A while back I wrote a review of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ on Netflix. Most people didn’t like it. If I remember correctly about one-fourth of the people who read it found it helpful. Today I was looking for an old review to post on my blog and couldn’t find my Passion review. I have to conclude that Netflix pulled my review. Even though I was highly critical of Gibson’s film, I didn’t say anything that was vulgar. This feeds into my stance that whatever I put on Netflix isn’t really my property and its existence in cyberspace is contingent on Netflix. If they decide to delete something I wrote it’s gone permanently unless I save it elsewhere. I didn’t have the foresight to do this and now it’s gone.
I’m not that upset about losing the two paragraphs I wrote about this lackluster film, but I am upset that some pissed off Christian was offended, marked it as inappropriate, and Netflix complied even though it doesn’t violate their protocol. I do understand their decision to delete it in order to possibly keep a customer, but it’s still irksome. For today’s post instead of putting my review from Netflix I’m going to discuss my take on The Passion of the Christ.
Here is the trailer
Here is my review that isn’t on Netflix. Many people hated the original and I’m sure they’d dislike this one too.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ is nothing more than a pseudo-religious snuff film. I know that’s been said many times before but it’s not much more than fodder for gore hounds and Christians with a penchant for watching their messiah tortured. I remember reading about Christ being tortured in the Gospels, but I don’t remember it being this graphic. From what I’ve read, Gibson’s film is nothing more than a recreation of medieval passion plays and not an accurate representation of the Gospels. Even though the film contains content taken from the Gospels the aim is to make people feel guilty for not being proper Christians.
Let me state right now that I don’t have a problem with Jesus, even though I have a problem with organized religion, and I find this representation of Biblical events to be tasteless. In addition, the film was distributed by Fox, a company that owns a ridiculous amount of media companies in addition to a company that makes gambling machines. In addition, they used to own a controlling share in a satellite company that sold targeting software and hardware to the United States military (it was a former Hughes Corporation company). I know that modern corporations don’t really have an ideology and rather will produce whatever will sell, but it’s hard for me to see a product like The Passion of the Christ as legitimate when distributed by such a conglomerate. Maybe I’m being cynical and nitpicking, but this is America.
Back to The Passion of the Christ, many people thought the cinematography was wonderful but I found it to be a little trite. It was nothing special and the music and acting was mediocre. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t in English, but it didn’t seem like anything special. The film was a financial success, costing only $30 million to produce and making over $370 million domestically and over $600 million worldwide. I guess I just have a problem with Christian values being espoused in this fashion. Instead of reading the Bible, many people seem to rely on others to interpret it for them. Gibson’s reading isn’t anything special. Just because he was in Lethal Weapon doesn’t mean he’s qualified to interpret the Gospels. The torture parts of the film are very gruesome, relying on a good amount of graphic violence to show the struggle of Christ. I’m not saying that the film is on par with something like Cannibal Holocaust in terms of gore, but it’s difficult to watch. Personally, I’d rather watch something like Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust instead of The Passion of the Christ.
I feel this is my worst review to date and I would really like to have my old review from Netflix but alas it’s gone. Sorry for the shoddy post.
I found my post on Netflix. I swear it wasn’t there earlier today and when I looked again tonight while figuring out what to write about tomorrow I found it. How odd. It’s possible that I missed it, yet I am certain it was missing earlier. Here is my mediocre review from Netflix.
I’m afraid to admit the controversy surrounding this movie did cloud my objectivity: I couldn’t stand this film. It was nothing more than a sadistic torture flick. It doesn’t help that it comes across as anti-Semitic. When combined with Gibsons drunken statements, I find this film a bit vile. I’m not discounting the values & ethics Jesus spoke about, but this modern passion play seems like Gibsons personal Counter-Reformation. I can only suggest watching something else & avoiding the hype. There are plenty of other tasteful religious Hollywood films, like Ben-Hur or The Greatest Story Ever Told. Better yet, read the Bible instead; it’s better than watching Mel Gibsons religious guilt trip. If you’re looking for a violent film, try Cannibal Holocaust. Even Deodato’s vivisections are more tasteful. The funniest part is that I’m not religious and yet I’m offended by this film. One final note, I’m very excited that so many people dislike my review of this film. If it’s because these people are so serious about Christ, maybe they should read the Bible instead of relying on Mel Gibson to do it for them.