bad that instead of Beserker, we got stuck with the remake of Conan the Barbarian. Life just ain’t fair.

    1. Lethal Weapon 5

    This one is the saddest of all because who doesn’t love Lethal Weapon? It was the movie that made many fall in love with Gibson and the buddy cop genre in the first place.

    The franchise is extremely profitable and for a while a fifth film seemed to be chugging along, but it fell apart for completely different reasons. According to some reports, the studio wanted original screenwriter Shane Black to direct from a script he wrote. Gibson disagreed and wanted longtime collaborator Richard Donner directing based on a story Donner developed. With no agreement made, the movie fell apart.

    And now with Gibson’s public image worse than ever and him and Glover not getting any younger, it seemed Lethal Weapon 5 will never happen. Perhaps things would have been different for Gibson had he let Shane Black take the reigns of the franchise. After all, the guy ended up directing the blockbuster Iron Man 3 this year…

    Still, the film would’ve worked even with Richard Donner behind the camera (producer Joel Silver didn’t seem to think so). Donner hasn’t directed a movie since 16 Blocks (2006), so it would be nice to see another film from him even if it does star Mel Gibson.


    • 5 Reasons Lethal Weapon 5 Would Be Great:

      4. Gibson Could Be Likable Again… Maybe…

      Gibson’s had his fair share of woes. I won’t get into them here. I think everyone can agree that the man’s public image is in the toilet and nearly everyone that once viewed him as the quirky artsy movie star now views him as a tortured villain of a man. It’s sad really.

      No matter what your opinions are about the man’s personality or life, almost everyone can agree that he’s a talented actor and director (not that, that is an excuse). However, recent years have not been kind to Gibson professionally. He can’t get any film financed for himself to direct and he only gets offered villain parts (Machete Kills, The Expendables 3).

      I, of one, miss the likable Gibson that saved the day and found out what the hell women wanted on screen. Perhaps Lethal Weapon 5 would give the man the chance to be likable again. Going back to playing a character that many love and that practically took his career to a whole new level, Gibson the man could use the moment to allow people to give him a second chance. He could have true catharsis and people might listen. Or maybe I just really, really wanna see Riggs in another movie…


  116. good news Mel is doing Expendables 3 and so is Harrison Ford and Antonio Banderas, so the movie looks real good. just so you all know, I’m still planning on seeing that film anyway despite what you critics think about Mel. I think it will get him back to the big time again. I still believe in him. he’s still cool in my book.



    Yesterday, THE EXPENDABLES 3 began principal photography and we caught our first glimpse of the film’s villain looking exceptionally “pumped up” and ready for action. That “villain” is none other than Mel Gibson, the Academy Award winning director of BRAVEHEART and star of a laundry list of outstanding films, to include the LETHAL WEAPON series, the MAD MAX series, MAVERICK, RANSOM, PAYBACK, THE PATRIOT, WE WERE SOLDIERS, and SIGNS. Even his in-between films have a certain charm, resonating with many folks as classics in their own right.

    Seeing that pic of Mel yesterday reminded me of one of his greatest attributes as a filmmaker and actor: Commitment. Gibson has rarely given less than his all (no one can excuse BIRD ON A WIRE) and adds a gravitas and power to each and every project he’s attached himself to, acting or otherwise. I would venture to say that he’s evolved into a fantastic director, perhaps even surpassing his skills as an actor. BRAVEHEART speaks for itself, and whether you’re religious or not, there’s no doubting the deftly crafted THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST or heart-pounding electricity that is APOCALYPTO. But, Gibson’s career was abruptly cut short by the one thing that crashes down on many a star’s head: his personal life.

    Now, we’ve gone down the road of Gibson’s past behavior before, gleaned from phone calls, e-mails, and “sources” that paint a less than desirable portrait of the aging star. Certainly, if you’ve entertained that material, usually culled from the dregs of tabloid journalism, then it’s influenced your opinion of the man to some degree. And, there’s truth in that mire of bullshit, but I personally don’t see it as enough to convict the man of the sentence of life without a decent movie role or the chance to direct another film. In fact, that’s the real crime. In the years since his ostracization from the Hollywood elite, Gibson has paid a hefty price.

    For some, it’s a price he had to pay. Our sense of justice varies by our own moral and societal scale, so it’s easy to nod our heads and say that, yes, he deserved to suffer. Some may feel that all is right in the world with Gibson’s state of being in the industry. Well, that’s just fine for those that feel that way. I can’t speak to any extremes of Gibson’s behavior beyond what I’ve heard from the various leaks and secondhand accounts. I’m not an attorney, a cop, or a judge involved in his cases. I’m a movie fan. A hardcore movie fan at that, and one that would like, more than anything, to see Gibson released from his “prison” with time served so he can get back to doing what he does best: Acting and directing.

    Hollywood can be a fickle bitch and when she leaves you, she takes everything plus the ice cube trays. Now, Gibson isn’t short on cash last I heard, but he’s been on the blacklist long enough that even the cast of THE HANGOVER wouldn’t work with him. In the time since he reemerged in 2010 with EDGE OF DARKNESS, Gibson has had a difficult climb back into the saddle, compounded almost exclusively by his personal life. He starred in THE BEAVER, which was a tremendous performance that couldn’t have been more ill timed, as it coincided with more of his controversies, leaving the hugely underrated film mostly ignored. Since then, Gibson experimented with the VOD market, making a terrifically solid action romp, GET THE GRINGO, and has since had difficulty finding footing in any genre or market.

    However, Gibson has seemingly embraced this “bad guy” image and found a new niche to explore: the villain. Taking the lead foil for both Robert Rodriguez’s MACHETE KILLS and Stallone’s geriatric action nostalgia franchise sequel THE EXPENDABLES 3, Gibson is jumping into a different shade of his career with this type of role, which is affording him the spotlight once more. I think it’s a sound and smart decision on his part and shows his awareness of where he is and where he wants to be. My only fear is that it becomes a typecasting problem, but I believe Gibson is stronger than that.

    Which brings me back to Gibson’s resolve; his commitment. Seeing Gibson pumped (literally) and ready to get back in the game makes me happy, because it shows that he’s not done. He’s not going to go quietly and I’d expect no less from the man. I don’t know Mel Gibson. I likely never will. No more than I’ll know or connect with many of the people whose work I’ve admired throughout my life. But, as a fan, it is my hope that he will recapture his career, find new footing, and launch back into the kind of work that we all know he’s capable of, rather than scraping the bottom of the barrel just to stay in the game. Gibson is better than that and in the long run we’re all being robbed of a filmmaker and actor who has proven his skill time and time again.

    I don’t care about Gibson’s personal life, barring some major horrific crime. In truth, if we knew all the sordid details of every celebrity we admire, from phone calls, e-mails, videos, and more, we’d likely run out of heroes real quick. We are all flawed, in many ways, but that does not place us beyond redemption. It just makes us human and Gibson is a very talented one. So, for the sake of those who want to see a talented actor/director make some more great work before he passes on from this world, I think it’s high time to let the man out of his shackles and get on with it. There are movies to be made here, people!

    If you won’t listen to me…at least listen to IRON MAN…


    • I so agree with your post. Well said. I’m sad that we’ve lost 10 years of his talent. And I am also impressed by his committment to keep things going. I would like to see at least one more amazing performance from Gibson. If not more.


  118. I’m so overwhelmed by the hate-filled posts on this site – and elsewhere. I’ve gotten curious recently about Gibson and his story and have done a lot of reading about him…. and about others. I have become amazed and impressed that Gibson can continue on at all. I think most anyone else would have committed suicide had they been so terribly and incessantly reviled by the media and the world for so long. Especially when I have seen, heard, and read of so many others who have said similar things and expressed similar statements and NOT been treated this way. It has really begun to bother me, for some reason. I mean c’mon… lets look at the actual violence (knife to wife’s throat… rapist… proven domestic abuse) by actors like Sheen, Tyson, and Alec Baldwin. Do they suffer for this now? No. I’ve heard horrible profanity filled rants tinged with gay insults and more by not just these guys but others – and people either roll their eyes or chuckle. THey don’t continue on and on about it.
    As for the anti-semite thing… c’mon. I think much of this is bullshit. Would we gripe as much if he had made a film about Italians? Or muslims? Or Russians? (who were the bad guys in our movies for a long long time and no one complained).
    Yes. Gibson did wrong. He has a drinking problem and needs to learn to keep his mouth shut. But prior to the drinking incident in 2006, his public sins were relatively minor and far/few between. Much less so that others given a pass.
    People ask why I have any sympathy for him. Well. I can see a human being with faults who fell. In my mind, his fall started with the Passion movie… something close to his heart for which he took a LOT of abuse. And MOST of that abuse came from the Jewish community. (Doesn’t seem much different to me than when muslims freaked out over the film “innocence of muslims”. If your god/prophet is so great, he sure doesn’t need YOU to protect him from a MOVIE. geesh). I’m not christian and I thot the Passion was pretty close to what I read in the gospels. So… I can see a huge sense of hurt that would be targeted towards the group of people creating the hurt.
    So it gets easy for an alcoholic to fall off the wagon when they feel incredibly stressed and in pain.
    Gibson falls off the wagon. Vents crazy crap against a group he perceives hurt him personally.
    Wife leaves him – tired of the falling of the wagon bit, I’m sure contributed to this.
    Now the guy not only feels abused professionally and personally, but the rock he has depended on for so long, and perhaps taken for granted, has disappeared.
    He enters another level of personal loss. Does what most men (women) do … finds someone else to hang onto.
    Yup, Oksana.
    No one knows the real details of that relationship, but it is easy for me to understand how Gibson might feel taken advantage of. And that would royally piss off ANYone, much less a quick-tempered, emotionally damaged, alcoholic. So he ranted and raged at a person (not at an entire gender). It was ugly. I’ve heard uglier in the heat of a moment. Sheen’s ex reported some bad stuff. So did Baldwin’s wife. Difference was, their partners didn’t record and SELL surriptious recordings of personal conversations. So it didn’t sear our memories. It was just “alleged”. I find that to be a cruel thing by Oksana. To wait months to release these until she wanted leverage in a financial/child support case seems less than forthright. That would hurt me. Wouldn’t it hurt you too?
    As for those who say Gibson did no mea culpas,,,, you didn’t read closely enough. He certainly did all the same group apologies as others who were assholes of the moment. He did his rehab stint. He did his time out of the public eye.
    Yet people continue to pop up with accusations and hearsay and rants against him.
    He has said crappy things. Mostly towards individuals who he was pissed at. All other comments I can find from people who know him or worked with him (Glover, Chris Rock, Whoopie, Jodie, Gibson’s gay brother, some jewish comedians, the BOY who starred in the Man without a face film with Gabby, etc)…. have all denied his racism, homophobia, anti-semitism, misogyny, etc.
    In my mind, Gibson has taken more abuse by now than he ever gave. And its time for media and readers to quit being haters.


    • I think you’re making excuses for a man who has said hateful things and has yet to apologize for them.

      Personally, I try to separate the artist from the art. I have watched Gibson’s latest movies even though I think he is probably a deplorable human being. He’s still talented. I’ll give credit where it is due.

      But I call them like I see them. Everyone has their flaws. Gibsons are on public display because he put them there. His behavior makes me sick. His apologies felt half-hearted. So, yeah, I think the guy is scum. Most people do.

      It’s very likely Gibson doesn’t care what I or anyone else thinks. Why should he? Why should you?

      If Gibson made a real effort to rehab his image, I think people would be receptive to it. The problem is, he doesn’t want to. I get the impression the guy loves being a martyr just like in all his movies. Also, he’s an unapologetic sexist, racist jerk. And a rich one at that. Why change what has been working for him all his life?

      I could be wrong. Maybe Gibson is just misunderstood. Maybe he’s a victim in all this. I highly doubt it. But if that’s the case, he could start with a public apology for all of the hateful things he’s said the last several years.


    • shut the fuck up kaylee, you embarrassing bimbo


  119. SEPARATE from the public zany antics of Mel Gibson, I’ve got to say Mel G was likely the BEST thing about the new Robert Rodriguez film MACHETE KILLS! Gibby plays his bad guy like a Bond villain on steroids, slathering his performance in hi-calorie William Shatner Sauce, giving a performance that — like many of Shatner’s — is SO over-the-top but is way-FUN to see! Granted, KILLS is not a great movie, but seeing Danny Trejo and Mel the G playing-off each other is a hoot!


    • It had a disasterous opening weekend. I don’t think a lot of viewers were in love with the first film. I figure I can wait for it on cable/video. But your description of Gibson’s performance is what I was hoping for out of him. I’ll have to check it out.


  120. “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” Voltaire


  121. I was one of Mel Gibsons Jewish neighbors living next door to him in Australia and I watched his children grow up. He is and was the kindest, humblest and gentle person that I have ever met and I never found him ever being anti-semitic. If he did say antisemitic things it may be due the viscous reations of a group of jews feeling attacked by his portrayal of jews in Jesus’s time. If I was in his place and made a film that historicaly showed christians doing bad things and a christian community reacted to me violently and maybe even lodged a plan of revenge against me, I am sure i or anyone in that place may most likely start swearing and makeing ani-christian remarks whilst drunk. Come on let us not judge unless we know exactly how he was suffering or we will be judged when our turn strikes.


    • except Gibson’s behavior is not in just isolated moments and is consistent with his Father’s point of view. I don’t judge him extremely harshly, mostly because I don’t have to be around him.


    • I personally don’t care at all about his comments towards Jewish people. That seemed like kooky conspiracy theory talk mixed with bits of truth as to who signs the checks and mans the gates of Hollywood.

      No…it was his comments towards his ex-girlfriend…namely saving she looked like a _ and deserved to get raped by a pack of _ that did it for me.

      I didn’t know her and sure you could say it was in the heat of the moment, but those prolonged tapes have coated every performance of his for me. He always had a sort of manic craziness and intensity to his performance, and now when I look back, I can see a person with that type of hate in them, always. It’s like I missed it this whole time.

      That’s just me, though.


  122. Bobby, your last sentence was not only beautiful, it is a standard for how I try to live my life.


  123. 10 Huge Hollywood Actors We All Loved (But Now Hate):

    4. Mel Gibson

    We Love You Moment: Mad Max (1979)

    With the release of Mad Max the world witnessed the birth of a genuine movie star; impossibly handsome and extremely talented. Over the course of his career he made worldwide hits like Lethal Weapon and its sequels, the follow ups to Mad Max, Maverick, Braveheart, Ransom and Signs to name but a few.

