I considered doing a traditional Rank and File edition here, ranking my favorite Mel Gibson movies, but after looking over IMDb’s Gibson filmography I noticed I have only seen 19 of the 40 movies he’s made. And as for those 19, many of them I haven’t seen in quite a while, films such as Air America and Payback, both of which I would prefer to watch again before ever compiling a list of favorites. So, instead I’ll just chat about it and ask you your thoughts.
I should also add I am talking about films Mel Gibson starred in, not those he directed but left the acting to others. So Apocalypto and The Passion of the Christ don’t qualify.
Gibson films I like, but wouldn’t say I outright love include Chicken Run, The Patriot (easily Roland Emmerich’s best film, but still too long) and Payback. The Road Warrior is a film I have only seen once and wasn’t particularly ennamored with, primarily because I saw it so late in the game, which I find is a reaction I tend to have when seeing a film that inspired so many other films. In my case I have come to recognize The Road Warrior as a more glossy, bigger budget film than the gritty low budget film so many people fell in love with back in the early 1980s. This brings a certain level of respect from me, but I can’t lie and say I outright loved the film, but I will be giving it a second chance down the line.
A few of his films I didn’t really enjoy include Conspiracy Theory with Julia Roberts which seemed to have been made solely to trade on the Gibson-Roberts team-up; Bird on a Wire, which really should have been much funnier; We Were Soldiers, which just wasn’t good at all if you ask me; Signs, which really has a hard time coming to a close; and Ransom, which wasn’t all that bad the first time I saw it, but repeated viewings really don’t do that film any favors. What Women Want is a bit of a weird one for me, it’s almost as entertaining as it is annoying, but I can’t remember the last time I watched that one so I can’t comment too much.
I’m also not a huge fan of Lethal Weapon 2 or 3, but I particularly love the original Lethal Weapon and despite not-so popular opinion I also love Lethal Weapon 4. It will be interesting to see what happens when Gibson teams with the original Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) for the just announced Cold Warrior, a tale in which a Cold War spy (Gibson) comes out of retirement to confront a domestic terrorism threat from Russia by teaming up with a younger agent. However, Black is just directing that one with a screenplay by Charles Mondry.
My two favorite Gibson features have got to be Braveheart and Maverick. Braveheart is the obvious choice here, and one I am sure many of you expected. I just got the recently released Blu-ray edition and am anxious to dive into it again. As for Maverick, I just love that movie and find it thoroughly entertaining. Jodie Foster and Gibson are teaming again with The Beaver, but I don’t think we are talking about the same kind of experience.
So, with Edge of Darkness due in theaters tomorrow, it’s now your turn to reminisce on Gibson’s past projects. What films have I not yet seen that are among your favorites? Any gems I should add to my Netflix queue? Are you planning on seeing Edge of Darkness or does that thought of Gibson still leave you a little cold following his more recent personal problems?