The Passion of the Christ

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.

*Update*
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.

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2 responses to “The Passion of the Christ

  1. Such predictably ignorance and conceit- the classic agnostic aetheist comment “The funniest part is that I’m not religious and yet I’m offended by this film”. Of course you were offended because the film showed you up and you didn’t like that!!! There He was being tortured to death – in my opinion the film wasn’t graphic enough- but you couldn’t stand it. People like you HATE a GOD who might one day JUDGE you for your sins. You want something namby pamby like Budhism or Humanism or Spirituality at no cost. Let me tell you buddy its Heaven or hell and there aint no middle ground. And only God is good and only He could pay the price. God himself in His only son.

    He was beaten, totured, spat upon and mocked and had to bear the brunt of
    humanities loathing because they were all afraid of Him and because he
    showed them up fro what they were. But it was the only way that
    Mankind could be forgiven for self and pride and ego.
    He was the Second Adam who cam to the fight and to the rescue and
    He dies a Criminal’s death which was horrible and barbaric. It really happened and people need to know it really happened and how badly it hurt him. Let them fucking know what He did to restore us all to God’s grace, those vipers and idololators. Jesus Christ the Prince Of Heaven was
    crucified for our sins – mine and yours and on the day of Judgement I hope you fucking see it and crawl to beg forgiveness for all the things you did wrong and all the people you ever hurt and all the hearts you broke. God isn’t mocked and nor is my friend and brother Mel Gibson…

    • You are so cute. Can I get a little doll version of you, one that when you push a button in your chest you say super Christian things like “I hope you fucking see it and crawl to beg forgiveness for all the things you did wrong and all the people you ever hurt and the hearts you broke,” or, “you want something namby pamby like Buddhism or Humanism or Spirituality at no cost.” Actually, on that last one I can’t help but see the “cost” of my existence to be my knowledge of its inevitable end—that’s an example of ego and we all have one. If you don’t believe that you wouldn’t have written about my irreverence. Actually, my lack of religion isn’t really the issue here. You just turned it into that. I didn’t like The Passion of the Christ because I thought it was sadistic and focuses too much of Jesus’ death and not his message of love, forgiveness, and mercy. I never claimed I dislike Jesus, just that I’m not religious and think Mel Gibson is a piece of shit.

      By the way, since when do real Christians use profanity and condemn people so harshly (Always? Just kidding)? Actually, Christ’s death was barbaric, as the Romans were known for their cruelty. Ironically, it was the Romans that codified Christianity in the 300s, leading to the current form of Christianity you follow. There were also many zealots and “messiahs” back in the first century C.E. (A.D. if you prefer); Jesus was just one of them and the most popular. It’s even possible Jesus didn’t even exist but that’s a discussion for another time. The point I got for my Christian studies (and yes, I have read the Bible, talked to religious people about the stories and how to be a good Christian, and read secondary sources) was that a Christian emulates Christ. You don’t seem to do that very well.

      Satan Be Gone!

      Kidding again.

      What I wish Mel Gibson would do is make a movie about Paul, formerly known as Saul. Supposedly he was beheaded and his buddy Peter was crucified upside down. If Gibson could make Jesus’ death so gruesome I’m sure he could make a great movie about those two being tortured and killed. Personally, I’m not a fan of Paul. He said slavery was acceptable as long as the slaves weren’t mistreated. I’m pretty sure slavery in itself mistreatment.

      Thanks for the comments and keep reading (even though I haven’t written anything here in almost two years). God be with you.

      P.S.: I have no idea why I wrote such a long reply to Rory. As I type this I am considering deleting it and not responding but I won’t. I just thought it would be fun to see where this conversation goes, as I really hope Rory writes back and this turns into a nice little religious debate on my old blog.

      P.P.S.: Rory, you spelled Buddhism incorrectly.

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