    He has received the AO (Australia’s highest honor), was People Magazine’s first Sexiest Man Alive, was ranked 12th biggest film star of all time by Empire Magazine in 1997, ranked 17th most powerful person in Hollywood in 2006 and was not once but twice cited as America’s favorite movie star in Harris polls conducted in 1996 and 2003.

    We Want A Divorce Moment: Drunk Dialing (2010)

    Following an acrimonious split from Oksana Grigorieva in 2010 Mad Mel actually went mad. Caught on tape drunk and venting, Mel was recorded spouting repugnant language and insults we won’t be repeating here but, suffice to say, it ended the career of someone who was once the most popular actor on the planet. This one really hurt. We loved you Mel. You were Max Rockatansky. You were Martin flaming Riggs and now you’re nothing but a cautionary tale.

    Chances Of Getting Back Together: Thanks for the memories, but that sort of behavior is not what we want.


  124. Yes Gibson did bring 90% of his downfall on himself. His appalling behavior hasn’t done him any good at all. But, there’s another side to consider as well.

    Unlike a Clint Eastwood and despite the repeated jibes at being “too old for this s***” in the Lethal Weapon movies, Gibson has never been comfortable showing his age. He’s always been the romantic leading man for the most part. And unlike a De Niro, Pacino, Hoffman, Penn, Nicholson or Downey Jr, he’s not the type of leading man who’s essentially a character actor. Which explains why he hasn’t followed in their footsteps and transitioned into ensemble or supporting roles when their leading man days were over. For a while, following The Passion, it looked as if he was going to follow in Eastwood’s footsteps and segue into directing full-time when his leading days started tapering off. I’ve heard it stated that like Warren Beatty he can’t afford to just direct because he won’t get the acting fee that way.


  125. have compassion for Gibson’s current state and admiration for his talent. I only recently read up on him. I see, as others have said, a talented guy who didn’t know how to transition away from his leading man beauty as he aged. A marriage in trouble and a guy with a real drinking problem (which seems to be less forgiven than the heroin addiction of Phillip Seymour Hoffman).

    Gibson’s subsequent attachment to religion pushed him to make Passion of Christ. It was a personal film based on Biblical gospels… which does include text “some” feel is anti-semitic. I’m atheist but know many that take that gospel as, well, gospel. 🙂 And would never change a thing. Apparently Gibson felt the same.

    As a result, what most don’t recall, know, or mention is that Gibson took a LOT of heat and public abuse from the Jewish community for about a year BEFORE the flick came out. Interviews I’ve read with his colleagues or him, and articles I’ve read, suggest that there were powerful people in the Jewish community who harassed him and his family for quite awhile. And it didn’t stop after the film came out in 2004. I can only imagine the stress that would have on a person… and a person with alcohol issues will respond even less well. Thus the so-called rant in 2006 (though really, I dont see that a two of drunken comments qualify as a rant). I actually could understand the a drunk guy feeling pissed off at the entire jewish community. Surely it must have felt like that at the time. Gibson himself alluded to this when he was interviewed by Diane Sawyer after the incident.

    Oh, and BTW, he did publicly apologize during that interview as well as in the press. Another fact hostile posters often overlook.

    As for his “leaked” freakout towards his girlfriend of 3 years, it was ugly. But there are a LOT of ugly breakups with people saying horrible things to get a rise out of their soon to be ex. What never happens to you or me, thank goodness, is that the ex doesn’t publish our crazy moments on the internet. The guy swears a lot… so what. He’s obviously pissed and hurt and he hurls everything in the book that seems ugly. I’ve seen a lot of movies that have the same words and no one walks out of the movie theater. I’ve seen worse posted of FB by high school and college students. Heck… I’ve read worse in youtube posts. So basically, for me, this was …as Gibson stated in another published apology that people never seem to read… an irrationally, heated discussion at the height of a breakdown, trying to get out of a really unhealthy relationship.

    Gibson has completed anger management. Sobered up. Lived a better life. Made positive changes in his life – more than some (coff coff …Charlie Sheen… coff coff) who people give a pass. His recent films have starred Mexicans, been co-created with Jewish friends. He has supported charities that help people of color and based on news / photos, has friends of many races, ethnicities, and sexual orientation. What people DO should matter more than what they say, especially if what they said was limited to the past.

    So yea… I feel compassion for the guy. His talent has been wasted. People continue to abuse, humiliate, and denigrate him even though NINE years have passed since his 12 drunken words about jews were uttered and four years since his ex-girlfriend released their private breakup tapes. In comparison, Mike Tyson only spent 3 years in prison for a rape conviction, and now he is beloved. Mel Gibson may not be a perfect guy, but based on all the things I’ve read (and many people dont read,,, they just like to be mean) he really deserves to have the past stay in the past and get on with life and his talent.

    I hope Expendables 3 opens new doors for him. It’s time.


    • You made a lot of really good points, karena, that many of us may not have paused to consider, so conditioned are we to react in a certain way to certain stimuli. It’s part of what makes us human beings, that we seek to have our assumptions challenged and to look for that new lens to look through. Your last paragraph also sums up and delivers a whopping dose of context.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know. I still see it as being an apologist for an unrepentant and entitled racist, sexist pig. Fortunately for Gibson, I’m sure he doesn’t care what I think of him. But I wonder if he hadn’t been so dreamy for so long, would anyone be bending over backwards to excuse his outrageous behavior?


        • I can only speak for myself, but I never found Tyson to be beloved, even before his rape conviction. There are troubling quotes from him which predate that.


        • Just out of curiosity, I Googled “Mike Tyson” and “Beloved”. What I got was a series of stories about how Tyson’s girlfriend ate one of his “beloved” pigeons. I don’t think many would describe Tyson as “beloved”. I think “reviled” is probably more accurate. At best, he’s polarizing.

          But even if he was beloved, even if Tyson got some kind of get out of jail free card, what does that have to do with Gibson and his hate-fueled rants?

          I’m as mystified as anyone that Charlie Sheen is able to get away with his outrageous behavior with so few consequences. But that’s got nothing to do with Gibson. He made his own bed and now he has to lie in it.

          The frustrating thing for me is that Gibson could easily fix his image if he wanted to. If he showed up on the talk show circuit and made a genuine-sounding apology, flashed that ol’ movie-star charm, audiences would forgive him and move on. They would. They want to forgive him.

          But Gibson won’t do that. Why? I don’t know. Maybe he likes playing the martyr too much. Maybe he’s just too rich and stubborn to care.


  126. angela andrews

    Mel Gibson is the man that director I have ever seen in my life it is a sheen and a great want to this world to bring him his movies make you feel like you’re really there in the only real movies that I’ve ever seen ever unbelievable he’s human his personal life is his business and I wish that he would make a million movies it is unbelievable he is so going to be mad they’ll never be another one like him is so sad


  127. For some reason, audiences wanted a pre-meltdown Mel Gibson in What Women Want:

    2013’s repellent Machete Kills was so enamored of stunt-casting and mindless shock that it created a disguise artist known as “El Camaleón” solely for the sake of casting four big names (Walton Goggins, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Lady Gaga) in the same pointlessly flashy role. The film also aimed for a big, knowing chuckle with a credit “introducing Carlos Estevez,” better known as Charlie Sheen.

    Yet of all the big-name stars winking knowingly at audiences, the only one who registers is Mel Gibson as an insane arms dealer with dreams of world domination. The role was noteworthy because it marked the first time Gibson played a villain onscreen, but also because of how awful Gibson looked. He didn’t resemble a man who at one point was a safe choice for People’ s Sexiest Man Alive; he looked old, tired, creepy, and worn-out. It was as if he had held back the aging process for decades, and then the cruelty of age abruptly hit him with its full force. He was Dorian Gray, and suddenly the beautiful man who never seemed to age was a decrepit ghoul whose exterior matched his interior.

    As played by Gibson, arms dealer Luther Voz isn’t just a bad guy: He’s a bona fide supervillain, the kind that requires a superhero or a super-agent just to maintain a sense of equilibrium in the pop-culture universe. Gibson plays Voz as a wide-eyed cross between Darth Vader and Hugo Drax, the heavy who tangled with James Bond in Moonraker. The casting seemed on the nose, considering that in Heaven & Mel, Joe Eszterhas’ hyperbolic, self-aggrandizing memoir of his doomed attempt to make a “Jewish Braveheart” with the infamous anti-Semite, Gibson emerges as something of a supervillain. As depicted by Eszterhas, Gibson is an utterly amoral man with his own island, a vast fortune, and the power to exert his sinister will on the world. The Mel Gibson chronicled in Heaven & Mel seems like someone who would have a nuclear missile pointed at the Eastern seaboard, and his own private army of mercenaries.

    At this point, it’s easier to buy Gibson as a deranged supervillain than as an everyman in a sympathetic role. He’s strayed too far from the outer limits of acceptable behavior to depict the kind of heroes that were once his specialty. He’s believable only when playing the crazy, evil, or profoundly broken.

    If Gibson wants to work in movies he didn’t personally write and finance (the way he did The Passion Of The Christ and his pretty solid 2012 direct-to-video-on-demand comeback vehicle Get The Gringo), he needs to find roles in which both the film industry and audiences will accept him. Judging by Machete Kills and his upcoming role as the villain in Expendables 3, that means playing the bad guy onscreen as well as off. The price Gibson increasingly pays for continuing to work are roles that comment, cheekily and otherwise, on his dreadful reputation and violent temper. That makes him hard to imagine as a romantic-comedy lead. It’s even harder to imagine a Mel Gibson romantic comedy being the fifth-top-grossing film of its year, as What Women Want was in 2000. According to Box Office Mojo, the film grossed more than $370 million worldwide, trailing trailing only How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Cast Away, Mission: Impossible II, and Gladiator.

    The notion that a man like Mel Gibson would be privy to the private thoughts of all the women in the world now feels like the blueprint for a feminist nightmare, but in 2000, the premise was irresistible to a goodly percentage of the moviegoing public. Directed by Nancy Meyers, What Women Want casts Gibson as the kind of incorrigible bad boy who leaves a trail of broken hearts in his wake, but is just waiting to be redeemed by the love of a good woman who can see past his leering, superficial façade.

    In his romantic prime, Gibson oozed charm, but that charm now looks like the overcompensation of a con artist, drug addict, or cult leader. Now, it feels like a form of dishonesty. But in 2000, it made the creaky, gimmicky trifle What Women Want into an international box-office sensation.

    I went into What Women Want with one central question: Would it be possible to watch a movie wholly dependent on Mel Gibson’s likability, and forget everything that’s since rendered Gibson a pariah? Would I be able to watch him romance a woman onscreen without thinking of publicly released tapes of him screaming racist abuse at his child’s mother? Would the charming movie star with the million-dollar smile trump the tormented man whose hatred for minorities, women, and himself now defines him nearly as much as the iconic blockbuster hits he racked up in the ’80s and ’90s? Yes, actually. It’s entirely possible to get lost in the dopey, idiotic, soft-sell fantasy of What Women Want. That’s what fluffy movies like What Women Want do: They sell fantasies so fizzy and irresistible, they’re immune to the outside world’s complications and creepiness.

    The Chicago advertising world isn’t just the setting of What Women Want, it also provides the dominant aesthetic; the film has the glossy quality of a two-hour commercial for itself. But the film does make time to shill shamelessly for Nike, which figures prominently in the plot, and is described by the female lead as embodying “state of the art, hardcore woman power,” as if the shoe company has a longstanding reputation as the Pussy Riot of athletic-shoe companies.

    The film opens with Gigi (Lauren Holly), the ex-wife of Mel Gibson’s Nick Marshall, telling her girlfriends about the kind of man her ex-husband was, with barely concealed joy in her voice, “You know the expression ‘a man’s man’? A man’s man is the leader of the pack. The kind of man other men look up to, admire, and emulate. A man’s man is the kind of man who just doesn’t get what women are about.” Meanwhile, Nick’s sullen teenage daughter Alex (Ashley Johnson) and Nick’s assistant Annie (Sarah Paulson) are also separately telling people about the legend of Nick Marshall, a young man who was raised by a pack of wild showgirls and grew up to be the world’s greatest womanizer, a man whose seduction technique inspires awe in his fellow man and naked lust in women.

    Before Gibson appears onscreen, he already has a legend. His womanizing even has an origin story. But for all their censure and awe, Gigi, Alex, and Annie are all describing a groaning cliché: the womanizing cad overdue for a humbling, a guy who, in Annie’s words, is “like this total bachelor, and the least politically correct guy in the universe.” Nick is headed for a fall, but for the first 20 minutes of the film, the world belongs to him. He wakes up with telltale lipstick marks on his cheek in a swinging bachelor pad, and trades saucy banter with a maid who seems to view his chauvinism as a delightful quirk, though when he calls her “babe,” she retorts, “Babe? What am I, a little pig?” At the office, meanwhile, Nick delights some female co-workers by joking, “You know the difference between a wife and a job? After 10 years, a job still sucks!” He helpfully urges a slightly chubby secretary not to eat a fattening pastry, out of concern for her figure. Such impressive people skills have Nick convinced he’s in line for the big promotion that’s going to be announced that day.

    What Women Want begins in a manner similar to the previous Forgotbusters entry Disclosure: with a rampaging alpha male, played by a rampaging alpha male, showing up to work expecting a big promotion, then discovering that even though he earned it by virtue of having a penis (oh, and maybe working hard or something), the job has been given to a woman. And not just any woman, mind you: an extremely sexually desirable woman, with whom the protagonist has sex.

    But where Disclosure took the form of a techno-thriller vibrating with anxiety over the destructive power of aggressive female sexuality (though not to the extent of the loathsome Michael Crichton novel it adapts), What Women Want is a fluffy angora sweater of a romantic comedy. So Darcy (Helen Hunt), the boss darkly whispered about as a “bitch on wheels,” turns out to be a sexy earth-mother in flowing, low-cut blouses and Ally McBeal-style short skirts. And at the first sign of professional adversity, she all but volunteers to leave the advertising field and go nurture sick puppies. She’s a female boss even the most vicious misogynist would have a hard time resenting.

    But that doesn’t keep Nick from stewing when she orders her overwhelmingly male co-workers to channel their feminine side by trying out a series of products designed for women, like pantyhose and girdles. So one magical night, Nick is at home, doing what men do—drinking red wine, smoking cigarettes, and watching sports, pretty much—when he decides to throw himself into Darcy’s homework with drunken, unwise conviction. So he pulls a Meredith Brooks CD out of his daughter’s bag (“She’s hot,” he reasons), and against the backdrop of “Bitch,” the film’s version of an angry feminist anthem, he strips down, waxes his legs, tries on a girdle and pantyhose, and embraces his inner drag queen.

