Mel Gibson is a polarizing character. Though he has starred in a number of terrific films, he is best known for an anti-Semitic rant. Not to make up any excuses, but the actor turned director was hammered at the time during a DUI stop. But it didn't end there. After 2006 a couple of additional red flags popped up including domestic violence, recorded racial slurs and "cunt" calling. In regards to acting, his career looked finished.
Fortunately for the actor, the Australian machismo was already running an audible. Showing a knack for directing, Mel Gibson has been behind the camera for films such as Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto. All three went onto become massive hits. But that was ten years ago, so what's he have in store for Hollywood now?
Mel Gibson Returns to Praise with Hacksaw Ridge
Mel Gibson has begun to once again show up in films such as The Expendables 3 and Blood Father. While it's nice to know the guy is finding work, his biggest return was only seen this week at the Venice Film Festival.
Gibson is back in the director's chair, and (of course) his latest film features a bit of violence.
Gibson unveiled Hacksaw Ridge, the true story of Desmond T Doss, the pacifist who would go on to save about six dozen men during World War II. All without a weapon. It's a story so crazy it's hard to believe it ever happened. Sort of like some of Gibson's tabloid antics, but I digress...
What makes the war film a perfect fit for Gibson is that it mixes violence, something he excels at as a director, and faith. And, though many have tagged Gibson as "done", it looks like he hasn't received the memo. Continuing to show off his directing chops, Deadline reports that Hacksaw Ridge saw a standing ovation that lasted ten minutes as the credits began to roll. While standing ovations are not uncommon at film festivals, this sort of acclaim was most definitely rare.
Gibson and Hacksaw Take in Cheers and Critical Acclaim
To top it off, and possibly help his image, Gibson explained that he was not only "overwhelmed" by the response but "speechless" also. He and castmembers Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer and Luke Bracey were gracious enough to walk amongst the audience about halfway through the applause.
But the audience wasn't alone in their opinions. Reviews have begun to surface and they are (so far) fairly stellar. Take a look at what Variety had to say.
Mel Gibson has made a movie about a pacifist who served nobly during WWII. It's a testament to his filmmaking chops, and also an act of atonement that may succeed in bringing Gibson back.
The Guardian follows with:
As a machine-tooled vehicle for Mel Gibson’s directorial comeback, Hacksaw Ridge couldn’t be more perfect. A study of a second world war conscientious objector who demonstrated extreme bravery under enemy fire (and won the Medal of Honor), the film allows Gibson to identify himself with a tough guy of considerable moral virtue...
Be that as it may, Gibson is a man looking for redemption, and in this redemptive vision he may just have found it.
Reviews such as these currently have the film with a score of 90% at Rotten Tomatoes. Hacksaw Ridge arrives to theaters on November 4th, 2016, which should be more than enough time for this film to garner enough reviews to be declared Certified Fresh long before its opening weekend.
Whether you like or hate Mel Gibson, it's hard to deny that the guy knows how to direct.