One can’t help but admire how Mel Gibson made this ridiculed project into the most talked about movie of the year, and a box office hit to boot. The religious right loved it, but sensible critics pointed out deficiencies. The Savior’s last 12 hours in life is actually a two-hour long torture flick where we are forced to endure bloody violence of the most realistic kind. Disgustingly over the top, but Jim Caviezel is a convincing Christ, the filmmakers’ attitude is largely earnest (everyone speaks Aramaic and Latin) and the technical details impressive. Accusations of anti-Semitism ring hollow in this case since Jews and Romans share equal blame for the crucifixion.
2004-U.S. 126 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Mel Gibson. Screenplay: Mel Gibson, Benedict Fitzgerald. Cinematography: Caleb Deschanel. Music: John Debney. Cast: Jim Caviezel (Jesus), Monica Bellucci (Mary Magdalene), Claudia Gerini (Claudia Procles), Maia Morgenstern, Sergio Rubini, Mattia Sbragia.
Trivia: Gibson, who also co-produced the film, reportedly first intended to show it with no subtitles.