    But then Nick’s professionally motivated cross-dressing goes awry, and he electrocutes himself in a bathtub, with predictable consequences: He gains the ability to read women’s thoughts. Movies like What Women Want live or die based on the scientific grounding of their magical conceits. For example, audiences rejected the Jason Bateman/Ryan Reynolds vehicle The Change-Up not because the film was somehow substandard, but because even those with a basic understanding of magic know that pissing in a fountain at the same time as another man wouldn’t necessarily cause you to switch places with him. It doesn’t make logical sense, so audiences were right to reject the film. Thankfully, rigorous third-party testing has indicated that listening to Meredith Brooks while cross-dressing and being electrocuted does often lead to previously unknown telekinetic abilities. I’m pretty sure Mythbusters did an episode on it. On that level, at least, What Women Want is unimpeachable.

    This newfound ability to read women’s thoughts instills something approaching madness in Nick. Returning to the office, he discovers the insincerity behind the strained smiles of the women reacting to his extreme sexism. To Nick’s shock and horror, it turns out women don’t love hearing sexist jokes at work, and actually resent being food-policed.

    Gibson plays Nick as a cross between Cary Grant and the Three Stooges. In womanizing mode, he’s all breezy confidence and cocky charm. But when confronted with supernatural hooey, he turns into a bug-eyed, flailing lunatic. What Women Want makes Nick’s road to redemption ridiculously easy. The mere firsthand knowledge that women enjoy being treated like human beings gets Nick to transform into a more considerate, thoughtful person. What Women Want sometimes feels like a dumbed-down, supernatural version of Tootsie. In Sydney Pollack’s 1982 classic, Dustin Hoffman becomes a better man and comes to understand women better by living as one. In What Women Want, being privy to the private thoughts of women gives Nick a better understanding of the struggles women face.

    The film sets the bar ridiculously low for Nick. When he tells the easily impressed Darcy during the course of their Nike strategizing that their target customer is “thinking about what she wants out of life” because “women worry all the time,” her response isn’t a sarcastic, “No shit, Sherlock. Tell me more about these mysterious ‘women.’ Do they also breathe and eat, and enjoy looking at puppies?” but rather an astonished, impressed, “You’re so right. How did you know that?” as if he had just shared secret wisdom, not aching banality.

    As this man’s man lives among women, he learns that they like to make salads, watch Friends, and have men pay attention to them. In the process, Nick evolves from a caveman to a fellow who might be able to pass as a reasonably progressive dad in 1959.

    Meyers gives the film an appealingly zippy, retro sensibility that hearkens back to the war-of-the-sexes comedies of Doris Day and Rock Hudson and the attitude of the Rat Pack, whose swinging sounds dominate the soundtrack. She gives the film the appealing surface of sophistication, without any actual substance, her slick, overachieving direction putting an upscale spin on lowbrow idiocy. The film doesn’t have a thought in its pretty little head, but it looks fantastic.

    Gibson’s performance is charming enough to inspire temporary amnesia about the last decade in his career. When he tipsily dances to Frank Sinatra crooning, “I Won’t Dance,” it’s easy to focus on the charismatic movie star from Mad Max and Lethal Weapon, not the screaming man of the covertly taped conversations. What Women Want is a reminder of what made Gibson a movie star in the first place.

    There are only a few moments when his offscreen notoriety casts an ironic shadow over his onscreen actions—when Nick accepts a yarmulke as a gift from his assistant’s Israeli boyfriend, or gets out of hurting a sexy, fragile, and neurotic barista (Marisa Tomei) by pretending to be gay. In these moments, it’s tough not to consider the actor behind the thinly conceived character, but for the most part What Women Want works swimmingly as brainless commercial product.

    Because of the nature of Forgotbusters, I often wrestle with the bifurcated nature of the movies I’m covering, as works of art/entertainment, and as commercial products that must have succeeded on a pretty massive scale to qualify for the column. As a movie, What Women Want isn’t much, but I respect it as a commercial enterprise. Meyers managed to make a movie so goofily appealing and divorced from reality that even after all that has transpired, it’s still able to pass off a Mel Gibson character as Mr. Right. That represents an achievement at least as impressive as being one of its year’s top five grossing films. What Women Want makes it possible to turn back time and get back the old Mel Gibson who charmed the world. That’s the tacky but real magic of cinema, which can be found even in trifles as frothy and ephemeral as this one.


  128. I find it interesting that Whoopi Goldberg, of all people, said at one point that she knew Mel Gibson personally and she didn’t think he was a racist… She made the comment while on The View (I believe this was before 2010: the Drunk Dialing). Whoopi herself got a lot of heat for saying so at the time.

    The thing that made me wonder about Mel’s racist remarks was that I kinda doubt that Whoopi would protect Mel Gibson if he really was a racist… Whoopi Goldberg didn’t strike me as the type of person who would tolerate such behavior. So I guess either Mel Gibson behave himself when he was around her or she didn’t know him well. But I would think that she would have heard things via grapevine…


    • Yeah, I wouldn’t expect Goldberg (or even Jodie Foster) to jump to Gibson’s defense.

      I think, when you know someone, it’s easier to overlook things that sort of thing. Obviously, he’s not going to go on a sexist/racist rant in front of Goldberg. So she’s never seen that side of him. Of course she thinks he’s a good person beneath it all. And maybe he is. But I don’t think it excuses his ugly behavior. Even if Gibson is only a hateful pig 2% of the time, he’s still capable of it.

      For me, it was the drunk dialing that sunk him in. Hard to defend him after hearing those recordings. I wonder if Goldberg would still do so today.


      • This is the clip where Whoopi Goldberg talked about her being taking out of context and use Mel Gibson as one of the example. That conversation start around 11:00 minutes.

        The clip said the show was aired for late August 29, 2010.


    • I remember when I used to think Mel was funny and even (shudder) avaitctrte. I didn’t see Passion of the Christ, and have no intention of ever doing so.What made me give up on Mel were two statements he made when he was promoting the Passion of the Christ. First, he wouldn’t disavow or express disagreement with his father’s Holocaust denials. (No tip-off for anti-semitism there, huh?) Second, he believes his wife is going to hell, even though she’s a good person (his words), because she’s not a Catholic. I know that’s part of the Catholic dogma, but it just horrified me to hear him say that about the woman who has had seven kids with him, and whom he claims to love.The DUI arrest makes no difference in how I feel about Mel, as I’d already decided that I would never pay to see any of his movies ever again.What a fucknut.Grace


      • 9 Actors Whose Hot Careers Fizzled:

        1. Mel Gibson

        There was a time when Mel Gibson was one of the undisputed kings of Hollywood. He had won the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director for “Braveheart,” which he also starred in, and his films were almost always guaranteed to be a hit because of his legions of loyal fans. However, in 2006, his reputation took a bit of a beating when he was arrested for DUI and made a series of anti-Semitic and sexist comments. Gibson managed to weather that storm but, in 2010, when he was charged with domestic abuse, the public saw his darker side and he lost all support as a result.


  129. he is amazing actor he wil make comeback he could easly go back to lethal weapons or mad max but he should direct and star in a film again unlike other actors that are wannabe directors he can do both


    • Well, Mad Max has moved on without him. I think that ship has sailed.

      There was talk of Lethal Weapon being rebooted. I don’t see the original cast coming back to the franchise. It was really tired by Lethal Weapon 4.


      • I will give Mel Gibson a bit of credit. Back in the early 00’s, when he was still one of the biggest movie stars around and a consistent box office draw, Warners kept approaching him about doing a Lethal Weapon 5 for several years. They were even waving huge amounts of money at him in the range of $20M to $25M, but he didn’t bite. I recall Gibson in an interview around 2002 or so, saying “with the 4th one, we barely caught the edge of the cliff with our fingernails. Barely.” At least he had the sense to quit while he was ahead with that series, despite being offered mega bucks that would tempt many other actors.


        • This is true. Hats off to Gibson for knowing when to call it quits! That’s probably the first and last time that has ever been said. 😉


    • 15 Celebrities Who Will Never Make a Comeback in Hollywood!

      1. Mel Gibson

      Mel Gibson’s arrest in 2006 for driving under the influence – which included him shouting anti-Semitic expletives at the police – forced Hollywood and the public to look at the actor differently. In 2010, when a recording of Gibson verbally abusing his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva surfaced, the damage proved to be irreparable. In 2011, Gibson attempted a comeback in “The Beaver,” but it failed horribly and we’re now fairly certain that he won’t be making any big screen hits in the future.


  130. but he should direct again all his directing features were hits he need to get his artistic credaility by directing an epic like braveheart


    • If Gibson really wanted to, he could direct a movie tomorrow. He’s a rich man. He could finance his own movie. I wouldn’t advise him to do so, but he could. It doesn’t seem like Gibson is all that interested in a comeback right now. Babysteps. Expendables 3 might lead to more.


    • If Gibson really wanted to, he could direct a movie tomorrow. He’s a rich man. He could finance his own movie. I wouldn’t advise him to do so, but he could. It doesn’t seem like Gibson is all that interested in a comeback right now. Babysteps. Expendables 3 might lead to more.


      • Just to give you a heads up, Lebeau, your last several posts throughout the day have been appearing as double-posts. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy your posts, but one is plenty! ha ha


  131. then like all washed up actors a call from Quienten tarenteno would do good since he played villians in machete and expendables and played them well i might add it would fit well him playing a villian role in quienten movie. maybe it will give oscar nom


    • I’ll make a couple of points. 1. An Oscar nom really doesn’t mean all that much career wise. Ask Elisabeth Shue. WTHH is littered with the bodies of Oscar winners who saw their careers tank shortly after bringing home the gold. Being nominated will get you some buzz for a limited time. But you still have to capitalize on that buzz which very few actors are able to do.

      Gibson has a lot of atoning to do before he gets a single vote from the Academy for anything ever. I don’t care if he makes the greatest movie ever and turns in the greatest performance. Hollywood considers him an embarrassment. Fair or not, they aren’t going to vote for him no matter what he does until he mends some fences.

      It’s entirely possible Tarantino feels the same way. He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would have a lot of sympathy for Gibson.


  132. he was the original choice for the alec baldwin role in the departed he turned it down . Iam sure since scorsea offered him a role in 06 bare in mind 06 he had that scandals where he made fun of jews then martin would jump at the chance to give gibson a role in his next movie. If gibson does get the role he will probably work with leo and at the point it wouldnt hurt him to work with younger more establishing actors maybe playing mentor roles like costner did in jack ryan and man of steel


  133. martin scorsea is making a film about 2 jewish priest called silence i wish gibson was offered a role in that it been good opportunity to work with a top director again also would have got rid of his image of being racist


  134. Mel Gibson: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked:

    The onscreen highs and lows from the career of Mad Mel.


  135. apoclayto was a box office hit and it was after the whole jew scandal i think he can do it. He directed that movie too 3 out of 5 movies he directed were hits if he directed and starred in it it would an instant hit the reasons his career is tanking is none will give him top scripts right now cause they think his behavior will make things difficult on set they see him as crazy. Therefore if he directs and writes he can give himself the quality scripts and if his movie he directs is a hit then the quality scripts will come .


  136. Ransom: a darker thriller than it gets credit for?

    Mel Gibson took on a big movie star role with Ransom. We take a look back at Ron Howard’s 1996 thriller…


  137. i know he has potential he is a great actor


  138. I have never read such nonsense. Mel Gibson has been in, and made, some very fine films. The man had a substance abuse problem and said and did some stupid things, but as I recall, this is fairly common in Hollywood. I could name many, many actors who have said vile things and pulled ridiculous stunts. Unless everyone in Hollywood is going to be held to high standards, then Mel Gibson should be given a pass for his transgressions.


    • I’m not sure what you are responding to, Deanna? Who’s supposed to be giving Gibson this mythical “pass for his transgressions”?

      There have been a lot of knuckleheads in the public eye who have said and done stupid things. And for the most part, they have all gotten a slap on the wrist. Gibson included. The ones that want to return to the public’s good graces apologize. Gibson stands defiant despite having been caught on tape being a horrible human being. That’s his right. It’s his private life. He can be as awful as he wants. But don’t expect the general public to want to watch Happy Funtime Mel in Lethal Weapon 5 when our most recent memories are of him verbally abusing the mother of his child.

      If you are able to look past that, good for you. I’m sure Gibson appreciates your loyalty. Actually, he probably doesn’t care. But even so, you’re entitled to your opinion of the man. As are the rest of us who think he’s a scumbag.


  139. yes that true deanna u r smart someone that agrees with me he has alot of amazing films and an impressive body of work one day he will get afi lifetime achievement award yes hes not perfect but there are worse people in Hollywood like him . Lets judge him by his work not his personal life he is an amazing actor on this website hes bar none of the most successful


  140. I saw “The Passion Of Christ” in a packed theater, and throughout the entire movie, you could hear a pin drop. Even the children in the theater were quiet and attentive. It was a very compelling show.. I looked for anti-semitic over tones and truly didn’t see any. It followed the story in The Bible. The Jews gave the Roman emperor a thumbs down on saving Christ’s life, but the Romans were the ones that looked like the barbarians.


  141. it was accurate i didnt care for it thought watch maverick amazing patriot rocked


  142. gibson still good actor he needs to direct


  143. he would be the perfect james gordnon in batman/superman movie him and dillion


  144. Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Mel Gibson!

    The Defendant

    The Case

    The Prosecution: The Expendables 3, Machete Kills, The Beaver, Edge of Darkness, We Were Soldiers, The Million Dollar Hotel, Forever Young, Air America, Bird on a Wire, Mrs. Soffel

    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, last week one of you said a trial for Mel Gibson would be interesting, and while the prosecution agrees, we also believe there’s enough evidence to convince the jury we need to send the filmmaker to Movie Jail.

    This trial isn’t about the comments Mr. Gibson made to police when he was arrested for driving under the influence in 2006 or the alleged recording of a phone call with his ex-girlfriend, however it would be ridiculous not to bring them up since they’ve obviously had a negative impact on his career. The prosecution’s problem with Mr. Gibson are his films since those unfortunate incidents, and although they are clearly the reasons why he hasn’t appeared in the greatest films as of late, we still think he could be working on better movies.

    Edge of Darkness just felt like more of the same from Mr. Gibson, and him playing a villain in The Expendables 3 and Machete Kills sounded fantastic on paper, but both movies (and his performances in them) weren’t anything to write home about. Even with his controversies, Mr. Gibson should still be able to find solid projects since he’s been kicking around Hollywood for so long, and is close friends with a bunch of other famous actors. It did help him land a role in The Beaver, but even though he’s actually really good in the Jodie Foster movie, the film itself is pretty weak. As to him directing again, if studios aren’t that comfortable with him starring in a film, it’s unlikely they would want him behind the camera for one either.

