The Passion of the Christ

So I wandered out of my apartment today to see POTC on the big screen. I was more excited to see this flick than any this year. I liked the controversy and I liked the idea that a filmmaker like Mad Mel was going all out and taking the heat to make a movie he felt like he needed to make. I made sure to see it down the street at the good theater with the good seats and the good sound. After getting my seat I got fidgety and hungry. I wanted popcorn but the theater was filling up really fast and I didn't want to lose my good seat. I usually feel weird leaving my jacket to hold a seat when I'm by myself -but I knew that anyone seeing this flick on opening day wouldn't be stealing a jacket before the previews (which there were none of btw..). Leaving my jacket behind while I got popcorn was a nice feeling. It was cool to think of the theater as a crime-proof atmosphere.

Unfortunately the real crime took place on the screen and I'm not referring to the crucifixion. Mad Mel made this movie all wrong. He had a tremendous opportunity to share the word of Jesus and demonstrate why the act of his crucifixion had so much impact on the world. Jesus obviously has had more influence over the planet than any one in history. So what the dilly? What did he say? Why did everyone go nuts? And that was the problem. Jesus couldn't get a word in edgewise in this flick because he was far too busy getting beaten up. It was the single worst beating I've ever seen. Right from the getgo someone was punching him square in the face. Literally like 10 minutes in. No context. No reasoning. And the whooping continued like nonstop until it built to the bloody climax of the cross. Granted there were some offshoot glimpses on some things here and there about Jesus's past and why people turned against him. Just glimpses tho. This movie was absolutely dominated by bloody horrible violence. Mad Mel is officially demented. 

And the idea that people are taking their children (children!) to see this movie is sad. Hey six year old! Check this out! See that halfnaked dude (aka god). Yeah! Watch him get whipped with a cat-o-nine-tails! And bonus! The tails have hooks on the end! So when the whip hits... it gets hooked into the flesh and sticks... then it gets ripped off his back taking strips of skin with it! Watch how the romans laugh and flip him over and then whip his chest the same way! See how the skin ripping looks real?! Cool right! Oh! And see the Jews? Yeah those guys in the funny hats with Satan lurking behind them! They dig it and approve! But don't think about that. Wink wink. Hey! Now check out the crown of thorns getting slammed on and then watch him get punched in the face right after for some extra oomph! Closeup on the bloody teeth! Sleep tight little ones...

That being said I was sort of half-riveted throughout. It was a suffering spectacle. I didn't think it was anti-semitic from a historical perspective. I just wish I could have looked at the movie in any kind of positive way. It was directed ok. It moved along ok. The guy who played Jesus was ok but wasn't all that sparkley. The violence was cringeworthy. But educationally, spiritually, and ethically this movie is an absolute wipeout. Where's the love? Where's the goodness? Where's the inspiration? Where's the point? During the making of this film, Mad Mel said that Jesus was working thru him or talking to him or whatever. Ummm Mel? Are you sure it was Jesus talking to you?... or maybe Tom Savini? 

I understand this wasn't a movie about Jesus's life. It was just about the way he died. But what's a death without a life first?.... Yup.

Three Good Things About the Movie

- The violence looked very real and the suffering came through loud and clear.
- It was interesting to look at. Like a really bad piece of bizarre art that almost crosses over to the point where it might actually be good.
- The guy who played Satan looked really cool and spoke sneaky cool. 

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- I got the feeling that there was some sadistic enjoyment Mad Mel got from this experience.
- Side 'characters' weren't really developed at all. Everyone just sort of stood around staring at the spectacle. They might as well have been in the audience eating popcorn.
- There was so much blood I think there was subliminal blood splatter in between scenes. I swear I saw some split second splatters in between frames. On dvd I'm gonna watch it slow because I swear I saw subliminal blood.

All in all I'd say this is a good video rental because of the spectacle of it. There's really no point in seeing POTC on the big screen and please don't take children to this movie under any circumstances. It's just too strong and pointless. And don't worry about feeling guilty bout not supporting Mad Mel in his efforts. He'll be just fine. In fact the next Mel Gibson movie is Mad Max: Fury Road! (currently in production!) VROOM VROOM! VROOOOM! Let's get some real good post apocalyptic violence going! I'll be there opening night for ya, Mel! I don't hold grudges. It's not my style. In fact... I've forgiven you already.