Does Mel Gibson have his comeback with 'Hacksaw Ridge?'
Mel Gibson is back making historical action films, and I can’t pretend I don’t want to see Hacksaw Ridge.
Over the last couple years, I’ve had more than a few friends working on projects saying to me, “How would you feel if Mel Gibson was in it?” Why are they asking me? I mean, besides my obvious casting expertise? I’m Jewish, so they want to gauge my reaction. I point them towards South Park quote “Say what you will about Mel, but the son of a b-tch knows story.”
A few years ago when people said Mel Gibson’s career was over, I was skeptical. That’s not the way it works. Hollywood can’t resist hiring a well known actor and director with a proven track record of success. What I’ve learned about Hollywood over the years is that talent is not as easy to come by as you might think. For example, Vin Diesel takes his licks, but it’s not as easy as it looks to grimace on top of a building while saying, “It’s time to get the band back together.” And sell it. Not to say it ironically. But really, really sell it. It takes a certain awareness of how the camera is taking you in, how you are being projected, and utilizing your presence. And this is all without a super hero costume.
It’s a small group of actors who pull it off. Sigourney Weaver is not wanted in the Aliens franchise, she’s needed. It's why Tom Cruise never stopped working. He might be a crazy little weirdo, but you believe him when he’s in an action movie.
So how long can Hollywood really keep Mel Gibson on the shelf? There are other proven actors and directors with his skill set, but it’s not a long list. He also knows how to stick to a budget. Investors inevitably decided to bite.
What I like about the Hacksaw Ridge trailer is that Andrew Garfield is the opposite of what Mel Gibson in a lot of ways. He's not manic and aggressive. He doesn't quite own the screen. He kinda shrinks under it. But that makes sense for his pacifist character. A guy who does his heroics on the edges, not charging through the battle. Hacksaw Ridge is the true story of a conscientious objector who won the Medal of Honor without firing a single shot. I'm giving him Mel another chance. Are you?