    The prosecution would love to see Mr. Gibson make a comeback, but it’s not going to happen with the films he’s been appearing in recently, and we doubt he’s going to be directing a new movie anytime soon. We believe spending some time in Movie Jail will help Mr. Gibson, and keep him away from bad projects that might further damage his career.

    The Defense: Get the Gringo, The Beaver, Edge of Darkness, Apocalypto, The Passion of the Christ, The Singing Detective, Signs, What Women Want, Chicken Run, The Patriot, Payback, Conspiracy Theory, Lethal Weapon series, Ransom, Braveheart, Maverick, The Man Without a Face, Hamlet, Tequila Sunrise, Mad Max movies, The Bounty, The River, The Year of Living Dangerously, Gallipoli

    Ladies and gentlemen, we aren’t going to try to defend the things Mr. Gibson has said and done in his personal life, but the defense is a fan of his movies, and we believe he’s still doing great work. Are Machete Kills and The Expendables 3 amazing movies? No, but in the defense’s opinion Mr. Gibson was quite good in both films, and he did a solid job in Edge of Darkness as well. But if you really want proof Mr. Gibson is still an incredibly talented actor, check out his Get the Gringo and The Beaver, two very different movies featuring outstanding performances from my client.

    In 2011 at the 25th American Cinematheque Awards, Robert Downey Jr. asked Hollywood to forgive my client, and the defense believes what Mr. Gibson needs is an Iron Man. It obviously doesn’t have to be a superhero movie, but we think a hit movie with Mr. Gibson as the lead would do wonders for his career, especially if it was also well-received by critics.

    Although many people might not think too highly of Mr. Gibson because of his controversies, movie buffs (and more than likely most members of the jury) still love his older films, and the defense doesn’t think they’ll want to lock up my client. This isn’t the same as say Shia LaBeouf’s trial, since Mr. Gibson’s filmography is much more impressive. Besides his acting, my client has directed two excellent films with Braveheart and Apocalypto, and the defense strongly believes in his skills as a director. Many critics didn’t love his The Passion of the Christ, but the defense still enjoyed the film, and that’s coming from an atheist, so it’s not as if we’re just a big fan of Mr. Jesus.

    Mr. Gibson’s films haven’t been marvelous these past few years, and it’s his own fault many are no longer fans of the actor, but the defense still doesn’t think he deserves to go to Movie Jail.


    Do you believe Mr. Gibson should spend (at least) a few months behind bars, or do you think we should let him walk? Do you think he can turn things around, or is this it for “Mad Mel”? Is Mel Gibson GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?


  145. Mel Gibson to direct IM4?

    RDJ says he won’t do it unless Mel helms the thing. And it’s not him being facetious.


  146. I watched We Were Soldiers last night–it’s a good war movie. Old-fashioned, as you say, but very well-executed and strongly cast. And while not, as I understand, entirely accurate in its depiction of history, it’s certainly better in that regard than Braveheart or The Patriot. In my mind, this is the one really memorable leading role Mel Gibson has had in the last 15 years or so. Plus, he has a great supporting cast–Madeleine Stowe is an army wife straight from a John Ford film, the ever-outstanding Sam Elliott is quite possibly the most hard-boiled sergeant in cinema history, plus you have fine work from Greg Kinnear, Clark Gregg, Barry Pepper, Keri Russell, etc. It’s definitely worth seeing.


  147. Mel Gibson opens up about fatherhood, and possibly directing “Iron Man 4.”


  148. The tame madness of Conspiracy Theory:

    by Nathan Rabin

    Forgotbusters re-examines movies that were among the top 25 grossing films the year of their release, but have receded culturally, in order to explore what originally attracted audiences to them, and why they failed to endure.

    Wild-eyed craziness was an essential component of Mel Gibson’s professional persona well before it became the hallmark of the rest of his life. For instance, the rampaging id of madness gave his performance in Richard Donner’s Lethal Weapon a dark charge. In the beginning, at least, there was something subversive about the notion of a cop so tormented with inner demons that he doesn’t care whether he lives or dies, and is consequently more dangerous than a partner who is too old for a wide variety of shit. One cop merely carries a lethal weapon. The other, more extreme manner of cop might be said to be a lethal weapon.

    Over the course of the Lethal Weapon movies, the exhilarating air of self-destructive mental illness Gibson brought to the role of Martin Riggs devolved into hammy shtick, as a series that began as gritty, funny, dark action-comedy became a bloated sitcom. Riggs became a joke, as defanged as Chucky from Child’s Play or Freddy Krueger from the later Nightmare On Elm Street installments. Past a certain point, he was just another cinematic goof cracking wise and entertaining the kiddies.

    Mel Gibson’s performance as Jerry Fletcher, taxi driver and crazy conspiracy theorist in Donner’s 1997’s Conspiracy Theory, feels like a continuation of the collaboration that produced all the Lethal Weapon movies and Maverick. Only instead of mugging up a storm as cuddly old Martin Riggs, Gibson plays a character with 10 times the crazy and none of the filter. Nonetheless, audiences showed up to the tune of more than $75 million, making Conspiracy Theory 1997’s 19th most popular film, landing above I Know What You Did Last Summer and below Flubber.

    He’s a cartoon, in other words, and Conspiracy Theory gets off to an appropriately cartoonish start with a sequence of frothing-at-the-mouth-mad Mel Gibson regaling the unfortunate passengers in his cab about the various conspiracy theories he ostensibly puts forth in his zine, also named Conspiracy Theory. The filmmakers wink at the audience by lovingly hauling out conspiracy lore, like Jerry’s belief that fluoride is being used to weaken the virility of the American people, a suspicion he shares with Sterling Hayden’s General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove.

    From the beginning, the film feels hopelessly ersatz. It’s Richard Donner’s version of Tony Scott’s version of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. But this is a Travis Bickle audiences will want to hug no matter how creepily he stalks scowling female lead Alice Sutton (Julia Roberts), a justice lawyer who does not seem to connect with him as a human being capable of free will and sentience, let alone as a love interest. Nevertheless, Jerry, who really should be the villain of this and pretty much any other movie he would be in, makes a ritual of sitting outside Alice’s apartment as she exercises and thinks about how badly she wants to find the man or men responsible for her father’s murder. Alice’s only purpose in the film, other than providing a much-needed break from Jerry’s rambling, is seeking vengeance. And in keeping with the laws of screenwriting economy, it turns out that Jerry and the main villain both played big roles in the death that haunts her.

    Jerry earlier earned some good will when he saved Alice from a mugging, and apparently won a “Stalk Me For Life For Free” card in the process. She seems nonchalant about the mentally ill lunatic chasing her, at one point explaining her grudging acceptance of his nonstop following with a vague, “I guess I didn’t have the heart to tell him to get lost.” Roberts’ performance is so joyless, with so much misplaced gravity, it’s as if she’s trying to retroactively erase any time she’d ever smiled onscreen before, or caused anyone else in the world to smile through her acting. Conspiracy Theory was billed as a joint vehicle for Roberts and Gibson, two of the biggest and most charming movie stars in the world at the time, and the lack of chemistry these icons share borders on hypnotic. Forget Richard Gere: Conspiracy Theory evokes warm nostalgia for Roberts’ sultry bond with human tree-husk Nick Nolte in I Love Trouble.

    Gibson delivers such a busy performance that he shuts everyone and everything else out. He’s forever doing a hammy double-act, talking to himself, sputtering and flailing, broadcasting his craziness to the cheap seats. Gibson’s version of acid-and-mind-control-induced-psychosis looks suspiciously close to the Three Stooges impersonations that litter his roles. For Gibson, there seems to be little difference between genuine mental illness and the burlesque of stupidity popularized by popular vaudevillians. Donner and screenwriter Brian Helgeland don’t seem to have any firmer a grasp on Jerry than Gibson does. Are we watching the complete unraveling of a violent and mentally ill man destroyed by the covert and sinister machinations of his own government, or the ongoing adorability of a love-struck goof with a head firing wildly with insane theories, but a warm heart crying out for that special someone?

    There is something strangely comforting about conspiracy theories, which find patterns and logic in a world that often seems chaotic and insane. Many find the sinister logic of conspiracy theories preferable to the randomness of real life, where horrible things and violent tragedies often just happen, and there is no grand overarching conspiracy to blame. But for a film about a world gone mad, where the ostensibly crazy ones know the truth and the sane-seeming perpetrate madness, Conspiracy Theory is shockingly straightforward and predictable. A great conspiracy theory has a swirling, all-encompassing madness all its own. It becomes a self-contained system that explains everything and nothing at the same time, like in perhaps the greatest conspiracy-theory sequence of all time, in Black Dynamite.

    By comparison, the central conspiracy in Conspiracy Theory suffers from a dearth of imagination. It seems that evil CIA operative Dr. Jonas (Patrick Stewart, doing his Patrick Stewart thing) brainwashed Jerry into becoming an assassin. And not just any assassin, mind you: He was brainwashed to assassinate Alice’s father! It’s at this point that the weird, maudlin streak of romanticism coursing through the film really comes to the fore. Jerry realizes he was supposed to kill Alice’s father, but just couldn’t, so they became friends, and once Jerry saw Alice’s image, he decided to devote his life to protecting her, even if that protection might, from a distance, look an awful lot like deranged stalking.

    Jerry and Alice’s romance isn’t tragic and impossible so much as clammy, creepy, and completely unfeasible. They’re vastly different people at strikingly different stages of human development. Alice is all scowling adult responsibility, while Jerry is a mentally impaired man-child, a kook luxuriating in his own paranoia. Jerry’s most embarrassing monologues all relate to love, and his fierce conviction that true love, the kind he believes he shares with the emotionless woman he gawks at through binoculars, fills a man with such bravado and conviction that he’s willing to leap off a tall building and yell, “Geronimo.” That might seem like incoherent blather, but it comes into play in a third act that sometimes feels like a Harlequin romance written from a stalker perspective—Stephen King’s Misery, if it were ultimately about how Paul and Annie really were meant for each other.

    In its bid to be everything to everyone, Conspiracy Theory ends up being a highly polished nothing. It’s a movie about a dark, shadowy secret world that couldn’t be more conventional or rule-bound in its storytelling or worldview. It’s a romance between two movie stars who barely seem able to tolerate each other, biding their time until production wraps and they never have to see each other again. It’s a thriller devoid of suspense, a dark comedy with cutesy gags about assassins always having three names and being irresistibly drawn to Catcher In The Rye, but not a single laugh to be found.

    Gibson is intimately familiar with the geography of madness, which makes it all the more disappointing that he turns in a version of mental illness that plunges deliriously into minstrelsy, a twitching, mugging, contorting, mumbling self-parody. A lot of darkness has transpired since Conspiracy Theory’s 1997 release, both in Gibson’s life and in the world at large, that should lend it contemporary resonance, particularly given its New York setting. At the very least, the attacks of 9/11 should push some of Jerry’s fevered conspiracy-mongering into bad taste. Yet time has stubbornly refused to make Conspiracy Theory interesting. And if the events of the last 16 years haven’t given it even the faintest pulse of life, or at least a perverse kick, then nothing will.


  149. Mel Gibson And Andrew Garfield Are Going To War, Here Are The Details:

    Mel Gibson is planning his next cinematic assault and he has convinced Andrew Garfield to come along for the ride with him. And if the appeal of Martin Riggs and Spider-Man teaming up together isn’t enough for you, then hopefully the fact that their efforts will take place during World War II can convince you of the film’s merits.

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mel Gibson is set to step behind the camera once again for Hacksaw Ridge. The drama will tell the true story of Private First Class Desmond T. Doss, a war hero who picked up the Congressional Medal of Honor despite the fact that he decided not to bear arms on religious grounds throughout the war. Andrew Garfield would play Doss if he’s cast, but at the moment discussions are still at a very early stage. Unfortunately it hasn’t be announced if Mel Gibson himself will appear in the film. In the past he has both starred in and directed The Man Without A Face and Braveheart, but for his two most recent projects, The Passion Of The Christ and Apocalypto, he decided to remain strictly behind the camera. Hacksaw Ridge would be his first film he has directed since the release of the criminally underrated Apocalypto back in 2006. However, since then, Mel Gibson has remained in the public eye, but mostly for all of the wrong reasons.

    So what would Hacksaw Ridge actually entail? THR notes that Desmond T. Doss was drafted into the armed forces in April 1942, just a few months after the United States of America had been attacked at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. However, because of his beliefs as a Seventh-Day Adventist, he refused to kill anyone and he didn’t even carry a weapon into battle. As you can imagine, this left him as an innocent bystander while the horrors of the war in the Pacific raged around him.

    Subsequently he was turned into a medic, and he went on to save the lives of hundreds of his fellow soldiers. This allowed him to both serve his country while also adhering to his strict religious beliefs along the way too. Those of you who think that his decision to become a medic kept Doss out of harms way though are hugely mistaken. During the war Doss was injured twice and before he left the Army in 1946 he was actually diagnosed with tuberculosis and he had to lose a lung in order to survive.

    Over the next five years, Doss underwent extensive medical treatment for both his illness and his injuries. In recognition of his endeavors, he was the first conscientious objector to ever receive the Medal Of Honor. It should make for some stirring material. And think what you want about Mel Gibson as a man, as a filmmaker he has delivered some of the most pulsating and captivating tales of the last 20 years.

    Hacksaw Ridge looks as though it has all the materials for the Australian to add to his sterling back catalogue of efforts.


  150. oBYTuary: Mel Gibson

    No “celebrities” were harmed in the writing of this column. Its purpose is to mourn the loss of their careers, status, and in all likelihood bank accounts. This is an homage to their life’s work, both well-received and utterly humiliating. I have the utmost respect for all of them, even if they no longer have respect for themselves.

    They say “What happens Down Under, stays Down Under,” unless what is happening is raging anti-Semitism. Thus we are met with today’s Mel Gibson. Clearly his career, well his early career, is too vast to tackle here so I’m just going to touch on the greatest hits/meltdowns/my favorites.

    Gibson was classically trained (in bigotry?) at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, Australia which focused on theater training rather than film. Immediately after graduating in 1977 he began filming “Mad Max.” Guess we know what he was so “mad” about. He reprised the role twice in “The Road Warrior” and “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” or as most people call it “Mad Max Bed Bath and Beyond Thunderdome.” Beyond Thunderdome also starred Tina Turner who finally got to kick someone else’s ass, for once.

