In honour of his fifth major directorial outing, I have decided to do a Top 5 rundown of my personal favourite Mel Gibson movies.
Gibson is a controversial character and it has been a turbulent few years for the Australian actor, however he is back in Hollywood’s good books with “Hacksaw Ridge”, receiving six Oscar nominations including a nod for Best Director. This top five supports his acting achievements but does not reflect his personal affairs.
I have omitted movie sagas such as “Mad Max” and off-screen features like easter favourite “Passion of the Christ”. This could have been a much longer list otherwise (Lethal Weapon 1,2,3 and 4, all bloody brilliant).
Without further ado, let’s start the countdown.
5. Pocahontas (1995)
I thought I would give you all a curve ball from the off. In 1995, Mel’s career was going from strength to strength and he lent his voice to Walt Disney Pictures for their 33rd animated picture, playing the love interest Captain John Smith. The film was a commercial success despite some criticism for historical inaccuracies and accent discrepancies. Full of great songs (“Virginia Company”, anyone?), epic animation and a particularly attractive animated hero (John Smith is a total babe), “Pocahontas” shows Mel at his romantic best.
4. Bird on a Wire (1990)
The tagline reads “He is every woman’s dream and one woman’s nightmare”, but this early nineties comedy caper is a winner. Mel is an FBI informant who has to change his identity. The trouble is, ex-fiance Goldie Hawn recognises him on his next mission and reluctantly joins him to beat the bad guys. A Sunday afternoon classic!
3. What Women Want (2000)
After a run of serious dramas and a historical outing in the in the commercially successful “The Patriot”, Mel starred in this romantic comedy as a man who can hear what women are thinking. This sounds great at first but slowly our chauvinistic protagonist starts to see this blessing as a curse, as he falls in love with his office adversary, Helen Hunt and learns that his daughter is about to lose her virginity! No father should ever hear that. Lessons are learnt in this clever comedy where Gibson really turns on his trademark charm.
2. Maverick (1994)
Mel plays attractive, gun-slinging poker player Brett Maverick (based on the character created by James Garner in the 1950s, who also stars in this comedy). The movie follows Maverick as he attempts to raise money for entry in to the biggest game of his career. “Maverick” is a fun, action-packed adventure set in the deep south with some surprise cameos (Danny Glover and Mel Gibson reunited!), excellent performances by Gibson alongside the sly Jodie Foster and an unexpected finale.
1. Braveheart (1995)
Well it had to be! Brave Mel took on the role of director, producer and leading actor in his historic (often inaccurate but we’ll skip that for the dramatic cinematic experience) masterpiece which won him two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. “Braveheart” is the heroic story of William Wallace, the heartbroken Scot, whom after tragically losing his wife to the English ( not at our most complimentary moment ) and vows to avenge her death and lead his country to ‘Freedom!!!’.
It is a stirring drama with visually stunning battles and a soaring soundtrack by the late James Horner which will leave you inspired.
I hope you enjoyed this countdown.
What’s your favourite Gibson film? Let me know in the comments below.
Martin Riggs- “What did one shepherd say to the other shepherd? Let’s get the flock out of here!”