With high expectation I went to my neighborhood DVD rental place and picked out "The Passion of The Christ". Perhaps because of the high expectation, I was profoundly disappointed. This is one of those rare movies that have no beginning and end; we, the audience, are basically thrust into the protracted middle. Watching the bloodied mess on the Christ's body only reminds me of Hollywood trickery -- you know it's fake, you know the actor is not suffering, but you're supposed to suspend that disbelief. Mel Gibson is a clever man; he obviously planned this picture with a defensive mechanism built in. Criticizing this movie is analogous to critiquing a religious painting in a church -- you're likely to be met with piously raised eyebrows. When a product of creativity is unmistakably framed within the religious context, are we to view it as a piece of art or religious artifact? I can almost hear Gibson's snicker. Cinematically, this movie is a technical A-minus, but viewed as a work of narrative art, it's severely flawed. I can't even go into the controversy it has caused in the inter-faith arena, because I'd just fall for Gibson's ploy.
Nevertheless, I can't resist pointing to one fact -- theater departments in colleges all over ought to use this film as a fine example of bad acting. Mad Max is a genius in marketing, but acting-wise, he is no better than your local pastor who directed last year's Christmas pageant.