    His early American career was fairly successful. He made a couple of notable films with actors such as Sissy Spacek (sans a bucket of blood) and Matthew Modine (you know, that guy you recognize) before he took on the role of everybody’s favorite loose cannon (Didn’t have to Daniel Day Lewis himself into this role) cop Martin Riggs in the “Lethal Weapon” series. He starred opposite Danny Glover who played his older, about to retire partner Roger Murtaugh. The first film also starred Gary Busey so I imagine the set was just a daily dose of crazy one-offs between Busey and Gibson.

    At this point Gibson has begun to firmly establish himself as an action star. He made a second “Lethal Weapon” film before doing the action-comedy movie “Bird on a Wire” with Goldie Hawn. He’s actually a pretty good comedic actor and clearly Goldie Hawn is flawless. That same year he also starred in “Air America” and “Hamlet,” which touched on his theater roots.

    In the 90’s he jumped between personal projects and commercial projects with movies like “Forever Young” in which he played a pilot in the year 1939 (Oh, during WWII, his favorite war I imagine) who has himself cryogenically frozen for one year when his fiancée falls into a coma but wouldn’t you know it he wakes up 53 years later and has to hang out with Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis. Here’s the part where men take a minute or two to think about her breasts. I’ll wait.

    He squeezed another “Lethal Weapon” film in before the critically acclaimed “Braveheart” came around. Gibson directed and starred in this historical drama about William Wallace, the 13 th century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England. What people remember the most about this film is the inspirational speech Wallace gives before the battle and the fact that he was in the Blue Man Group.

    “Braveheart” won five Academy Awards including the awards for Best Picture, Best Director and maybe Best Dreadlocks.

    In 2000 he acted in three films that each grossed over 100 million dollars: “The Patriot,” “Chicken Run,” and “What Women Want” (according to Gibson they want to be horribly insulted).

    Then in 2004 he released the controversial film “The Passion of the Christ,” with subtitles. He co-wrote/produced and directed this film about the final 12 hours of Jesus’ life. This went on to become the highest grossing R Rated Film of all-time. That makes sense. It was adapted from the Bible which has the highest fiction book sales of all times. The film was criticized for its extreme violence or maybe it was criticized for its “Wayne’s World” style extreme close-ups. It seems unavoidable, however, as being crucified seems kind of violent. Here’s 24 minutes of Christopher Hitchens (RIP) discussing the aforementioned controversy. He doesn’t think women are funny and Jesus probably didn’t either.

    Personally Gibson has had a ton of problems. In 2006 he was arrested for a DUI during which he went on an angry rant claiming “F***ing Jews… the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” Even World War Z? He has also been accused of domestic violence and racism.

    Then in 2011 he made “The Beaver,” and that was weird because you see that he and Jodi Foster are SOMEHOW best friends. He also probably thought that film was about how “gross” women’s vaginas are.

    So we’re pretty much up to speed. Mel appears to be a bit of a lethal weapon himself and I’m fairly certain the ONLY thing that could save him now is one last go-around with Danny Glover.


  151. 5 Major Stories National Enquirer Broke That Were Actually True:

    When most people think of the National Enquirer, they think “trash.” They just don’t have the best of reputations when it comes to reporting on stories, mostly because a lot of the time they tend to go with what seem like fabrications. Some of their content is just so scandalous that it can’t possibly be true. Contrary to popular belief, however, there have been a few occasions when the National Enquirer was way ahead of the curve. They had a great story before any other publications were even in the know. Here are the 5 biggest stories that the National Enquirer broke that were actually true!

    1. Mel Gibson’s Divorce

    The National Enquirer has been right about Mel Gibson’s personal life in the past. Back in 2008, they reported that he and his wife of over 28 years, Robyn, were having marital problems and were going to divorce. Several months after the story was published, she proved them right by filing for divorce. Soon after, he stepped out with Oskana Grigorieva.

    Once the Gibson’s plans to divorce were made public, the National Enquirer went public with more details about the couple’s failed relationship. It turns out that he had multiple affairs. Back in 2006, he was said to have been carrying on an extramarital relationship with Suzanne Somers’ stepdaughter and, after her, he moved on to Grigorieva. Sources say that he went so far as to buy her a house in Sherman Oaks, which was close to where he was living with Robyn and their seven children. Robyn reportedly found out about this, which is why she decided to file for divorce.


  152. 10 Actors Who Must Regret Turning Down Major Film Roles:

    1. Mel Gibson – Maximus (Gladiator)

    By 2000, Mel Gibson’s career was stuttering a little, and he wasn’t quite as big a star as he has been a decade or so previously. When Ridley Scott decided to make Gladiator, he saw Gibson as the perfect man to play the lead role of Maximus Decimus Meridius, a Roman general trying to avenge the murder of his wife and daughter. Having played William Wallace so brilliantly in Braveheart five years earlier, he was seemingly born to play the role of Maximus.

    Things didn’t quite go to plan, however, with Gibson feeling that, in his mid 40s, he was too old for the part. Because of this, he walked away, much to the disappointment of Scott. In hindsight, it was a foolish decision, and one he must still rue greatly. Russell Crowe replaced him as Maximus and was superb in the role. He won the Best Actor Oscar, such was his excellence, while the film won Best Picture. It’s still seen as one of the finest movies of the last two decades, and appears time and time again on numerous ‘Top 10′ lists when discussing acting, cinematography and so on.

    Crowe became a superstar following the film’s amazing success, but Gibson’s career faded into obscurity. He is now more famous for some of his erratic behavior away from the set, rather than his performances on it, and his career would have been given a new lease of life had he played the part of the heroic gladiator.


  153. Crazy and genius are opposite sides of the same coin. Truly talented people are passionate about their work and their lives. It’s this passon that pushes them to the edge of greatness or the chasm of recklessness. Mel Gibson has provided us with some worthy entertainment, but he has also embarassed himself horribly. He has exhibited both extremes with equal brilliance. While a regular person would show little imagination and an equally small amount of embarrassment in life, gathering no public attention. Gifted people however, are forever in the limelight and that light highlights every success along with every wrinkle and every flaw. And there is the ever present anticipation of the public to see the successful fall from grace….

    Alcohol, the scourge of our society, costs all of us a terrible price and extorts a pound of flesh from those afflicted. To throw alcohol on the passions that burn in gifted people is to ignite and let loose the demons in their soul, with equal ferocity as the passion that made them famous. Mel Gibson is an alcoholic and he is a human. That means he is subject to all our flaws. He drinks and makes a fool of himself. He knows what he has done and I suspect that he needs some time to heal and fight off the alcoholic demon that clings to his afflicted body.

    If Mr. Gibson said the things he said while sober then there would be no excuse for his actions. But if he was under the influence of alcohol then he deserves the same understanding given to any other addict, and deserves the benefit of a doubt. Who among us has not uttered something horrific under times of great stress? Almost all. And yet the subdued person is always given a pass. For the gifted, the ambitious among us its “Heal Thyself.” A very difficult recovery indeed.

    Brad Deal


  154. How to get I involved in acting at 56yrs old?


  155. 7 Former Mega Stars Who Lost Their Box Office Appeal:

    Mel Gibson

    Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, everything Mel Gibson touched turned to box office gold. He had the “Lethal Weapon” franchise, which was hugely successful, as well as “Braveheart,” which earned him a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Director and “The Passion of the Christ,” which was a major commercial hit, grossing over $600 million while it was in theatres.

    Unfortunately for Gibson, his career ended up taking a huge nosedive after reports of him making anti-Semitic remarks to a police officer were made public. Things got even worse for him when his ex girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva filed a restraining order against him, accusing him of physically assaulting her. Then tapes surfaced of him making disparaging comments about her. As a result, Gibson is anything but bankable. One of the last films he starred in, “The Beaver,” was a certified flop, earning only $6.4 million at the box office. Production costs were $21 million.


    • 9 Celebrities Who Ruined Their Careers

      Mel Gibson

      Mel Gibson had to make this list after his eccentric and racially-charged rants became public domain in a series of recorded phone calls he had with ex-wife Oksana Grigorieva. The phone calls included jumbled illogical phrases, racial condemnation, and death threats, all of which left Mel looking like a stark raving lunatic. Of course, the racism was not really surprising. Mel had after all accused the Jews for being responsible for every war in the world, after he had been arrested for a DUI in 2006. Back in 2000, Mel starred in 4 films in one year, but since then he’s averaged 1 underwhelming film a year. I think South Park’s portrayal of Mel may actually be accurate!


  156. Gibson in Top 10 Awkward Celebrity Interviews


  157. My favorite one is where Mel Gibson called the guy an asshole. I hope it was on purpose & not because he thought the mike was off. I thought it was totally appropriate


  158. I feel so very sorry for Mel Gibson, he has done all this mess to himself, his movies were great and being so handsome the women bowed down to him. Poor wife Robyn had to face all this with her children by her side, she had to get rid of him sooner than later. Maybe some day we can see him in a great movie. Hope so.


  159. The CineFiles Podcast: Episode 10:

    Eric Cohen
    April 27, 2015
    Podcasts, The CineFiles Podcast

    As the CineFiles unleash episode numero 10, they give their thoughts on BIG EYES, CHINATOWN, EX MACHINA, FACE/OFF, THE WOLFPACK, JACKRABBIT, the web series DOUBLE FINE ADVENTURE, plus some of us revisit A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT and GAME OVER: THE ATARI STORY. In terms of news we discuss the BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, FANTASTIC FOUR, JURASSIC WORLD and TOMORROWLAND trailers. And finally… we talk about those films that are (shall we say) ethically challenged. Historically significant movies that, while they are impressive from a technical standpoint, leave a bad moral taste in your mouth. Titles like BIRTH OF A NATION and TRIUMPH OF THE WILL are discussed. We also focus on the moral fine line of appreciating the work of a personality who has otherwise displayed abhorrent behavior in real life (Roman Polanski, Woody Allen and Mel Gibson for example).


  160. 10 Most Polarizing Actors Of All-Time:

    Mel Gibson

    There are few who would stand up to defend Mel Gibson’s personal life in this day and age, and yet – for a time – he was a Hollywood superstar of the highest-order, albeit one who people liked to debate from time to time, pondering whether or not he was indeed worthy of his career. Throw in all the controversy of the last decade, and you’ve got the very definition of polarizing; it really is hard to know how to feel about Gibson in 2015.

    He was something of a manic tour-de-force in his early roles as Mad Max, of course, and it would be wrong to suggest that his turns as Martin Riggs in the Lethal Weapon movies were anything but brilliant. But Gibson’s clear hatred of the English (Braveheart and The Patriot, anyone?), Jews, and everybody in his life has only served to complicate matters.

    He is now regarded as one of many former Hollywood icons who has since poisoned his relationship with the industry; even die-hard Gibson fans are likely to feel a tad awkward about his involvement in any future projects. So, yes, the man has always been polarizing, and the status of his career today has only served to cement his position as such.


  161. Why Mad Max: Fury Road Didn’t Need Mel Gibson To Return:

    By Eric Eisenberg

    Thanks in large part to the work of Marvel Studios, Hollywood has become obsessed with world building franchises. The idea is that each movie connects to the next, and that it all creates one big story. Continuity is the name of the game, and the deeper it goes the better. But while this method may work for some series, it’s not the law that dictates the way things operate in George Miller’s Mad Max – and this fact is central to the reason why it really does not matter at all that Tom Hardy has replaced Mel Gibson in the brand new film Mad Max: Fury Road.

    As I explained in my Fury Road review, the sequels in the Mad Max franchise don’t operate as chapters of a longer tale. While the first movie is actually more of an origin story in retrospect, the subsequent films were designed by George Miller not to be direct follow-ups, but instead further stories told in the same world. Each title is meant to be seen as a new “Tale From The Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland” that would be told around a campfire, each one telling a different legend from the lore of Max Rockatansky. The trick with this kind of storytelling is that everyone listening to it is going to imagine this Road Warrior differently, and while some within the world of Mad Max might think he looks like a young Mel Gibson, others may interpret him as looking a bit more like Tom Hardy. In the end it really doesn’t matter who the actor is as long as they are playing the same character – and that very much is the case in the latest feature.

    While the Max featured in Mad Max: Fury Road is a bit more far-gone than we’ve seen in previous installments – having been mentally crushed by both his memories and the post-apocalyptic world that surrounds him – inside he is still the same roguish hero we watched in the first three films. He remains both haunted and driven by thoughts of his lost child and wife, and though his survival instinct is at full-throttle 11, he is still a moral and just person who will help the forces of good defeat the forces of evil. With a subtle and fantastic performance, Tom Hardy shows that he truly understands the essence and spirit of the character, and makes you forget about Mel Gibson simply by being Max.

    There is also something to say about the narrative freedom that naturally comes from recasting an older actor with a younger actor. While I don’t doubt that George Miller could have probably figured something out, the truth of the matter is that the filmmaker was able to pull off a lot more action-wise with the mid-30s, prime-of-his-life Tom Hardy than the late-50s Mel Gibson. In having a more able-bodied Max, Miller was ultimately able to execute a particular vision of what Mad Max: Fury Road should be, and when you see the movie you’ll understand why that was truly the best thing for the project.

    Mad Max is a special kind of series in that its stories are honestly timeless and truly could be told through all eternity – perhaps even after our world experiences a real apocalypse. And while movie geeks tend not to be the biggest fans of change, a true understanding of the films makes it clear why it doesn’t matter that Mel Gibson didn’t return to play Max In Fury Road.


    • Who’s The Real Speed-Bump on FURY ROAD?

      …MEL GIBSON?

      Let’s not mince words: FURY ROAD’s “glorious” marketing campaign isn’t selling this movie to anyone who hasn’t been onboard since the pitch. It has TRON LEGACY’s trailers – zero plot (until Trailer #3), tons of mood and visuals, all hinged on “That you loved? It’s back!!!!” Fine, fair enough, it IS a nostalgia-reboot property, after all, and that’s big business right now. Want a likely big return? Sell Generation X it’s pre-High School viewing years back to it – and invite everyone younger who’s had to grow up with Gen-X tastemakers beating it into their skulls that This Stuff was The Best Stuff.

      Except unlike STAR WARS, GHOSTBUSTERS, INDIANA JONES, ROCKY, RAMBO, STAR TREK, the Marvel canon, perennial “Give us a sequel!!!!” mainstays like GOONIES, MONSTER SQUAD, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, etc even BATMAN and SUPERMAN to a certain extent… the MAD MAX movies have not spent the last decade being re-enshrined, revisited and kept vital in the pop-consciousness. The dubious identifiers of what has and hasn’t “lasted” (in no particular order: routines by pop-reference comedians, FAMILY GUY cutaway parodies, YouTube/meme fixations, Lego revivals) have largely ignored it. Right now, Mad Max as a franchise/character probably has less nostalgia/recieved-nostalgia cache going for it than EVIL DEAD/ARMY OF DARKNESS, which doesn’t feel… right, if you remember how large it used to loom – and I sincerely think it’s all-but entirely due to the fact that the character/franchise is inextricably tied to Mel Gibson – an actor who has effectively poisoned everything associated with him to a genuinely stunning degree.

