Spotlight – Mel Gibson

In the early days I was a big believer that Mr Gibson might just be a brilliant actor given time, but while he took over Hollywood with his quirkness his personal life definitely lost him some fans, but it’s pretty easy for me to set that all aside and focus on his acting and he does constantly reinvent himself and returns with something fresh and new.. Here are 5 Selected Mel Gibson films, probably Volume 1..

Mad Max (1979)

Doing something his epic while starting your movie career will cement you in the history books no matter what crap you produce later on, strangely the charismatic lead went onto some pretty awesome movies while also showing himself up to be a douchebag on so many social occasions, but he remains well loved on the screen.. In Mad Max he plays the quiet loner, a family man who seems to take on a different persona while on the roads running down (quite literally at times) bikers and crooks galore. Max Rockastansky is both brilliant and when pushed, highly dangerous and sadistic, and the man is really pushed to his limits by a brutal biker gang headed by a deranged and brilliant stage actor Hugh Keays Byrne. Going head to head the battle hits new lows as the men target each other and everyone around them slowly picking off by standers until he’s mano et mano. A thrilling indie apocalyptic movie which really brought out the best acting for Mel, although we were never to see this particular persona again.

Lethal Weapon (1987)

I was totally won over by Lethal Weapon, I was a mere child when it came out and we all loved a 80’s action hero, for me Arnold won that war but Lethal Weapon was so much fun due to the chalk and cheese cops that somehow manage to get the bad guys despite their clashing personalities. Danny Glover plays the mild mannered do it by the book slow and steady cop who end up with Riggs, a freak of nature wild child with a host of issues but somehow manages to jet his way to success while scaring the crap outta his partner every step of the way while donning a killer mullet, re watching these films was so full of cringe but that’s what the 90’s was all about. Mel kinda seems like one of those middle aged women you meet half drunk at 3pm who keeps telling you she’s a little bit crazy, but it really was one of the ultimate police action movies of the decade and I think it will always be remembered fondly in some aspects..

Signs (2002)

I had pretty much given up on Gibson by the time this movie came out but M. Night Shyamalan was on a roll with his “amazing twisted ending movies” and it involved aliens so I was all over this, I felt it would be okay to endure him for the sake of cinema but it turned out to be a good movie, despite having a stupid ending and marked the downfall of M Night, I still enjoy it from time to time. Mel plays a pastor who gives up on religion when his wife is killed in a RTA, but during a real alien invasion can a man stand by his lost faith? He’s character isn’t as fluid as it could be but he’s on a constant downer but has this rough love for his brother and kids, but he’s surprisingly convincing, a sign that he really can act when forced to!

Payback (1999)

Again Gibson has blurred into obscurity with me but strangely I caught this film and while I don’t really rate it highly it was really interesting to see him in such an active role, he tries to dominate each scene but the film remained pretty fresh in its approach. As a sort of Point Blank set up a devious and uber resourceful man is striving to get revenge after being betrayed by his wife and his partner, intent on recovering his share of some heist money after being shot in the back, it’s pretty fast paced, not on par but much like a Guy Ritchie movie with a touch of noire. Gibson is pretty strong in this movie but generally he plays about 3 roles and so far this seems to vary a little bit from his norms so it was really good to see him do something slightly different, plus there are some classic actors in this, most notable the badass legend James Coburn who was strangely uncredited…

Braveheart (1995)

During a line of movies where Gibson was eager to battle against the English (Rob Roy, Braveheart and I’m sure there’s another one… ), this has to be one of my favourites, he really seemed to believe in being a martyr for the Scottish, and happy to fight the English at any cost. It’s a huge epic of ego and bravado which Gibson totally turns up to max, trying to be the bravest man and the most hurt individual but it kinda comes across as a terribly romantic over dramatic Robin Hood story and is such a very fairytale foreign ideal of what happened, but it has to be made and if anyone was going to take it to this extreme it has to be Mad Max in a Kilt.

No doubt your list will be very different, which films would make your top five or indeed your worst five!?

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