Starring James Caviezel, Monica Bellucci, Maia Morgenstern, Claudia Gerini, Sergio Rubini
Written By: Benedict Fitzgerald, Mel Gibson
Directed By: Mel Gibson
What would Jesus do? He wouldn’t be watching this terrible movie, that’s for sure.
I admit I had some lofty expectations going into the film. I mean, this is Mel Gibson, Mad Max himself, we’re talking about. I had heard the action sequences were so intense, he had to spend his own money on them. Well, I must’ve been dozing off at that part, because there were no explosions, car chases, hostage situations, wisecracking buddies, or CGI-enhanced kung fu battles.
“ON YOUR MARK…GET SET…GO!!”
Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of fighting and some cool gore, but Jesus rarely fought back. He just got slapped around like a bitch. I kept waiting for him to start acting crazy, and then surprise the Romans with some sucker punches, like Riggs in Lethal Weapon. Or maybe bluff his way out like in Maverick. Instead he just laid around and let himself get victimized, like those pussies from Braveheart before William Wallace shows up and paints his face blue and fucks people up.
To be honest, Mel Gibson doesn’t make a believable Christ anyway. He barely looked like Mel Gibson let alone our Lord Savior. Dude needs to eat a sandwich, get back into the buffed shape we know so well from Bird On A Wire. Or maybe I’m thinking of Goldie Hawn.
Which leads to my next critique. The virgin Mary wasn’t that hot. I know that’s a silly way of putting it, but I’m a very cultured, knowledgeable person, and I’ve seen tons of paintings and statues of Mary, and she’s historically portrayed as young and, well, hot. Gibson has to stop thinking about “What Women Want” and think about what we guys want. Not to mention he needs to be more historically accurate.
And that is really why Passions of Christ fails. First off, Jesus is shown as a weak human, when in fact, a close reading of the Bible shows him to be not only the son of God, but a vampire as well. Secondly, Gibson left out all the magic Jesus could do, probably to save money on special effects. And lastly, there’s too much emphasis on Jews, when it was actually the lepers that did him in.
Passions of the Christ would have been much better if Gibson stuck with what he knows best – action! If you want to watch a more historically accurate version of the Bible and ancient Rome, do yourself a favor and see Gladiator.
Hopefully these problems will be corrected when the sequel Christ: Resurrection comes out. Jesus, with so little action and humor, you’d think Gibson is doing Shakespeare!
Running Time: 126 minutes