      Ever since Gibson effectively came out as “mean-spirited, self-torturing, kinda-sad crazy” instead of “fun crazy” as was his earlier reputation during the making and release of PASSION OF THE CHRIST, he’s been on a cultural downward spiral that took most of his clout with it. PASSION’s percieved (by many, including me) eye-popping anti-semitism made him an industry pariah, which in turn meant he had no “cover” when a whole mess of other scary/unpleasant stuff hit the headlines about him between ’04 and recently. He’s basically been a joke that quickly became to depressing to keep telling for a solid decade; and I doubt it’s a coincidence that while damn near every other fragment of 80s pop-ephemera has gotten a reboot, a revival or at least endless positive reappraisal (do I need to remind you that Howard the Duck now counts as an applause-drawing cameo?) both MAD MAX and LETHAL WEAPON have been allowed to lie fallow?

      Again, let’s talk turkey: ROCKY and RAMBO both got to come back (Rocky is even coming back again for the new spin-off, CREED) not necessarily because they or their respective subgenres were particularly relevant at the time, but because the names Rocky Balboa and John J. Rambo had been burned into the pop-consciousness even of people who never saw the originals as Important Institutions in the intervening years. “Mad” Max Rockatansky hasn’t had that luxury, his lot in the same amount of time has been: “Yeah, those were awesome. Too bad about Mel, huh?”

      I hope the movie is good. It looks good. Hell, I’m cutting this a bit short so I can get on the train to go watch it. But if the now-expected “underperformance” (which really won’t be, since it’s rated R in May and this is 2015) happens, I wonder who else will look past slinging mud at PITCH PERFECT (“F***in’ feminized American Idol-watching Tumblrina millennial brats!!!!”) and/or geek-bloggers “in the tank” for the Marvel Machine (“Haw haw! Yeah, maybe we should tell the Nerd Herd there was a stinger about Max having the next one of those stupid rocks!”) to ask if Mad Mel should take the lion’s share of the lashings for kneecapping this franchise before it even ever got up to walk?


  162. Acting is a hard thing to do because we have to be vulnerable and search within ourselves to play a character, but without releasing any of our demons. I feel like this is the case with Mel Gibson. I love his work and he inspires me to be an actor every day. Much love xx


    • daffystardust

      I’m sorry Savannah, but as a fully trained actor myself, Gibson’s behavior cannot be blamed on the thin veil an actor holds between his own emotions and the real world on a daily basis…at least not at this late date. If we were to attribute it to that in his first few years as a trained actor then that night be understandable, but this behavior happened when he was middle-aged and had been acting for a long, long time. If he hasn’t learned to manage his emotions better, that means he’s an irresponsible actor…which is one of the smaller criticisms that can be levied against him.


    • There are a lot of actors who aren’t racist, sexist alcoholics. And there are a lot of jobs that are far more stressful than acting. I’m not about to give Gibson’s behavior a pass based on his occupation. Sorry, but that’s just a ridiculous suggestion. The man has demons but I think it has more to do with nature and nurture than having tapped into his inner crazy for the Lethal Weapon pictures.


  163. 10 Actors Whose Craziness Got Them Kicked Out Of Hollywood:

    Mel Gibson

    Where would a list like this be without old Mel?

    After all, he has pretty much come to define the former Hollywood superstar who goes mad, burns every bridge in sight, and goes off the deep end in spectacularly tragic style. You’d almost feel sorry for him if he hadn’t brought the whole thing on himself.

    Gibson was once the King of Hollywood, of course – he was at one time acting, writing and directing all at once, heading up successful franchises and – believe it or not – winning Oscars. Not to mention that women everywhere were dropping at his feet – and at a point in time where he didn’t even have to pay them to do such a thing!

    Mel’s career started to get a little wobbly around the time of The Passion of the Christ, of course, though he probably wasn’t all that stable in mind long before he made all those controversial and ill-judged anti-Semitic comments that spurred on his Hollywood decline. Richard Donner, who directed Gibson in all four Lethal Weapon movies, once said of his star: “There’s a lot of anger and hostility under Mel’s surface.” No kidding, Rich.

    Still, once Mel got started, the madness keep on coming like an avalanche of sh*t from an endless glacier of despair. He got lost in alcohol, was caught on tape verbally abusing his girlfriend and threatening to kill her, and – in an act of super self-destruction – revealed himself to be insanely racist. Also: he insulted pretty much everyone in Hollywood.

    Which spelled the end for Mel, really. Though he’s secured a few roles here and there, most of them ironic, his position as a Hollywood player is now just a distant memory.


  164. Christopher Miles Y Lopez

    Why do so many Liberal idiots consider a slip of the tongue, a Thought Crime if you will, to be something akin to eating babies?

    And why are people pretending that being Anti Zionist is an exclusive club that only Mel Gibson belongs to?

    It seems a lot of American idiots can be worked into a frenzy over nothing.

    Sticks and stones and all that, but it has to be acknowledged the level of Hyper Neurosis concretized in Western Society, especially in the USA.

    I always find it hilarious, these scum mocking Gibson for being a bigot, while being bigoted themselves.

    It seems hypocrisy is a word many of the commenters here have no comprehension of, along with basic grammar and spelling, or indeed, logic.

    Even you have this to a certain extent, Lebeau.

    And to people who haven’t seen Get the Gringo yet? Go and watch it.


    • The fact that you’re characterizing critics of Gibson as “liberal idiots” right off the bat suggests there isn’t going to be much point trying to reason with you. But I will give it a try.

      First point. You are grossly misrepresenting both Gibson’s actions and the reaction to them. Gibson didn’t just make a “slip of the tongue”. First of all he got a DUI which is a scandal unto itself. Then he was disrespectful to the arresting officer who was just doing her job. He said things that were both misogynist and racist which not surprisingly rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. But that incident alone didn’t sink Gibson. It was later when a series of vitriolic phone messages were released to the public that his goose was cooked. These tapes went on and on and were thrilled with hateful and disturbing sentiment. It painted the picture of Gibson as a domestic abuser.

      Second point, I have never anyone claim that Gibson is the only anti-semite in the world. Just that he is one of many.

      Third point is more of an observation. I will agree that the American public is prone to distraction. Gibson’s actions were far from a national emergency. But I don’t think people over-reacted. Being offended when a public figure says things that are offensive is a natural reaction.

      Hyper Neurosis? Okay you’ve lost me. I assume this is just another “I like Gibson so everyone else needs to get over it” observation.

      Interesting. You have tapes that show that people who were offended by Gibson’s actions were themselves behaving in he same way? No? You’re just casting random accusations at a faceless group of “Scum”? I’m not sure who you are even talking about here.

      Oh, so you’re talking about the stupid, hypocrital commenters who can’t even spell or use correct grammar? Oh and to a certain extent me. Well in that case, I’m going to have to ask you to make a specific point so that I can attempt to refute it instead of just painting everyone who disagrees with you with one ridiculously broad stroke.

      Get the Gringo was a decent action movie. I would recommend it to any fan who misses Mel.


  165. Christopher Miles Y Lopez

    Oh, and for people to act like Passion of the Christ was a flop have obviously been doing that new type of Super Yoga, that allows you to put your foot in your mouth, when your head’s up your ass.

    I actually think the Zionists targeted him after he made so much money, independent of their control, with that movie, while portraying how the Jews killed the Messiah so well.

    And when was Hollywood ever a Paragon of Virtue?

    It is a nest of Heretics, paedophiles, the unfaithful, drug abusers and those who supply them, corrupt Law Enforcement, pimps, prostitutes, list goes on and on.

    Again, the hyper neurosis in Western Society seems to blind the morons worse than having their own head up their ass does.

    Maybe people have gotten used to swallowing shit in the USA.


    • Has anyone ever claimed that Passion of the Christ was a flop? It was a critical and commercial hit. If someone says otherwise, I will be happy to correct them on this point. It didn’t make Gibson a lot of friends in Hollywood, but that was the only downside of the movie.

      That’s quite a conspiracy theory you have cooked up. I suppose they got him liquored up, put him in a car and forced him to drive ala Cary Grant in North by Northwest. They probably also brainwashed him to make sure he would make a bunch of offensive comments when arrested?

      Hollywood is not a paragon of virtue. Never has been and never will be. But there is a playbook for this sort of thing. Hugh Grant wrote it. You go on a talk show or two and make a charming, self-deprecating and at least seemingly sincere apology for the offensive behavior and put the incident behind you. Gibson has been to proud to take that simple step. He absolutely could have saved his career. He chose not to. He could probably still pull it off if he wanted to. He’d rather not.

      What’s with the anti-American rhetoric, Christopher?


  166. Christopher Miles Y Lopez

    Have you read through your own comments section, Lebeau?

    People saying Braveheart, The Patriot and Gallipolli of all movies, as being akin to Propaganda?

    And whether or not people like the Passion of the Christ, which I have never seen personally, doesn’t mean that it was not successful.

    And as for your use of conspiracy theory, I think it is a valid point to say that the coverage of the Gibson incident was hyper inordinate to what actually occurred.

    He got pulled over drunk driving, then mouthed off at the officer who pulled him over.

    The drunken driving should be the worst thing there.

    And the thing with his the second woman with an unspellable last name for me obviously staged that tape: who records something like that with such a calm voice unless they were deliberately setting someone up for litigation?

    Thought Crimes are for those who believe in Orwellian Mind Control, which many Americans obviously do.

    Oh, and why with the Anti American rhetoric?

    Look at how a nation that funds Corporate Wars for conquest, will get hyper neurotic when people suggest funding their own education or medical systems instead.

    And of course, the fact Americans condone the bombings of Civilian populations, through their silence, and adherence to Corrupt Government.

    I could say more, but this was supposed to be about Mel Gibson, and more specifically, my response to yours.


    • I have. But god help me it’s been a while. This article has been a source of lively debate for several years now. I’ll fess up that I don’t remember a lot of what has been said here. Some of it, I actively try to forget. This is among my least favorite articles from the point of view of comments. It tends to bring out the crazies.

      Are there specific comments you disagree with? I can’t argue for or against the entire comments section. There are comments here I agree with and ones I very much disagree with.

      The drunk driving was bad. The sexist and racist slurs were bad. I agree, it all reflects very very poorly on Mel Gibson’s character. He should definitely make a public apology for his behavior. What was your point again? I seem to have lost it.

      Oh yes, you disagree with the way other people have reacted to the incident. Well, boo hoo. Not everyone’s going to see it your way. If people were offended, they had every right to be. Gibson’s comments were offensive. Are you suggesting otherwise?

      Was it a bit sketchy that Gibson’s ranting and raving was caught on tape and released to the public? Yes. But the, don’t rant and rave like a madman. Something tells me it didn’t take a master plan to catch him spewing bile. It’s kind of his thing.

      I’m going to agree with you on the last bit. I don’t want to go off into some fringe political debate. So we’ll just stick to the topic of Gibson and his reprehensible behavior.


    • daffystardust

      Christopher- can you quote a comment or section from a post in which somebody says Passion of the Christ was not successful? Also tell us the name of the person who posted it so we can find it to confirm it. If somebody said this they were probably ignored.

      Here’s how it works: If somebody says something awful people have the right to be offended and to not like the person who said it. I honestly couldn’t care less if Gibson was ‘set up’ to say the things he said. He. Said. Them. He didn’t think them. He said them.

      While it is completely legal to say almost anything here in the U.S.A., that doesn’t mean you are free of repercussions. Say something mean or stupid and it just might negatively effect your career or social life. That’s not thought crime – that’s human nature.

      As far as Braveheart goes- it is very very historically inaccurate. To the point that it completely distorts the events and people the movie is supposed to be about. Characters have relationships with people they never even met in real life. Characters kill people who outlived them in real life. Famous historical events have their defining characteristics completely removed from them. Many ‘historical’ films have errors in them and have to be judged on a case by case basis. Braveheart I have judged to be not worth my time for any repeat viewings. If other people feel differently, that’s okay by me.

      Based on Braveheart and other Gibson films I have made the decision not to see The Patriot at all. Yesterday was our Independence Day and a group of friends and I were looking for an American Revolution movie to watch. Among this group of people The Patriot was named, derided, and then outright discarded as a possible choice. We watched 1776 instead. If other people like The Patriot, that’s ok by me.

      Why the dig about the woman’s “unspellable” last name? What does that have to do with the rest of your comments?


  167. Christopher Miles Y Lopez

    Oh, and as far as the analogy to Hugh Grant goes with the talk show route, that is bullshit.

    You yourself just said that an apology could be fake, but that would be enough to satisfy the public…

    That’s idiotic. About as idiotic as ‘The Public’.

    Again, the Hyper Neurosis in the West is what allows idiots to believe that Thought Crimes are akin to eating babies.

    Someone torturing people in Secret military camps is wrong.

    A President condoning drone strikes on civilians is wrong.

    I don’t see how this could not be self evident, unless one were to be moronic.


    • I must be moronic because your point is lost on me. What does any of that have to do with anything we have been discussing?

      Yes, a phoney baloney apology that was at least seemingly sincere could have salvaged Gibson’s career. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Don’t know don’t care. A sincere apology would be the right thing to do. But if Gibson didn’t have that in him, it still would have been in his best interest to fake it. He’s a talented actor. He could have pulled it off. How many insincere interviews do you think Gibson has given over the course of his career? I’m going to go with “all of them”. This would have been just one more and it would have extended his career by years.

      But here’s the thing, Christopher. Gibson doesn’t care. If he wanted to work more, he absolutely could. All he has to do is either fund the project himself as he has done in the past or make nice. It’s not like he’s expected to literally fall on his sword.

      There are some who will never forgive Gibson. There are others who are all too willing to do so. Me personally? Don’t know the man. He’s never done me any harm. I don’t need an apology. But I can’t look at him and not see a broken down alcoholic filled with rage. And I don’t need to watch that guy in a movie. Just my take on it. If others still enjoy watching his movies, more power to them.


  168. Racists Celebs in Hollywood:

    Mel Gibson
    Probably the most well known incident of celebrity racism; occurring back in 2006, during a drunk driving arrest, actor Mel Gibson thought it would be a good idea to hurl racist comments in the streets of LA about his hatred towards Jewish people. According to TMZ, Gibson verbally attacked the officers with anti-Semitics that included “f****** Jews”, and stating that Jews were responsible for the wars in this country. Unfortunately, this was not the only time Gibson had an outburst such as this one. In 2010, during a nasty divorce from his now ex-wife Oksana Grigorieva, Gibson told his ex during a phone conversation that he hopes she gets sexually assaulted by a pack of n******. Fortunately, Gibson has calmed down a bit and is barely on the radar anymore. I don’t know if society would be able to take another one of those rants.


