Tuesday 18th January 2022

The Passion Of The Christ (18)
Directed by: Mel Gibson
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

It occurred to me while watching Mel Gibson's controversial religious tale, that it shares precisely the same initials as last summer's surprise blockbuster, The Pirates Of The Caribbean. That in itself is a good indication of how bored I was during Gibbo's "historical" telling of the last few hours of Jesus Christ's life.

Jim Caviezel about to fall over
Jim Caviezel about to fall over

Although it was a huge success at the American box-office, a lot of its income was due to the controversy surrounding the film prior to its release, concerning anti-Semitic themes in the movie. Of course, when people try hard enough, they can take offence at just about anything, but in this case the claims are not entirely unwarranted. I don't consider myself at all religious, but it seemed to me that several of the Jewish people in the film are portrayed as both vengeful and irrational. However, it's not just the Jews that are portrayed in this fashion throughout the film and it is unfair to assume that this is meant to be a portrayal of all Jewish people.

In my opinion though, anyone who protested about the content of this film on religious grounds, would have been better off campaigning on the grounds that it is just an awful film. After all, a quick look through the back catalogue of Mel Gibson's personal projects (Braveheart, The Patriot, U-571) soon shows that Mel doesn't own a copy of any history book I've ever read and that the truth often takes a back seat to storyline in his previous films.

If you're still considering watching this film, then let me warn you of a few things first: the film is in Latin and Aramaic with subtitles (Gibson originally wanted to leave out the subtitles!). The pace of the film is painfully slow. The only dramatic and shocking scene, in which Jesus is badly beaten by some guards, is cheapened by overuse throughout the film, to the point where the viewer is completely desensitised to the violence.

To sum up, if you've ever wondered how many times you could watch a bloodied Jim Caviezel fall over in slow motion without going insane, then watch this film and find out.

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Length: 127 minutes
Certificate: 18
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 26th March 2004

Top Five Rating: 40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0% (40.0%)
User Rating: 0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0% (0.0%)

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