    • Re: Racists Celebs in Hollywood:

      lol. I like some of Mel’s movies & yeah, he was a good director. I even thought he was kind of hot in “Lethal Weapon”. He tried to make comebacks, but they didn’t work. A couple of movies that I remember were supposed to be comebacks are “The Beaver” & “Edge of Darkness”. There were people that were surprised that the former didn’t do well & I don’t get why. It’s always been obvious that if you say something negative about Jews, your career is automatically fried. I know Mel was a huge alcoholic & some say it played it part in the way he acted because it made him become a completely different person. Then again, it’s also said that being drunk is like a truth serum.


  169. The Ridiculously Fast Turnaround Time of Lethal Weapon 4:

    Warner Bros greenlit Lethal Weapon 4 late in the day – giving director Richard Donner just over six months to make the movie…

    The closing chapter of the Lethal Weapon movie saga was a film that, tonally, was a long way away from the movie that started the series.

    In the original Lethal Weapon back in 1987, the character of Martin Riggs – as played by Mel Gibson – was on the verge of suicide, working uneasily alongside Danny Glover’s Roger Murtaugh. By the end of Lethal Weapon 4, as the song “Why Can’t We Be Friends” played out, it was all happy families. With babies. Riggs had a wife and child, any hints of suicide were long gone, and the film feels a lot more like a comedy than an action thriller.

    But then Lethal Weapon 4 was a film with very different expectations on it. The original Lethal Weapon was a surprise hit. Lethal Weapon 4, released in late summer 1998, came with a weight of commercial requirements. It was needed, urgently, to dig Warner Bros out of a hole.
    The Problem

    The film had been in development to varying degrees since the success of Lethal Weapon 3 back in 1992, arguably the film that shifted the tone of the series the most (accepting that Lethal Weapon 2 had the glorious scene with Murtaugh stuck on a toilet with a bomb attached to it). But it suddenly got its green light, in large part because of a gap in the Warner Bros schedule. Lethal Weapon 4 would have happened eventually one way or another, but in an ideal world, it would have taken a little more time to lock things together before cameras started rolling.

    But then Summer 1997 hadn’t been a great one for Warner Bros. Big budget comedy Father’s Day disappointed, Batman & Robin wasn’t the expected tentpole, and Mel Gibson-Julia Roberts vehicle Conspiracy Theory – admittedly a tonally ambitious movie in its own right – hadn’t taken off either.

    Only Robert Zemeckis’ Contact gave the studio a ray of light in its otherwise disappointing summer schedule, and the studio’s slate of upcoming costly projects – The Postman, Sphere, and U.S. Marshals (a sort-of sequel to The Fugitive, albeit without Harrison Ford) – wasn’t inspiring too much confidence.

    For summer 1998, Warner Bros was hinging its hopes on the Michael Douglas thriller A Perfect Murder, an adaptation of the TV show The Avengers, and the Kevin Spacey-Samuel L Jackson headlined thriller, The Negotiator. It was also pouring money into the big budget Soldier, due later in 1998.

    But it needed a safer bet in the midst of its summer schedule. Lethal Weapon 4 suddenly had its greenlight. And the clock was very much ticking.

    The problem? The script wasn’t ready, and the decision to push ahead with the project was made relatively late in the day.
    Six Months

    A few years’ back, director Matthew Vaughn jumped aboard X-Men: First Class roughly a year before that film’s release, working with a team of editors to try and (just about) meet the movie’s planned release date. It’s one of the reasons he skipped making X-Men: Days Of Future Past for Kingsman: The Secret Service. The latter had a less pressing schedule, and afforded Vaughn more control.

    For Richard Donner on Lethal Weapon 4, the schedule was even more contracted. The movie was given a July 1998 release date by Warner Bros, but Donner didn’t actually start physical production until January of that year. January 8th, to be precise.

    That’d be tricky but do-able now – a Paranormal Activity film, shooting on digital, could turn things around in a month or two, if pushed. But Lethal Weapon 4 was a big action blockbuster, one with a massive highway chase sequence at the heart of it. Shooting on film, too.

    The logistics alone were mind-boggling, especially given the amount of location work required. The film opens in a street scene as a man with a flamethrower wreaks havoc. It involved outdoors shooting (in more than one sense), complex action sequences, and trying to capture the fast movements of Jet Li on film (which sounds like a trivial challenge, but turned out to be anything but). It had Danny Glover stripping down to his undercrackers. These things need proper planning.

    To add to the problem, the script was never really finished. The screenplay was ultimately credited to Channing Gibson, with story credit going to Jonathan Lemkin, Alfred Gough, and Miles Millar. But the truth seems to be that there was never really a locked script as such.

    Channing Gibson was on hand for duration of the production, and hasty changes were regularly made. The first draft of the screenplay, for instance, didn’t include the returning Leo Getz (Joe Pesci) or the character of Butters, as played by Chris Rock. They both ended up being written into the film, when the availability of both actors was confirmed. Furthermore, the ending hadn’t been written when Donner unpacked his cameras for the first time on the movie. It’s one reason why the ultimate demise of Jet Li’s character feels so weak.

    Jeffrey Boam, who co-wrote Lethal Weapon 3, was also involved in a script for the new sequel (coming up with an original draft that ultimately wasn’t used), and would subsequently argue that Lethal Weapon 4’s central plot of counterfeiting Chinese money was low stakes for a movie of this scale. The A-Team movie, released over a decade later, would centre on a similar idea. Furthermore, it was only after the film got its green light that the Triads were added to the movie.

    It perhaps goes without saying that Lethal Weapon 4 was a frantic shoot, with little in the way of time to waste. But as with most Richard Donner productions, it was seemingly a calmer one than you might think. That said, it still ran things very close to the proverbial finish line.

    After all, the final footage was in the can just 33 days before the film’s release date. Given that prints had to be struck and physically distributed (again, digital distribution techniques would have enormously helped), this put an enormous strain on editor Frank J Urioste and his team. Urioste edited the entire movie on an Avid system, the first time he’d ever put together a movie on a digital system in its entirety. In short, he likely had less than four weeks to assemble a finished cut of the film, to Donner’s liking. Granted, editing was ongoing while the film was being shot, but still: it was an exhaustive challenge to get the film done on such a schedule.
    The End Result

    The final cut of Lethal Weapon 4 is generally regarded as a bit of a jumble, and with good reason. It plays a lot better as an outright comedy than an action film, and given the speed at which it was spliced together, there’s clearly not been a lot of time put into tightening the picture up.

    And yet Warner Bros comfortably won its gamble. When Lethal Weapon 4 was released, the reviews were generally quite decent. Few were championing the film as a high point of the series, yet nonetheless, it was an entertaining, almost old-fashioned way to spend two hours in the movies. This was the summer of effects-fest Armageddon, of Spielberg’s raw Saving Private Ryan, and of the prescient The Truman Show. An old-fashioned buddy cop comedy? It was if most of the ’90s hadn’t happened.

    But still: Lethal Weapon 4 certainly generates some good laughs, gives Chris Rock space to do his stand-up schtick, and in Jet Li, has a foe who could and should have left Riggs for dead. Even if Li had come up against the don’t-give-a-shit Riggs of the first film, he’d have comfortably emerged victorious. But plausibility has long gone here, and eventually, Riggs emerges as the victor, with he and Murtaugh resuming cop duties.

    That’s Hollywood for you, right?

    All said though, Warner Bros got its box office hit, and it really needed it. By the time Lethal Weapon 4 arrived in cinemas, The Postman and Sphere had proven to be major box office disappointments. City Of Angels was a minor surprise hit, whilst A Perfect Murder was doing solid business. Meanwhile, the $20m Casper Van Dien-headlined Tarzan And The Lost City had died a very quick death.

    Lethal Weapon 4, though, was the cold, hard hit that the studio needed, generating $285m worldwide at a point where that was considered an awful lot of money. Contrast that with now, where Terminator: Genisys’ haul is roughly the same amount, and that’s being considered a major disappointment.

    Rumors persisted for some time that a Lethal Weapon 5 would eventually follow, and in the mid- to later-2000s it seemed that would be the case. The well-charted career meltdown of Mel Gibson took care of that, though, and if anything, talk has now turned to a reboot.

    Which leaves Lethal Weapon 4 as a hasty, but better than it’s given credit for swansong for Riggs and Murtaugh. Unlike the later sequels to the likes of Die Hard, it at least has something in common with its predecessors, and rounds out their character arcs in a manner that you probably wouldn’t have seen coming back in 1987.

    For Richard Donner, he wouldn’t see another of his films in cinemas until 2003, when the troubled Timeline finally made it to release. Given his output between 1992 and 1998, where six films he directed got a wide release, he more than likely deserved the rest, though…


    • Chronicle Writer Max Landis Has A Super Cool Idea For A Lethal Weapon 5:

      With so many classic movies receiving sequels, reboots, and reimaginings, it’s really just a matter of time before we get a fifth Lethal Weapon movie. Screenwriter Max Landis — who previously penned Chronicle — believes he has found a way to breathe new life into the classic action franchise.

      In a recent interview with Grantland, while discussing their new film American Ultra, the conversation with Landis and director Nima Nourizadeh quickly turned towards how to go about a new adventure between Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover). To which Landis quickly gave his pitch:
      The final Lethal Weapon, if I have to pocket-pitch it right now, is Murtaugh and Riggs are asked to work with a group of, like, four cops who are younger, who were all involved in an action movie that we didn’t see. You hear the report, and it sounds like a Lethal Weapon movie: ‘They drove a school bus off of an oil rig?’ Then Murtaugh and Riggs are assigned to take them on like an Outward Bound program and try to teach them to be better cops and respect authority. Then it turns out the villain from the action movies that we missed is coming to kill them. Murtaugh and Riggs in the woods for the first time in any of the movies, with four characters we really like, do a slasher movie.

      Although somewhat absurd, the pitch has many of the tenets for a successful sequel/reboot: it honors the source material, while taking the franchise in a new – and especially intriguing – direction. The pitch possesses a certain blend of genres that could make it feel like a cross between Cabin in the Woods and The Expendables. Every outing for Riggs and Murtaugh has always ended in them figuring out the bad guys’ plot, and engaging in some form of urban combat to bring it down; this pitch turns that on its head and takes the heroes outside their comfort zone – or in Rigg’s case, it bring him back to the underexplored area of his time in Vietnam. Landis’ version also sets up a “passing of the torch” to the new loose-cannon cops – which has become a common and powerful trope to use in Hollywood.

      Landis also expressed the concerns that go into making another installment of the Lethal Weapon franchise. Although the installments vary in quality – as is the case with most film series that make it to four movies – we have yet to witness a truly bad Lethal Weapon movie. As he continued, Landis noted the importance of character over action, having no desire to see the headlining duo to devolve into generic action movie clichés.
      You don’t want them to be like Bruce Willis in A Good Day to Die Hard. You remember that scene in Lethal Weapon 3 where they are on the boat and they get in the argument and start crying? That’s writing write there.

      With Riggs and Murtaugh settling into their respective new roles as father and grandfather by the end of Lethal Weapon 4, it’s difficult to say if Hollywood should try and revive the action classic, or let it rest. Do you like Landis’ Lethal Weapon 5 pitch? How would you bring Riggs and Murtaugh back to the big screen?


    • The Lethal Weapon series subverted the buddy-cop blockbuster, then defined it

      As is often the case with long-running series, the Lethal Weapons serve as an inadvertent document of our changing times. The first film prominently features VHS tapes, Family Feud host Richard Dawson, and a portable phone that’s the size of a satchel. And in the fourth film, characters are carrying hand-sized cellulars and complaining about the crappy service. Donner’s decision to keep casting the same actors also means that fans of the movies get to watch Murtaugh’s kids grow up over the course of a decade and see him agonize over his eldest daughter’s at-times-racy acting career (which gets him razzed by his colleagues).

      On the whole, though, it’s remarkable how little the movies change between 1987 and 1998. There’s a style to the Lethal Weapons—a blend of rapid-fire editing, jaw-dropping stunts, and incessant commentary—that was state-of-the-art when the series began and dated by the end. These films are bombastic in a way that often plays better now when hip action pictures knowingly pay homage to the series (or when it gets mocked, as It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia did so memorably).

      That’s what makes Lethal Weapon 4 the most fascinating of the films since the first one, even though it’s by far the worst. The story involves the smuggling of Chinese slave labor into the country, which raises a serious social issue, but also leads to the heroes killing a lot of Asian people while making bad jokes. Worse, every time Murtaugh says his signature line, “I’m gettin’ too old for this shit,” he’s distressingly easy to believe—as is Riggs, who’s about to settle down with a pregnant Cole. After a long layoff between the sequels, Lethal Weapon returned in 1998 into a motion picture landscape where Quentin Tarantino and John Woo had become the new mainstream (however briefly) and where the Hollywood that produced Black and Silver was seen as a relic of Reagan-era decadence.

      The fourth movie adjusts to this some by bringing in Jet Li as a deadly, agile Triad enforcer, and Chris Rock as a hilariously foulmouthed cop (and Murtaugh’s secret son-in-law). But 4 is also the most expensive of the foursome—with a budget estimated at over $100 million, or over three times what 3 reportedly cost—and the enormity of the production sinks it. Everything lumbers. It takes 45 minutes for the plot to kick in, and even after it’s resolved, the film keeps rolling for another 15 minutes to tie up all the subplots. Scenes run on too long and are overstuffed with characters, all of whom laugh way too much, as though trying to persuade the audience that they’re having a great time.

      More than any other entry in the franchise, Lethal Weapon 4 feels like a couple of R-rated episodes of a long-running TV show—made in an era when “R-rated TV” was barely a thing. And now Lethal Weapon is actually going to make the jump to television on Fox this fall, with Damon Wayans playing Murtaugh and Clayne Crawford as Riggs. It won’t be adults only, which means it’ll likely be further than ever from the fiercely vulgar “finding hope in hopelessness” howling of Black.

      Or will it? There’s a lot about the Lethal Weapon concept that could translate well to a weekly network series: the existential angst that settles in when a virile force for good begins aging or the way the movies flip the norm by focusing on a black family with one token white friend. At the least, there has to be something to any remake that evokes the original, besides the characters’ names. The real betrayal of the original Lethal Weapon would be if future franchise-holders just regenerate the buddy-cop formula again, but processed and watered down until it’s utterly flavorless.


    • Warner Bros and The Disastrous Movie Summer of 1997


      Conspiracy Theory

      What could go wrong? Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts were two of the biggest movie stars in the world in 1997 and at a time when movie stars still equated to box office gold. Director Richard Donner, one of WB’s favorite directors, had delivered the Lethal Weapons, Maverick, Superman, The Goonies, and more for the studio. Put them altogether with Patrick Stewart (coming to wider public consciousness at the time off the back of his Star Trek: The Next Generation work) as a villain, and it should have been a big hit.

      Conspiracy Theory proved to be one of the more ambitious summer blockbusters of the era. It lacks a good first act, which would be really useful in actually setting up more of what’s going on. But Gibson played an edgy cab driver who believes in deep government conspiracies and finds himself getting closer to the truth than those around him sometimes give him credit for.

      Warner Bros. was probably expecting another Lethal Weapon with the reunion of Gibson (who had to be persuaded to take Conspiracy Theory on) and Donner (it’s pretty much what it got with the hugely enjoyable Maverick a few years earlier), but instead it received a darker drama with an uneasy central character that didn’t exactly play to the summer box office crowd.

      The bigger problem, however, was that the film never quite worked as well as you might hope. Yet star power did have advantages. While no juggernaut, the film did decent business, grossing $137 million worldwide off the back of an $80 million budget ($40 million of which was spent on the salaries for the talent before a single roll of film was loaded into a camera). That said, in the U.S. it knocked a genuine smash hit, Air Force One, off the top spot. Mind you in hindsight, that was probably the film that the studio wished it had made (the cockpit set of WB’s own Executive Decision was repurposed for Air Force One, fact fans).

      Still: Warner Bros. did get Lethal Weapon 4 off Gibson and Donner a year later…


  170. How many out there remember the incident between Mel and Janeane Garofalo at the 1996 MTV Movie Awards:

    Posted June 21 1996 — 12:00 AM EDT

    Brave heart, short fuse. Mel Gibson walked out of the MTV Movie Awards on June 8 less than halfway through the show and became the talk of the post-awards bash. Here’s the story on Gibson’s sudden disappearance: Mel was miffed after he was thrown into an unrehearsed skit with cohost Janeane Garofalo, who asked him too-cute questions like ”Do you think I look fat in this dress?” MTV, which hadn’t told Gibson about the interview, apologized and plans to edit out the offending material from the June 13 telecast. ”There was a mix-up backstage,” says a network spokeswoman. Adds Gibson’s spokesman, ”They f—ed up.”

    More fun was the set, equipped with a giant slide, which had presenters like Whoopi Goldberg whooshing onto the stage. ”I’d say I left a lot of myself on that slide,” she quipped.

    After Chris Farley and David Spade won as Best Onscreen Duo, Spade advised Farley not to eat the fake popcorn in the tub-shaped trophy. He didn’t.

    At the end of the night, Garofalo and fellow host Ben Stiller reflected on Mel’s un-mellow desertion. ”I think he was intimidated by Janeane’s forthright manner,” said Stiller. Garofalo took a different spin. ”He had such a big crush on me,” she said, ”that he had to leave because he couldn’t contain himself.”


  171. Mel Gibson Accused of Physical, Verbal Abuse By News Corp Photographer:

    Australian police are investigating the incident, while the star’s publicist denies any physical altercation took place.

    Mel Gibson has found himself at the center of accusations of physical and verbal abuse by a photographer who claimed the actor shoved her and yelled an expletive laden rant at her outside a Sydney cinema on Sunday.

    News Corp Australia photographer Kristi Miller was allegedly embroiled in an altercation with Gibson outside the Palace Verona cinema, which is now being investigated by NSW Police.

    According to the News Corp tabloid the Daily Telegraph, for which Miller was working, Gibson allegedly shoved her from behind after she took a photograph of the actor and his 24-year-old girlfriend, Rosalind Ross, leaving the cinema, which had been screening films as part of an Israeli film festival.

    Gibson’s American publicist, Alan Nierob of the Rogers and Cowan agency, dismissed Miller’s claims as lies, the Telegraph reported.

    “There was no physical contact whatsoever with this photographer, who was harassing my client and his friend,” Nierob said.

    READ MORE Mel Gibson Ready to Honor Desmond T. Doss with ‘Hacksaw Ridge’
    Gibson accused Miller of “invading” his space and “disrespecting” him by taking the photograph. Miller says she was several meters from the actor when the photographs were taken.

    Miller told the Telegraph, “I thought he was going to punch me in the face.”

    “He was spitting in my face as he was yelling at me, calling me a dog, saying I’m not even a human being and I will go to hell. He swore and called me a c**t. It was non-stop, he didn’t even breathe,” she reported.

    Miller was supported by Telegraph editor Paul Whittaker, who said: “Mel Gibson is a major film star and movie director. He’s a public figure. Being a movie star does not give him the right to shove and insult someone”.

    Gibson has kept a relatively low profile since arriving in Australia several months ago to shoot WWII drama, Hacksaw Ridge. He attended the premiere of Tim Minchin’s musical Matilda on Thursday with Ross and has been seen out and about with his daughter, Lucia, by former partner Oksana Grigorieva, who dropped a domestic violence claim against the actor in 2011.


  172. ‘Living Dangerously’: Mel Gibson before the fall:

    Remember those long ago days before Mel Gibson turned into a ranting, drunken, anti-Semitic mess and his career imploded?

    Today’s kids probably find it hard to believe there was a time when the raspy, bug-eyed Mel was not only “the sexiest man alive” but the star of one good movie after another. Not to mention the Oscar-winning director of that unlikely 1995 hit “Braveheart.”

    Gibson’s Hollywood superstar period began with the release of “Lethal Weapon” in 1987, a sleeper hit that reinvigorated the buddy action film due to the star’s terrific chemistry with Danny Glover. Director Richard Donner made that movie special by taking a chance on an actor who had not scored with a couple of earlier would-be star-launching vehicles, such as “The River” (1984) with Sissy Spacek and “Mrs. Soffel” (1984) with Diane Keaton.

    Donner knew that Gibson would bring serious acting chops to the table as well as extraordinary charisma. The fact that Gibson was able to show sensitivity in a gangbusters action film made “Lethal Weapon” as popular with women as it was with men.

    Before he crossed the Pacific in the mid-1980s, Gibson had already established himself as one of the hottest actors in Australia for the first two “Mad Max” pictures and such well-acted dramas as “Tim” (1979).

    The actor also formed an important alliance with the great Australian director Peter Weir who gave him a key early starring role in the 1981 historical drama “Gallipoli.”

    Warner Archive has released a DVD-on-demand version of the second film Gibson did with Weir — the 1983 art house hit “The Year of Living Dangerously” — in which the actor plays a reporter in Indonesia in the mid-1960s at the time of Sukarno’s fall.

    The picture holds up beautifully but it is also sad to see a young and handsome and dynamic Mel Gibson — who could have guessed he was heading for one of the most spectacular crack-ups in Hollywood history?

    It was this film that really opened doors to Hollywood for the young actor, landing him a powerful agent who lined up several U.S. films in quick succession. The powerful love story — between the reporter and a British embassy staffer played by Sigourney Weaver — no doubt made Sissy Spacek and Diane Keaton keen to have this Australian-American performer in their next movies.

    Weaver received some flak when the picture came out for her British accent — she suffered in comparison with her fellow Yalie Meryl “Accent Queen” Streep in this regard — but the heat in the love scenes between her and Gibson is considerable.

    Weir’s risky casting of American actress Linda Hunt in the male role of photographer Billy Kwan paid off big time, with Hunt winning an Oscar for her unique performance. The director considered other American actors — after the Australian he originally cast had to drop out — but was struck by a photo of Hunt and knew he could transform her into his vision of Billy.

    “The Year of Living Dangerously” now has an added bittersweet quality due to Gibson’s subsequent downfall, but it is still a terrific mix of history, drama and romance.


  173. someone give mel gibson another chance.


    • Someone already has. Gibson is directing Andrew Garfield and Vince Vaughn in Hacksaw Ridge, the movie about Desmond Doss, the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

      We’ll see how that goes.


    • 9 Actors/Actresses Who Can’t Headline Blockbusters Anymore:

      By James Sheldon on September 30, 2015 12:21 pm

      Mel Gibson

      In the history of every list on every Internet site focused on celebrity news, trivia and fun facts, never has there been a more obvious #1. Mel Gibson: one of the most talented, and intensely passionate actors, producers, writers and directors the industry has ever known. Sadly, he has been prone to bouts with alcohol, and some prejudices that he took with him from his youth, or developed while fighting it out in executive board rooms at several of the studios. Whatever the case, Mel’s fall from grace was sad on so many levels. And sadly, it happened at the height of trial by public opinion. There was no wiggle room for forgiveness. Yes, Mel has worked since then, and he’s doing some of his very best work, alas, he will never again lead a Hollywood produced blockbuster.


    • Who is the Most Hated Celebrity in 2016 – Top 10 Hated Celebs

      Mel Gibson

      The man who brought us Braveheart, the Patriot, and the classic buddy cop series “Lethal Weapon” will always be a legend on the screen, however his actions due to his alcoholism and confessed manic depression will always be a stain on an otherwise prolific career. Although he has apologized for his anti-Semitic, homophobic, and racist remarks, many people still believe those apologies were insincere, a mere attempt to save face.


  174. mel is not staring in it. His directing track record is pretty good. However outside of spiderman garfield is not bankable and Vince is a slump now. So agian those could work against actors .


  175. yes maybe if it is a hit it will give better offers. like maybe the scripts he did in his heydya


  176. This didn’t answer the question of what happened to him…just regurgitated ‘facts’.


  177. Lethal Weapon is getting a Fox TV reboot:

    The latest TV-to-movie reboot will try to recapture the popularity of the Mel Gibson/Danny Glover movie franchise. The TV series will feature the same key characters, Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh as LAPD detectives, with the same introductory storyline.


  178. Cinema Snob: The Passion of the Christ (2004)

    The Nostalgia Critic and The Cinema Snob review The Passion of the Christ, and also join Santa Christ on a journey through North Jerusalem.


  179. 11 Movies Where The Reshoots Were Painfully Obvious


    A movie made back in the heady days when Mel Gibson was still a megastar Payback starred the former Mad Max as a ruthless criminal trying to get back his stolen money. He’s not a nice guy but in the original version he was ruthless to the point of being completely unlikable.

    The studio (Warner Bros. yet again) panicked and decided the movie needed work to make sure people liked the character. The original director was replaced and a brand new third act was written. It emphasized the love story, gave it a more explosive ending and generally played down the darkness of the story. A funny voice over was also added to make Mel seem like a comical prankster. When he steals money from a beggar the voice-over lets the audience know the beggar was pretending to crippled. In the original version he was just some poor beggar.

    The meanness of the original version still sneaks through but the movie’s attempts to soften the edges are pretty blatant. A director’s cut released years later was better received critically.


  180. 10 Celebrities Whose Fans Turned on Them

    Mel Gibson

    Remember the time people respected Mel Gibson? Yeah, it’s tough! Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva had a very public breakup that included a number of recorded phone calls that left Mel a laughing stalk. Gibson came to fame for epic films like Mad Max and Braveheart and had an acclaimed Hollywood career, albeit littered with a few blunders. But all this came crashing down after his bizarre racially-charged rants that included death threats, became public domain. All of this came as a follow up to his 2009 DUI rant against the Jews and their responsibility “for every war in the world.” This behavior and these infamous calls solidified the public’s opinion of Gibson’s insanity. In the year 2000, Gibson starred in 4 films! Since then, he’s averaged 1 flop film a year. Wah wah.


  181. Re: Actors whose careers you would have thought would have been bigger

    Originally Posted by BigPoppa
    Mel Gibson clearly has the looks and screen presence to be a real star, but I’d never call him a great actor. His most memorable roles all had him playing variations on the exact same character.
    Yeah he’s not a great actor but he at least showed some range in the original Lethal Weapon. He was given some “heavy lifting” but was somehow able to really pull it off. He played the perfect funny, energetic buddy cop, the emotionally devastated depressed widow guy, and the psychopath and it was all believable. And action scenes to boot. Think of how many iterations of that film could have been made with varying actors and how many of those variations render the film another Cobra or other ubiquitous ’80s “cop” movies.


  182. After a decade of keeping a low profile, Mel Gibson is heading back into the Hollywood spotlight


  183. Lethal Weapon: looking back at the original

    The first Lethal Weapon movie remains a flat-out classic. We take a look back at the first meeting of Riggs and Murtaugh…


  184. 8 Terrible Films That Somehow Won The Best Picture Oscar


    Year: 1995

    Fellow Nominees: Apollo 13, Babe, Il Postino, Sense and Sensibility

    If it didn’t come in such an insipid lineup, Braveheart’s win would be even harder to take. As it is, Mel Gibson’s film, enjoyable though it can be (in the battle scenes, at least), is still a terrible Best Picture winner, overlong and historically-all-over-the-place and helmed by a director and star (Gibson, obviously) to whom nuance is an alien word. Granted, it’s a big, bombastic picture about William Wallace’s revolt against King Edward I, but it remains that Mel Gibson as a director is about as subtle as a stomach ulcer.

    Nominated for ten Oscars overall, Braveheart won half, with Gibson winning for best director amid a bunch of technical wins for cinematography, effects, and makeup. Like I said, in a year comprised of not one truly great film, Braveheart’s win doesn’t jar as much as it could, and you can perhaps see the Academy’s thinking in regard to the esoteric nature of films like Il Postino or Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility.

    Still, Braveheart is one of the most nominated films in Oscar history, and its success no doubt paved the way for other Mel Gibson “history” pieces like The Passion of the Christ, a film so overwrought and ridiculous that it makes Braveheart look quaint.


  185. Mel Gibson on MsMojo’s Top 10 Good Boys Gone Bad


    • 10 Shocking Celebrity Tantrums

      Mel Gibson

      Mel Gibson went from A-lister to washed up actor over night when the actor made a series of bizarre and belligerent phone calls that were recorded by his ex-wife, Oksana Grigorieva. The racially-charged rants became public domain and included jumbled illogical phrases, racial condemnation, and death threats, all of which left Mel looking like a stark raving lunatic. And this wasn’t the first time the Braveheart star let his racist tongue wag loose! Mel also accused the Jews for being responsible for every war in the entire world, while being arrested for a DUI in 2006! Yikes!


  186. Mel Gibson- Passion of the Christ?

    I feel like that film set him down a path of hatred that led to the multiple racist outbursts that ended his career. He was once a top paid leading man in Hollywood and now he can barely get an indie project off the ground.